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Decision of the Court of Appeals in Warsaw 6th Civil Division of 30th October 2017

VI ACz 1541/17 

  1. Submission of a declaration on joining the group has equal substantive and procedural law related effects as filing an action. However, a condition for upholding the effects of filing an action and representation relationship in force is nevertheless conditioned is to include the members of the group in a decision of the court’ establishing the group’s personal composition. The court renders this decision after permitting the defendant to present their stance in this matter in the form of charges. These charges may therefore pertain to the non-compliance of individual group members with the group membership criteria. The criteria of group membership are determined each time by way of court’s decision on hearing the case in group proceedings. This is because by rendering a decision on hearing a case in group proceedings, the court certifies the admissibility of class action on the basis of the claims included in the statement of claims. By accepting these claims as eligible to be heard in group proceedings, the court simultaneously determines a claim template that will be binding at further assessment of parties joining the case at a later stage, i.e. – whether these claims can be heard in the same group proceedings as the claims initially indicated in the statement of claims. In turn, in establishing group membership, the court examines if group members’ claims are identical with the claim template determined in the decision on hearing the case in group proceedings. It means that each claim individually must comply with the preconditions of admissibility of a class action. The group membership of parties covered by the statement of claims is verified at the stage of adjudicating on admissibility of group proceedings.

The Court of Appeals in Warsaw 6th Civil Division in the following ruling bench:

Presiding Judge:                      Ksenia Sobolewska-Filcek, Court of Appeals Judge (rapporteur)

Judges:                                    Agata Zając, Court of Appeals Judge, Tomasz Pałdyna, Regional Court Judge (delegated)

having examined on 30th October 2017 in W. at the hearing in camera the case file by K.K. – the representative of the group against the Housing Association (…) in W. for payment

following the Defendant’s appeal against the decision of the Regional Court in Warsaw of 24th January 2017, file ref. no. III C 798/15

hereby decides to:

  1. dismiss the appeal;
  2. leave the decision on the costs of the appeal proceedings to be rendered by the court of first instance in the final judgment.

 

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