Polish Supreme Court order
dated 14 March 2014
Case No. III CZP 128/13
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
Creditor Towarzystwo W. S.A. entered into a settlement agreement with individual debtors R.P., E.P. and J.P. Under an arbitration clause in the agreement, the creditor obtained an award from an arbitration court operated by the private company Mediacja i Arbitraż sp. z o.o. against the debtors jointly and severally for PLN 19,600.
The creditor applied to the district court for enforcement of the award and issuance of an enforcement clause. The court denied the application, holding that the award was not final because it had not been properly served on the respondents. The award had been dispatched to the respondents by post, but because they were absent they were notified twice that they could collect the item at the post office. The district court held that Civil Procedure Code Art. 1160, which allows the use of the notice of an attempted delivery, and which applies to “written notices” other than service effected by courts, did not apply to an arbitration award, but instead the separate regulations for judicial service should apply.
On interlocutory appeal, the regional court was unsure how to interpret Art. 1160 and sought a ruling from the Supreme Court of Poland. The Supreme Court pointed out that the regional court had raised in its inquiry the interpretation in favour of applying Art. 1160 to arbitration awards and did not raise any countervailing interpretation in the case law demonstrating that there was a conflict of interpretation. Therefore the regional court was in a position to decide the matter itself and had no reason to seek a ruling from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued an order accordingly refusing to issue a resolution responding to the legal question.
Excerpt from the text of the court’s ruling:
The manner of service specified in Civil Procedure Code Art. 1160 should be applied also to arbitration awards. … There is no reason that the written notice referred to in Civil Procedure Code Art. 1160 should not also be understood to include an arbitration award.