Small Claims Procedure


The main legal act providing a chance for small claims proceedings before the Polish court was Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 (Journal of Laws UE 2007 L 199/1). It is important to note that this regulation does not apply to Denmark.

European Small Claims Procedure - in which situations can we use?

As a rule, we can use this solution in any case characterized by the existence of a cross-border element, however, the legislator has provided for a limit in amount, according to which the value of the dispute may not exceed the amount of EUR 2,000.

What is cross-border?

The concept of cross-border is used in a situation where even one of the parties to the proceedings has his place of residence (or stay) in a different EU Member State than the one in which the case is examined. The date on which the claim form is received by the competent court is relevant for the assessment of the cross-border nature of the case.

Small claims procedure - claims that have been exclusive:

  • claims based on marital status, legal capacity and legal capacity as well as statutory representation of natural persons,

  • all property rights arising from a matrimonial relationship, wills and succession, and maintenance obligations,

  • bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings, proceedings related to the liquidation of insolvent companies (and other legal persons), bankruptcy composition proceedings (and other similar proceedings),

  • social security and labor law

  • arbitration,

  • rental and lease of real estate, with the exception of actions related to monetary claims,

  • violation of privacy and personal rights, including defamation.

What are the fees and how does the small claims procedure work?

The small claims fee is a fixed fee and amounts to PLN 100. After the claimant has filed the claim, the court responds to the claim and delivers its copy and attachments to the opposing party within 14 days. The defendant, within 30 days from the date of service, has the option to reply to the claim and does not have to use the form provided for in the regulation obligatorily in this case, but may only reply in the form of an ordinary pleading.

A copy of the response submitted by the defendant is sent with attachments (documents attached by the defendant) to the claimant within 14 days of receiving the court. The defendant is entitled to file a counterclaim if it is based on the same contract or facts as the main claim. The rule is the secrecy of the proceedings.

The court may, within 30 days of receiving the response to the statement of claim, issue a judgment based on the results of the written procedure or request the parties to provide further information about the claim within a specified period (maximum 30 days), or take evidence or summon the parties to a hearing (the hearing should be take place within 30 days from the date of the summons).

The court issues the judgment within 30 days of closing the hearing or receiving all information necessary for issuing the judgment, and orders it to be served on both parties to the proceedings.

Is it possible to challenge the judgment of the small claims court?

Under Polish law, the Civil Code allows for appeals against judgments in small cases, while the Member States are free to shape this matter among themselves.

Small Claims Enforcement

A judgment given by a court in one Member State in a European Small Claims Procedure is recognized and enforced in another Member State without a need for a declaration of enforceability and without the possibility of opposing its recognition. Upon application by a party, the court of the Member State of origin shall issue a certificate relating to such a judgment.