The franc department at the District Court in Warsaw may soon be relieved. Disputes regarding foreign currency loans are to be considered by the courts competent for the consumer’s place of residence, writes Monday’s “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”. Currently, the dates of hearings at the District Court in Warsaw are set for mid-2025.
From April 1, 2021, the so-called franc department, i.e. XXVIII Civil Department of this court. As “DGP” writes, there are so many Swiss franc lawsuits that even the establishment of a special department did not speed up their resolution. It was also indicated that “today almost 45 percent of all Swiss franc cases will go to the XXVIII Civil Department at the District Court in Warsaw.” The division has 20 judges.
“This means that there are 1,800 cases per judge, the first deadline is now until mid-2025, and the verdict can be expected within five years. Which in turn means that the right to hear a case within a reasonable time and without undue delay becomes illusory, while the risk of claims due to excessive length is quite real.
The franc department is blocked
According to the newspaper, as many as 66 percent. cases heard in the capital were initiated by borrowers living outside Warsaw.
The daily points out that although the 2019 reform of the Code of Civil Procedure added Art. 372 of the Code of Civil Procedure, thanks to which claims against banks can also be brought before the court competent for the plaintiff’s place of residence, but most lawsuits are still filed according to general provisions on local jurisdiction – i.e. to the court competent for the defendant’s seat.
Members want to rectify the shortcomings. “That is why during the work on the amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure PiS deputies introduced an amendment according to which, for five years, the competent court in disputes with banks regarding foreign currency loans will be the court competent for the consumer’s place of residence.
Importantly, this will only apply to new cases and these regulations will not apply to pending cases.
“The line of jurisprudence has already been formed”
The daily points out that at the same time there are concerns whether the statutory removal of Swiss franc cases from the court established especially for hearing it will not affect the quality of jurisprudence.
– In my opinion, any limitation of the choice of court jurisdiction is not right, because it somehow limits the rights of the plaintiff. In addition, a department specialized in examining franc cases was not created to enforce statutory restrictions on referral of cases to it. We must continue to follow this path and strengthen it in terms of staff – says Adrian Goska, legal adviser from the Subigo law firm, in an interview with “DGP”. He does not believe that the planned change will be beneficial for borrowers.
Attorney Karolina Pilawska, who specializes in Swiss franc cases, is of a different opinion. In her opinion, this is a very good solution.
– If such regulations were introduced two or three years ago, one could have some concerns, because judges in smaller centers did not have such experience as judges in Warsaw. Now, however, the line of jurisprudence has already been formed and in its practice, as long as the plaintiff does not request the establishment of security, it recommends clients to bring a lawsuit to a court outside the capital. Precisely because of the long waiting time for the verdict, Pilawska points out in an interview with the daily. As he notes, currently the biggest concern of franchise holders is no longer the direction of the decision, but when it will be made.
“Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, PAP
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