Many years of good cooperation and after that a court struggle. This is how some business relations end. At the beginning of the court procedure the law firms of the parties prepare often very complicated standpoints of their clients. Parties file to the court many documents, present their arguments at length. According to the Polish civil procedure law the party should present the necessary proof of its claim at the very beginning of the trial in order to avoid the situation when the court does not recognize its proof stating it has been presented with the delay. Filing a claim requires payment of the court fee which amounts to 5 % of the claim’s amount.
Then during the first court session the court is obliged to ask the parties if there are any chances for the agreement between them. The court may also direct the parties to mediation, however the parties must agree to that. Mediation requires payment of some additional costs by both parties. The parties may choose the mediator together or the court indicates such person. During the mediation parties – with help of the mediator – may speak freely not only about their claims, but also about other factors important to them related to the case, as mediation is not aimed at leading legal discussions. The mediation may be a very helpful way to find the solution, particularly if the core of the misunderstanding is not only the legal problem and the money. Especially if at least one party is not a big company, but a small entrepreneur or a private person, then some other aspects may have a big influence at making decisions. In such a situation the role of the mediator might be very significant, as he may help the parties to see the real problem and help them to make a compromise. Sometimes one court dispute does not mean the end of the business cooperation, then the parties may notice that it is better to find a solution that could be accepted by both of them rather than to lead a long court process not sure about the outcome and its costs.
If parties agree to solve the dispute in the conciliatory way, then they prepare the text of the agreement. The agreement may be concluded in front of the court or in front of the mediator – in the first situation the court returns the claimant the half of the court fee paid by him while filing the claim, in the second one the court returns three-quarters of such court fee. Rules of payment of other costs related to the court process may be governed between the parties by the agreement. Such agreements may be granted an enforcement clause by the Polish court and if the party does not fulfill the agreement voluntarily, then it can be executed by the court bailiff.
And if negotations end with fiasco? Then the court struggle goes on… However, it is possible to conclude an agreement at any time before the judgement is passed.