Decision of the Court of Appeals in Warsaw, 1st Civil Division of 6th June 2012
I ACz 868/12
- The charge of the expiration of the claim due to the lapse of the limitation period extends beyond the framework of the initial examination, aimed at assessing the admissibility of the group proceedings, accordingly to Article 10 section 1 of the Act (Polish Act on pursuing claims in group proceedings). The issue of the expiration of the claims is a charge based on substantive law and may be subject to examination during the stage of examination proceedings, it does not however, constitute a formal obstacle substantiating the rejection of the statement of claims. Also the predictions of the Regional Court that perhaps some of the districts did not incur damage at all, do not constitute a circumstance substantiating the rejection of the statement of claims, but – if these were confirmed – could impact the essence of the judgement.
- One cannot, however, agree with the opinion that the rei iudicatae restricting two group members substantiates the rejection of the statement of claims as a whole. This is what would, in essence, take place if the number of remaining group members did not reach 10 persons. Such a situation does not, however, take place in the present case. Hence the group proceedings should be deemed as admissible. In such a case, the statement of claims should have been rejected only towards the persons which have been covered by the rei iudicatae, and Article 199 para 1 point 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the provision of which applies also in case of group proceedings (vide Article 24 section 1 of the Act), constitutes the legal basis for such a ruling.
- The initial examination of the admissibility of the group proceedings is limited to the formal issues indicated in Article 1 and 2 of the Act. The ascertainment of the admissibility however, does not cover the content-related assessment of the demand and does not prejudge, in any case, the legitimacy of the pursued claim.