How long does a proceeding last in polish court?

19 lutego 2021
/ Wiktoria Ronc

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Many people wonder how long a single hearing lasts in polish court. In practice, it is a matter of few hours, but you will often have to wait much longer for the court to give a decision. Some people wait even years for a binding ruling. It is also impossible to know whether your case will end on a first hearing or will require several. How long does a trial in Poland usually last? What does its length depend on? Find out in this article!


Do we have any statistics on the length of trials in polish courts?


Before the pandemic, an average court proceeding lasted for about 4 months. However, in general the statistic cannot be 100% trusted, as the average includes all cases and, of course, each case is slightly different. For example, it is not fair to compare a complicated divorce case to a fine for running a red light. Here, it is useful to focus on individual types of court cases to get an approximation of trial durations.


Can we provide approximate numbers when it comes to trials duration?


Standard civil trials take about 11 months in regional court and approximately 9 months in district court. The longest of all are commercial proceedings, that can last up to 16 months in county court and up to 14 months in district court. Of course what I’m telling now refers only to the first instance. Therefore, it is worth keeping in mind that the case may take much longer, which is quite normal in commercial cases. In the second instance, they can take an additional 7 months in district courts, and with higher courts – this time can be extended to another 10 months. Of course, these are not binding deadlines, and their length depends mostly on the complexity of the case.


Does proceedings in polish courts always take so long?


As I already said before, it all depends on how complicated the case actually is. You have to take into account how much work has to be done by court before it even sets a trial date. For example, many cases require hearing of dozen witnesses, which cannot be done in one „go”. So there will be several hearings, and this increases the length of the proceedings. Also, it often happens that some witnesses do not appear at the summons.


What other factors can influence proceeding’s lenght?


Some cases require a group of experts to give their opinion. Sometimes, especially in more specialized areas, this can take even a whole year. Additionally, the opposing party may deliberately prolong the proceedings, which may result in the bailiff having nothing left to recover, e.g. from the assets of the indebted company.


Moreover, it should also be pointed out that courts in Poland are very busy. Many judges have to handle even dozens of cases at the same time, so it may even take a few months before they begin to consider our case. Let’s add that that these few cases are also prolonged, and our case will be significantly delayed. In such a situation the only thing left is to wait patiently for the settlement or request for faster examination of the case.


Opposing party can always appeal


Even if a court’s decision is made in our favor, everyone has the right to appeal the verdict.  Unfortunately, filing an appeal sometimes causes the proceedings to last several more months, regardless of the outcome. In such a case, the court has to take further steps and once again check whether the previous judgement was passef in accordance with the necessary procedures. It happens that in a given case a number of events may occur that were not considered before, which unfortunately prolongs the time needed to resolve the case.


Can court proceedings be shortened in any way?


Definitely! It is useful in this aspect to exclude any unnecessary deficiencies or mistakes on our side. This is where the support of a law firm becomes important. We cannot guarantee that your case will not take long. However, with our help, the judgment wil be passed as brief as possible.

Autor: Kamil Hupajło