Terms of granting remuneration to court-appointed guardians P 12/12
At the hearing on 14 January 2014 at 9 a.m., the Constitutional Tribunal considered joined questions of law, referred by the Sąd Okręgowy Warszawa-Praga (the Circuit Court), the 2nd Civil Division, in Warsaw, concerning terms of granting remuneration to court-appointed guardians.
The Tribunal discontinued the review proceedings on the basis of Article 39(1)(1) and (3) of the Constitutional Tribunal Act of 1 August 1997.
The subject of the allegation in the joined questions of law concerned the constitutionality of the following provisions:
1) Article 42 of the Act of 13 June 1967 on Court Fees in Civil Cases
2) § 3(1) and (2) of the Regulation of the Minister of Justice of 28 August 1982 on the rates, terms and payment of set fees for judges and court employees for an inspection of a place or thing or for an examination of a person as well as on the rates of fees for court-appointed guardians
3) Article 148(2) of the Act of 28 July 2005 on Court Fees in Civil Cases.
The Tribunal decided to discontinue the review proceedings instituted to determine the conformity of Article 42 of the 1967 Act on Court Fees in Civil Cases as well as § 3(1) and (2) of the said Regulation of the Minister of Justice to Article 92(1) of the Constitution, on the grounds that the challenged provisions had ceased to have effect.
The 1967 Act on Court Fees in Civil Cases was repealed on 2 March 2006, at the moment of the entry into force of the 2005 Act on Court Fees in Civil Cases. As a result, challenged Article 42 of the 1967 Act on Court Fees in Civil Cases was deleted. However, the said Regulation, issued on the basis thereof, remained binding by virtue of Article 148(2) of the 2005 Act on Court Costs in Civil Cases, pursuant to which until the issuance of executive provisions on the basis of the Act, executive provisions issued prior to the entry into force of the Act remained in force.
On 13 November 2013, the Minister of Justice issued a regulation on the amounts of remuneration and the reimbursement of expenses incurred by guardians appointed for parties in civil cases, which entered into force on 24 December 2013.
Therefore, the provisions of the 1982 Regulation, challenged in the questions of law, ceased to have effect. The legal basis of rulings to be issued with regard to applications filed by guardians appointed in divorce proceedings for defendants whose place of stay was unknown would be the 2013 Regulation. The Tribunal’s determination of the issue which was the subject of the joined questions of law would not be needed for the Circuit Court to rule on the applications by the guardians.
In the current legal order, there is no functional premiss concerning the substantive examination of a question of law referred by a court in proceedings before the Tribunal.
Consequently, the Tribunal also decided to discontinue the review proceedings as regards examining the conformity of Article 148(2) of the 2005 Act on Court Costs in Civil Cases to Article 2 in conjunction with Article 92(1) of the Constitution, on the grounds that the substantive examination of the case was useless.
The fact that the challenged provisions of the 1982 Regulation had been derogated from the legal system led to the situation where the subject of the transitional provision in that respect also ceased to exist.
The hearing was presided over by Judge Maria Gintowt-Jankowicz, and the Judge Rapporteur was Judge Leon Kieres.