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Exemption from legal costs, and court-appointed legal representation P 56/14

Exemption from legal costs, and court-appointed legal representation

Ref. No. P 56/14

JUDGMENT
IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND

Warsaw, 4 April 2017

The Constitutional Tribunal, in a bench composed of:

Małgorzata Pyziak-Szafnicka – Presiding Judge
Henryk Cioch
Zbigniew Jędrzejewski
Leon Kieres
Stanisław Rymar – Judge Rapporteur,

having considered, at a sitting in camera on 4 April 2017 – in accordance with Article 92(1)(1) of the Act of 30 November 2016 on the Organisation of the Constitutional Tribunal and the Mode of Proceedings Before the Constitutional Tribunal (Journal of Laws – Dz. U. item 2072) – a question of law referred by the District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw:

as to whether Article 117(3) of the Act of 17 November 1964 – the Civil Procedure Code (Journal of Laws – Dz. U. No. 43, item 296, as amended), insofar as it burdens legal entities with the legal obligation to prove their lack of sufficient means to cover the costs of legal representation by an advocate or a legal adviser, and Article 103 of the Act of 28 July 2005 on Legal Costs in Civil Cases (Journal of Laws – Dz. U. of 2010 No. 90, item 594, as amended), insofar as it burdens legal entities with the legal obligation to prove their lack of sufficient means to cover legal costs, and also as to whether both those regulations, insofar as they do not provide for a procedure to request applicants to supplement relevant applications when submitted data are not enough to assess the lack of sufficient means to cover the aforementioned costs, are consistent with Article 32(1) and Article 45(1) of the Constitution,

adjudicates as follows:

1) Article 117(3) of the Act of 17 November 1964 – the Civil Procedure Code (Journal of Laws – Dz. U. of 2016 item 1822, as amended), insofar as it burdens legal entities with the legal obligation to prove their lack of sufficient means to cover the costs of legal representation by an advocate or a legal adviser,

2) Article 103 of the Act of 28 July 2005 on legal costs in civil cases (Journal of Laws – Dz. U. of 2016 item 623 as well as 2017 item 85), insofar as it burdens legal entities with the legal obligation to prove their lack of sufficient means to cover legal costs

are consistent with Article 45(1) and Article 32(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

Moreover, the Tribunal decides:

pursuant to Article 59(1)(2) of the Act of 30 November 2016 on the Organisation of the Constitutional Tribunal and the Mode of Proceedings Before the Constitutional Tribunal (Journal of Laws – Dz. U., item 2072), to discontinue the proceedings as to the remainder.

The ruling was unanimous.

Małgorzata Pyziak-Szafnicka Henryk Cioch Zbigniew Jędrzejewski Leon Kieres Stanisław Rymar (a dissenting opinion with reference to the composition of the adjudicating bench)