Polish Supreme Court ruling
dated 2 May 1934
Case No. C II 161/34
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
The plaintiff, a joint-stock company, brought a claim in the Stanisławów Regional Court against a registered partnership and other defendants, based on an allegedly valid arbitration award, requesting the court to supplement the award to include interest and to set a deadline for payment of the award. The defendants made an incidental motion seeking a declaration by the court that the award was invalid. The court granted the defendants’ motion. Finding that the award on which the plaintiff’s claim was based was invalid, the court denied the plaintiff’s claim accordingly.
On appeal, the plaintiff did not dispute the finding that the award was invalid but argued that the defendants had forfeited the right to challenge the award by failing to move to set aside the award by the statutory deadline (within three months of service). One of the arbitrators had presented the award to one of the defendants at his residence. The defendant read the award, then left it with the arbitrator without acknowledging receipt, and promised to collect it after payment of the arbitrator’s fee. The lower courts held that this did not constitute service of the award and therefore the period for filing a petition to set aside the award following service did not begin to run.
On cassation appeal, the plaintiff claimed that the lower courts had erroneously interpreted the provisions concerning service of the arbitration award and consequently the right to assert the invalidity of the award. The Supreme Court of Poland agreed with the lower courts that the award had not been served, and denied the cassation appeal accordingly.
Excerpt from the text of the court’s ruling:
The fact that one of the arbitrators served the arbitration award on the defendant in his residence, and the defendant after reading the award left it with the arbitrator without acknowledgement, promising to take the award back after payment of the fee due to the arbitrator, does not yet constitute service of the arbitration award within the meaning of § 592 of the [former Austrian] Civil Procedure Code.