Polish Supreme Court order
dated 12 October 2007
Case No. V CZ 91/07
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
In 2005 an arbitration award was issued in favour of D. Sp. z o.o. against M.S.K. Sp. z o.o. for about PLN 500,000. The regional court denied the respondent’s petition to set aside the award and the appellate court denied the appeal from that order. After the order of the appellate court was final, the respondent filed a motion with the appellate court to renew the proceeding on the grounds that the respondent had discovered that the claimant had obtained the arbitration award on the basis of an allegedly forged or altered document, in that it had submitted as evidence an agreement on assignment of a claim, omitting one of the enclosures to the agreement. The appellate court denied the motion to renew the proceeding, finding that the alleged omission of the enclosure did not constitute use of a forged or altered document, and in any event the respondent should have been aware of the discrepancy and could have raised the alleged violation at any time earlier during the proceedings. The respondent filed an interlocutory appeal to the Supreme Court, which was denied. The Supreme Court held that the allegations could not be considered because the respondent had sought to set aside the arbitration award on other grounds (that the arbitration award had expired and that the respondent was denied a defence because the arbitration court refused to postpone the hearing due to the alleged illness of the respondent’s attorney).
Excerpts from the text of the court’s ruling:
1. Under Civil Procedure Code Art. 1206, in a case seeking to set aside an arbitration award, the court’s jurisdiction leads to consideration of the petition within the grounds asserted by the petitioner (which may be the circumstances listed in Art. 1206 §1), and beyond that, as provided in Art. 1206 §2, the court will set aside an arbitration award only if it finds that 1) under the law, the dispute may not be resolved by an arbitration court, or 2) the arbitration award is contrary to fundamental principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland (the public policy clause).
2. The grounds for a petition to renew a proceeding to set aside an arbitration award may concern only this proceeding and no other proceeding, and more specifically may not apply to a proceeding for enforcement of an arbitration award and issuance of an enforcement clause, or a proceeding before an arbitration court.
3. Allowing the court to assess the compliance of an arbitration award with the fundamental principles of the legal order on the basis of facts or evidence which the arbitration court was not aware of would impermissibly expand the narrowly defined limits set by the law for the court’s review of an arbitration award. The opportunity to bring up new facts or evidence in a proceeding to set aside an arbitration award that could affect the decision on the dispute resolved by the award (as a result of its assessment under the public policy clause) would turn the proceeding into a proceeding not recognized by the Civil Procedure Code, comparable to a proceeding to renew the proceeding that ended in the arbitration award.