Below we present the most important solutions provided for in the Act of 14 May 2020 amending certain acts in the field of protective measures in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Journal of Laws 2020, item. 875), hereinafter referred to as “Act", which entered into force on 16 May 2020.
Deadlines. It has been reinstated the course of previously suspended deadlines provided for in the administrative law and procedural and court deadlines: in court proceedings, including administrative court proceedings, enforcement proceedings, criminal proceedings, criminal fiscal proceedings, misdemeanour proceedings, proceedings and inspections carried out under the Act of 29 August 1997 - Tax Ordinance, customs and fiscal inspections and other proceedings carried out under the Act.
The above-described periods, which have not started or have been suspended, shall run or continue to run after 7 days from the date the Act enters into force.
Commercial law. The deadline for dematerialisation of stocks in joint-stock and limited joint-stock companies was extended. It is provided that the binding force of the stock documents issued by the company expires on 1 March 2021 (not yet 1 January 2021). The first call for shareholders to submit stock documents in the company shall be made by 30 September 2020 (not by 30 June 2020).
Maritime law. Assistance is provided for owners of commercial yachts. Financial support may be granted for withdrawing a commercial yacht from the current activity, by scrapping it or adapting it to other activities - if the activity carried out so far, consisting in making the vessel available for a fee for fishing for marine organisms on the basis of a sports fishing permit in accordance with Fisheries regulations cannot continue following COVID-19. Financial support may be given by the minister competent for the maritime economy or the entity selected by him.
Civil and administrative proceedings. During the period of the state of epidemic threat or the state of the epidemic announced due to COVID-19 and within one year of the last appeal being dismissed, in cases examined under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure an open court hearing shall be conducted using technical devices enabling conducting them at a distance with simultaneous direct transmission of image and sound, except that the persons participating in them do not have to be in the court building unless conducting an open court hearing without the use of the above devices does not cause an excessive threat to the health of the persons participating in it. Remote hearings also apply to voivodship administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court.
In addition, the chairman may order hearing a case in camera if he considers the case to be considered necessary, and the conduct of the hearing in open court required by law could cause an excessive threat to the health of the persons participating in it and cannot be conducted at a distance with simultaneous direct image and sound transmission, and neither party objected to holding an in camera hearing within 7 days from the date of delivery of the notice of referral to an in camera hearing. In proceedings before the administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court, the party could not oppose.
If in the case examined under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure the evidentiary proceedings were conducted in full, the court may close the trial and issue a ruling in an in camera hearing after having previously collected positions from the parties or participants in the proceedings in writing.
If in a case examined according to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, in which an appeal was lodged before November 7, 2019, the court of the second instance decides that an open court hearing is not necessary, may refer the case to an in camera hearing, unless the party requests an open court hearing. The court, however, examines the case in camera in the event of withdrawal of the claim, withdrawal of appeal or if the proceedings are null and void. The request to conduct an open court hearing shall be submitted within 7 days from the date of delivery of the notification on referral to an in camera hearing.
During the period of the epidemic emergency status or the epidemic status announced due to COVID-19 and within one year of the last appeal being dismissed, in cases in which the party filing an appeal did not waive an open court hearing or another party requested an open court hearing, the Supreme Administrative Court may examine the appal in camera if all parties within 14 days from the date of delivery of the notification of the intention to examine the case in camera agree to this.