Family maintenance

Poland
Content provided by:
European Judicial Network
European Judicial Network (in civil and commercial matters)

1 What do the concepts “maintenance” and “maintenance obligation” mean in practical terms? Which persons have to pay a maintenance allowance to another person?

In accordance with Article 128 of the Family and Guardianship Code, a ‘maintenance obligation’ is an obligation imposed on lineal relatives and siblings to provide means of subsistence (including clothes, food, accommodation, heating fuel and medicines) and, where necessary, the means of upbringing (including care for physical and mental development and provision of access to education and culture).

‘Maintenance’ is an allowance in cash or in kind. In the case of children it also covers personal involvement in their upbringing and work in a common household as part of a maintenance obligation.

A ‘maintenance claim’ is the right of a person to claim the fulfilment of a maintenance obligation towards him or her by another person.

As a rule, maintenance obligations arise from different kinds of family relationship.
Depending on the kind of family relationship, Polish law sets out the following types of maintenance obligations:

  1. maintenance obligation between relatives (of which the parents’ obligation towards the child is a specific form): in the case of relatives, only persons in hardship are entitled to maintenance. Parents are obliged to pay maintenance to children who are not yet able to provide for themselves, unless income from the child’s property is sufficient to cover the costs of his or her maintenance and upbringing. Children over the age of 18 are no longer entitled to maintenance unless they wish to continue their education and their performance to date justifies this choice, or the maintenance obligation should be maintained due to the child’s health or personal situation. Furthermore, parents are not obliged to pay maintenance to children who are over the age of 18 and, while being able to work, embark on further study but then neglect it, do not make satisfactory progress, do not obtain pass marks and do not pass exams within prescribed deadlines and so fail to complete their studies within the timeframe specified for their programme of study.
    If it is impossible or excessively difficult to obtain maintenance from the person under the primary obligation to pay it (a parent), it is possible to make a claim against persons under a secondary obligation (e.g. grandparents of a child who are the parents of an absent debtor). However, it should be pointed out that the mere non-payment of maintenance by a person obliged to do so is not sufficient to obtain maintenance payments from grandparents; in order to obtain maintenance from grandparents the person entitled to maintenance must be living in hardship and the grandparents must be financially able to pay maintenance. Maintenance orders against grandparents are usually for lower amounts than those imposed on the person with the primary obligation to pay maintenance.
  2. an obligation arising from adoption: if the effect of adoption is solely to create a relationship between the person adopting and the adopted person, the maintenance obligation on the person adopting in relation to the adopted person takes precedence over a maintenance obligation on relatives in the ascending line and siblings of the adopted person towards that person, and any maintenance obligation on an adopted person towards his or her relatives in the ascending line and siblings comes last in line. Otherwise, the rules laid down in point 1 apply to the adopted person.
  3. an obligation between persons related by affinity (stepmother, stepfather, stepchildren): only persons in hardship are entitled to maintenance, if, in the situation concerned, the imposition of a maintenance obligation is in line with the rules of social conduct. Under Polish legislation and jurisprudence, ‘hardship’ means an inability to satisfy one’s reasonable needs from one’s own resources and by one’s own efforts.
  4. an obligation between spouses during a marriage: family members may claim the right to an ‘equal standard of living’ for all family members. In accordance with Article 27 of the Family and Guardianship Code, both spouses are required, according to their abilities and their earning and financial capacities, to help satisfy the needs of the family they have established through their relationship. This obligation may also be deemed to be met in full or in part in the form of personal efforts to bring up children and look after the common household.
  5. an obligation between spouses after a marriage has ended: if one of the spouses has been found to be solely responsible for the break-down of the marriage and the divorce entails a substantial deterioration in the financial situation of the innocent spouse, the latter may demand that his or her reasonable needs be satisfied, even if that person is not in hardship. In other cases, a spouse in hardship may claim maintenance from his or her former spouse in proportion to his or her reasonable needs and the earning and financial capacities of the former spouse. The maintenance obligation towards a divorced spouse expires when that spouse remarries. However, where a divorced spouse who has not been found to be responsible for the break-down of the marriage is obliged to pay maintenance, the maintenance obligation also expires five years after the divorce decree, unless, at the request of the person entitled to maintenance, the court extends the five-year period due to exceptional circumstances.
  6. an obligation of a father of a child born out of wedlock towards the child’s mother: a father who is not the mother’s husband must contribute according to his circumstances to the costs associated with the pregnancy and childbirth and the costs of three months’ maintenance of the mother during childbirth. Where there is compelling justification, the mother may request that the father contribute to her maintenance costs for a period longer than three months.

2 Up to what age can a child benefit from a maintenance allowance? Are there different rules for maintenance concerning minors and adults?

Parents are obliged to pay maintenance to children who are not yet able to provide for themselves. As children are obliged to continue education until the age of 18, they are usually entitled to maintenance until they reach the age of majority or until they complete their education. If the person entitled to maintenance is unable to support themselves (for instance because of sickness or disability), maintenance may be granted indefinitely.

It should be noted that a maintenance obligation does not expire automatically after the person entitled reaches the age of 18, nor does such expiry depend on a decision by a creditor or a parent liable for maintenance. In order for it to be determined that a maintenance obligation should expire, a court decision is required to assess whether a child reaching the age of majority is capable of supporting him or herself, etc. An application for termination of the maintenance obligation is submitted to the district court with jurisdiction over the place of residence of the creditor. This applies to maintenance ordered by a court and not to so-called voluntary maintenance, which is governed by private agreement between parties.

Allowances from the State maintenance fund are paid to persons entitled to receive them until they reach the age of 18. Such persons are entitled to these allowances until they reach the age of 25 if they continue their education at schools or higher education institutions, and for an indefinite period of time if they have been certified as severely disabled. A condition for allowances from the maintenance fund to be received is that the family income per person must not exceed PLN 900 per month. If this amount is exceeded as a result of the ‘złotówka za złotówkę’ [‘a zloty for a zloty’] principle, the person entitled to maintenance does not lose that entitlement to the allowance. The person entitled to maintenance receives an amount consisting of the difference between the amount of allowance from the maintenance fund payable to the person entitled to it and the amount by which the family income -(s calculated per person in the family) has been exceeded. If the amount of the benefit calculated in this way is lower than PLN 100, no support is granted.

3 Should I apply to a competent authority or a court to obtain maintenance? What are the main elements of this procedure?

The following maintenance situations are possible:

1. the person required to pay maintenance fulfils the maintenance obligation voluntarily;

2. the parties reach an out-of-court settlement on a maintenance obligation;

3. if the person required to pay maintenance fails to fulfil his or her obligation, maintenance may be sought before the district court (sąd rejonowy) having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the person entitled to maintenance (Article 32 of the Code of Civil Procedure) or of the defendant (Article 27(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure), or such a request may be made during divorce or separation proceedings before a regional court (sąd okręgowy).

Any application is exempt from court fees. However, it should meet the requirements for a pleading, i.e. it should include the name of the court with which it is filed; the names and surnames of the parties, the PESEL [national personal ID] number, their statutory representatives and attorneys; the type of pleading; a clear description of the request; the value of the claim; a description of the facts justifying the request and, where necessary, justifying also the jurisdiction of the court; the signature of the party or its statutory representative or attorney (the power of attorney must be enclosed); a list of annexes; the places of residence or the registered offices of the parties, their statutory representatives and attorneys; and a description of the claim. Subsequent pleadings must contain the case file reference. The application must also be accompanied by the child’s birth certificate indicating that the person against whom maintenance is being claimed is the child’s parent; an application for maintenance may alternatively be submitted together with an application for a determination of paternity.

4. it is also possible to reach a settlement before a notary public, in which case the district court simply issues an order granting enforcement of the settlement. The signing of a settlement agreement before a notary public is subject to a fee, as is a request for the issuing of an enforcement order.

5. a settlement may also be reached in court, in which case the defendant may be exempted from paying the court fee, or required to pay only half of it.

4 Can a request be made on behalf of a relative (if yes, what grade), or a child?

The following persons may file an application for maintenance on behalf of a person entitled to receive it:

- an attorney (apart from a lawyer or a legal advisor, the following persons may serve as an attorney: the parents, spouse, siblings, relatives in the ascending line or persons linked to the person entitled to maintenance by adoption, as well as a person who manages the property of the person entitled to maintenance);

- a representative of a local government authority responsible for social assistance (under the Act of 12 March 2004 on social assistance (Journal of Laws [Dziennik Ustaw] 2004, No 64, item 593), such representatives are: a manager of a municipal social assistance centre or a manager of a district family support centre);

- Article 61(1)(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that non-governmental organisations may, within the framework of their statutory duties, initiate maintenance proceedings subject to the written consent of the natural person concerned;

- a public prosecutor where this is required in order to uphold the rule of law and public interest.

Statutory representatives act on behalf of minors entitled to maintenance. However, once a minor reaches the age of majority, they act independently.

A cohabitee or an acquaintance of the person entitled to maintenance cannot act on behalf of the person entitled to maintenance, unless he or she is one of the persons listed above.

5 If I plan to bring the case to court, how do I know which court has jurisdiction?

In accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, district courts have subject matter jurisdiction in cases regarding maintenance. Territorial jurisdiction is determined according to the place of residence of the person entitled to maintenance or the place of residence of the defendant. Courts having jurisdiction over specific municipalities are specified in the Regulation of the Minister for Justice of 28 December 2018 on the determination of seats and jurisdiction of courts of appeal, regional courts and district courts and the scope of their competence (Journal of Laws 2018, item 2548).

Regional courts have jurisdiction in cases concerning the recognition in Poland of decisions of courts of EU Member States (paragraph 1 of Article 1151(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure) if a decision was issued before the State in which it was issued became bound by the Hague Protocol of 23 November 2007 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations (OJ L 331, 16.12.2009, p. 17), i.e. before 18 June 2011.

In accordance with Article 1153(14) of the Code of Civil Procedure, the following titles are enforceable in Poland:

1) judgments handed down by the courts of EU Member States and settlements and official documents issued by those states and falling under Regulation No 1215/2012, if they are enforceable;

2) judgments handed down by the courts of EU Member States, settlements and official documents issued by those states certified as a European Enforcement Order;

3) European Payment Orders handed down by the courts of EU Member States and which have been declared enforceable in those states under Regulation No 1896/2006;

4) judgments handed down by the courts of EU Member States under the European Small Claims Procedure and certified in those states under Regulation No 861/2007;

5) decisions on maintenance matters handed down in EU Member States party to the Hague Protocol of 23 November 2007 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations (OJ L 331, 16.12.2009, p. 17), as well as settlements and official documents on maintenance matters from those states and falling under Regulation No 4/2009;

6) judgments handed down in EU Member States comprising the protection measures falling under Regulation No 606/2013 if they are enforceable.

6 As an applicant, do I have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court (e.g. a lawyer, central or local authority, etc.)? If not, which procedures apply?

Representation by a lawyer is not required in cases regarding maintenance. Parties may act on their own behalf or through professional representatives.

See points 7 and 20 for detailed information on the possibility of having a lawyer appointed ex officio to act on behalf of the party entitled to maintenance.

7 Do I have to pay fees to bring a case to court? If so, how much are they likely to be? If my financial means are insufficient, can I obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure?

The party seeking maintenance and the defendant in a case concerning a reduction in maintenance are exempt from court costs (Article 96(1)(2) of the Act of 28 July 2005 on court costs in civil cases (Journal of Laws 2005, No 167, item 1398, as amended)). Such persons are exempt in full, which means that they do not incur any court costs, appeal costs or enforcement costs.

A person obliged to pay maintenance can also request an exemption from court costs when seeking a change to the amount of the award. In such situations a declaration of assets and income received must be submitted, and the court takes a decision after examining the matter.

In addition, the party benefitting from the exemption from court costs may apply for legal aid in the form of a lawyer appointed ex officio. If the application for a lawyer is accepted, the lawyer’s fees are covered by the opponent of the party for whom the lawyer is appointed. If that latter person loses the case, the lawyer’s fees are borne by the State Treasury.

The rights of Member State nationals in this regard are governed by the Act of 17 December 2004 on the right to assistance in civil proceedings conducted in the Member States of the European Union and on the right to assistance with a view to the amicable resolution of a dispute before the bringing of civil proceedings (Journal of Laws 2005, No 10, item 67).

8 What kind of maintenance is likely to be granted by the court? How is the amount of maintenance calculated? Can the court's decision be revised, if living costs or family circumstances change? If yes, how (e.g. by means of an automatic indexation system)?

The amount of maintenance depends on the earning and financial capacities of the person required to pay it and on the reasonable needs of the person entitled to maintenance. The needs of the person entitled to maintenance include everything required for his or her subsistence, in the sense of both material and non-material (cultural and spiritual) needs. The needs of minors also include the costs of their upbringing. When assessing the earning and financial capacities of persons required to pay maintenance, it is not the income which they actually earn but the income which they could earn if they made full use of their earning capacity that is taken into account. This means that even an unemployed person who does not earn a regular income can be ordered to pay maintenance and payment can be enforced.

Where there is a change in circumstances, a change to the court decision or the maintenance agreement may be requested. Either party to a maintenance relationship may request such a change. Depending on the factual circumstances, a party may request that the maintenance obligation be cancelled, or that the amount of maintenance be increased or reduced. The amount of the allowance may be changed if the reasonable needs of the person entitled to maintenance or the earning capacity of the person required to pay maintenance have increased or decreased.

There is no fixed amount of maintenance in Poland and maintenance is not calculated as a fixed percentage of the earnings of the person required to pay it. In 2014, the minimum wage was PLN 1 680 (approx. EUR 400) gross. In 2013, average remuneration was PLN 3 650 (approximately EUR 900) gross a month. In 2015 the minimum wage was PLN 1 750 gross, in 2016 it was PLN 1 850 gross, in 2019 it was PLN 2 250 and in 2020 it was PLN 2600 gross; in 2021 it is PLN 2 800 gross and in 2022 it will be PLN 3 010. In practice, in most cases the amount of maintenance awarded by courts ranges from PLN 300 to PLN 1 000 per month per child. The amount of maintenance is not subject to automatic indexing to the age of the child or to inflation.

9 How and to whom will the maintenance be paid?

A person named as the debtor in an enforcement order is required to pay maintenance. As a rule, maintenance awarded in Poland is payable in Polish zlotys to the statutory representative of a minor (in cash or by bank transfer) every month, usually by the tenth day of the month. In the event of delay in payment, judgments provide for statutory interest (since 4 November 2021 the statutory interest rate has been 6.75% per year) on the outstanding amount (Article 481(2) of the Civil Code).

Thus, as a rule, a maintenance obligation is borne exclusively by the person required to pay maintenance. If that person does not pay voluntarily, the person entitled to maintenance may apply for the initiation of enforcement proceedings to the competent enforcement authority (usually a bailiff). Enforcement may also be initiated ex officio at the request of the court of first instance that issued the decision establishing the amount of maintenance. The person entitled to maintenance may also submit the enforcement order to the debtor’s workplace or to the institution paying the debtor’s pension and request that the maintenance due be deducted from the amounts paid to the debtor. Such a request is binding on the paying party.

Once the child has reached the age of majority, it becomes an independent creditor and maintenance has to be paid to it, unless, as an adult creditor, he or she agrees to the previous form of payment (e.g. by granting a power of attorney and submitting this to the enforcement body). There is no need to amend the maintenance decision or to indicate that the maintenance is to be paid to an adult.

When an application is made for enforcement against the maintenance debtor, any court bailiff can be chosen. In accordance with Article 921 of the Code of Civil Procedure, enforcement of immovable property is carried out by a bailiff at the court in whose district the immovable property is located. If the property is located within the jurisdiction of several courts, the creditor chooses between them. However, proceedings initiated at the request of one creditor may be joined to proceedings initiated at the request of other creditors. To that end, a bailiff who has initiated enforcement will notify the bailiff who may be responsible for enforcement of the commencement and subsequent completion of the enforcement.

10 If the person concerned (debtor) doesn't pay voluntarily, what action can be taken in order to force him/her to pay?

If the person required to pay maintenance fails to fulfil the maintenance obligation voluntarily, he or she may be forced to do so (see point 9).

Furthermore, in the light of Article 209 of the Criminal Code (Journal of Laws 1997, No 88, item 553), any person evading compliance with a maintenance obligation established by a court decision, a settlement made before a court or other authority or under another agreement, is liable to a fine, non-custodial measures or imprisonment for up to one year, if the total amount of the arrears is equivalent to at least three regular maintenance payments or if there is delay of more than three months in the payment of a non-regular maintenance payment. If the offender causes an entitled person to be unable to satisfy his or her basic vital needs, the offender is liable to a fine, non-custodial measures, or imprisonment of up to two years.

The offence is prosecuted at the request of the victim, a welfare institution or a body that takes action against the maintenance debtor. If the victim has been awarded appropriate family benefits or allowances payable in the event of failure to enforce the payment of maintenance, prosecution is undertaken ex officio.

Article 5(3b)(2) of the Act of 7 September 2007 on assistance for persons entitled to maintenance (Journal of Laws 2007, No 192, item 1378) provides that the competent authority may apply for the suspension of the debtor’s driving licence.

If enforcement is unsuccessful, a bailiff may apply for the debtor to be entered into the register of insolvent debtors.

11 Please describe briefly any limitations on enforcement, in particular debtor protection rules and limitation or prescription periods in your enforcement system

In accordance with Article 1083(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, outstanding maintenance payments may be covered in full through the attachment of a bank account.

In accordance with Article 833(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, remuneration for employment is subject to enforcement to the extent specified in the Labour Code. As a rule, 60% of the salary may be attached. Up to three fifths of amounts awarded by the State Treasury for special purposes, especially grants and support, may also be attached (Article 831(1)(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure).

Additionally, pursuant to Article 829 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the following cannot be subject to enforcement:

1) household articles, bedding, underwear and everyday clothing strictly necessary for the debtor and dependent family members, as well as clothing strictly necessary in order to perform service or professional work;

2) such food and fuel supplies as are necessary to meet the basic needs of the debtor and their dependent family members for a period of one month;

3) one cow, two goats or three sheep required for the subsistence of the debtor and their dependants, with a sufficient supply of feed and bedding to survive until the next harvest;

4) such tools and other instruments as may be necessary for use personally by the debtor to carry out paid work, and such raw materials as may be required for the production process for a period of one week, excluding motor vehicles;

5) in the case of debtors undertaking periodic permanent employment, the amount of money corresponding to the non-enforceable portion of the wage for the period to the next due date; and in the case of debtors with no regular wage, the amount of money strictly necessary for the subsistence of the debtor and dependent family members for a period of two weeks;

6) items necessary for educational purposes, personal papers, decorations and items used for religious practices, as well as everyday items that can only be sold at a price significantly below their value, but with a high utility value for the debtor;

7) medicinal products within the meaning of the Pharmaceuticals Act of 6 September 2001 (Journal of Laws 2019, item 499, as amended) that are necessary for the functioning of a healthcare institution within the meaning of the legal provisions on healthcare for a period of three months and medicinal products necessary for its functioning within the meaning of the Medicinal Products Act of 20 May 2010 (Journal of Laws, No 107, item 679 and Journal of Laws of 2011, No 102, item 586 and No 113, item 637);

8) items or equipment necessary due to a disability on the part of the debtor or his or her family members.

Pursuant to Article 833(6) of the Code of Civil Procedure, maintenance allowances, compensation payable in the event of failure to enforce the payment of maintenance, family benefits, family, care or childbirth allowances, allowances for orphans who have lost both their parents, caregivers benefits, welfare benefits, integration benefits, upbringing benefits or the one-off benefit referred to in Article 10 of the Act of 4 November 2016 on the ‘Za życiem’ [‘For Life’] support scheme for pregnant women and their families (Journal of Laws 2019, item 473) are also not subject to enforcement.

The Minister for Justice in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance will specify, by way of a ministerial regulation, which items belonging to a farmer cannot be subject to enforcement. (Article 830 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

Furthermore, Article 831 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that 75% of the amounts of, in particular, social assistance benefits within the meaning of the Act of 12 March 2004 on social assistance (Journal of Laws 2013, item 182 as amended) and receivables due to the debtor from the State budget or the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia) for the provision of healthcare within the meaning of the Act of 27 August 2004 on healthcare benefits financed from public funds (Journal of Laws of 2008, No 164, item 1027, as amended), before such benefits have been granted, are not subject to enforcement, unless these are receivables due to the debtor’s employees or service providers referred to in Article 5(41)(a) and (b) of the Healthcare Benefits Financed from Public Funds Act of 27 August 2004.

Article 137(1) of the Family and Guardianship Code provides that maintenance claims are subject to a limitation period of three years.

Article 121(1) of the Civil Code stipulates that in the case of a child’s claim against a parent, the limitation period does not begin during the period of parental responsibility. Any limitation period that has begun is suspended in respect of a child’s claims.

12 Is there an organisation or an authority which can help me to recover maintenance?

As mentioned in point 4, an application for maintenance may be filed on behalf of the entitled person, including by managers of social assistance centres, certain social organisations, representatives of local government authorities responsible for social assistance and, in some cases, also public prosecutors. These entities may also support the claimant by participating in maintenance proceedings which are already underway. Their role is then to support the person entitled to maintenance in proceedings before a court.

Regional courts that act as a central authority under international law help entitled persons to pursue maintenance claims abroad. International legal aid (such as exemption from court costs or the assignment of a legal representative) may also be applied for through the competent regional court. However, it should be borne in mind that whether such legal aid is free of charge or partially chargeable depends on the rules of the receiving State.

Persons residing abroad who wish to pursue maintenance claims from a debtor residing in Poland may receive assistance in making the application from the competent central authorities abroad (list available here: https://www.gov.pl/web/stopuprowadzeniomdzieci/lista-organow-centralnych);

in accordance with the division of responsibilities in central authorities in Poland, they will forward the documentation for further action to the Ministry of Justice (Department of International Family Proceedings at the Department of Family and Minor Affairs).

It is also possible to submit an application directly to the competent district court or enforcement authority.

Information on how to obtain free legal aid is also available at this website: https://np.ms.gov.pl/

However, it should be pointed out that the Polish central authorities – both the Ministry of Justice and the district courts – do not represent the parties, nor can they provide legal advice in the place of professional representatives.

13 Can organisations (government or private) advance the payment of maintenance wholly or partly in the debtor's place?

The Act of 7 September 2007 on assistance for persons entitled to maintenance (Journal of Laws 2009, No 1, item 7, as amended) lays down the rules for State assistance for persons entitled to maintenance in cases where enforcement is unsuccessful.

Allowances from the maintenance fund may only be obtained if the family income per person does not exceed PLN 800 per month, or, from 1 July 2020, PLN 900 per month.
Since 1 July 2020, the ‘zloty for a zloty’ rule has also applied – if the family income per person exceeds the above amount of PLN 900, the support is reduced and is due in the amount representing the difference between the amount of the allowance from the maintenance fund due to the entitled person and the amount by which the family income per person is exceeded (Article 9(2a)). However, if the allowance calculated in this way is lower than PLN 100, a refusal decision is issued and the allowance is not paid (Article 9(2b)).

Applications are submitted in the municipal or city office having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the person entitled to maintenance. The disbursement of allowances from the fund may also be delegated to an organisational unit of the municipality, e.g. to a social welfare centre.

If, however, the person entitled to an advance on maintenance lives in an institution that provides full board (e.g. a social assistance centre, an educational care facility, a youth detention centre or a remand centre) or with a foster family, has married or has a child and is entitled to a family benefit, the advance will not be awarded to that person.

The Act applies only if the person entitled to maintenance resides in Poland during the period in which the benefit is due. For more information see https://www.gov.pl/web/rodzina/wiadczenia-z-funduszu-alimentacyjnego

14 If I am in this Member State and the debtor has his/her residence in another country:

If the debtor has his or her place of residence abroad and the person entitled to maintenance resides in Poland, the regional court having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the entitled person, in its role as the relevant central authority, helps that person to submit an application for maintenance. This help involves providing the entitled person with any information and assistance necessary in order to complete the required documents, and checking that the application is formally correct before submitting the application to the competent central authority abroad.

14.1 Can I obtain the assistance of an authority or private organisation in this Member State?

Yes (competent central authority designated under Article 49 of Regulation (EC) No 4/2009)

14.2 If so, how can that authority or private organisation be contacted?

Part A of an application submitted under Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations is filled in by a regional court.

List of regional courts fulfilling the function of a central authority

Court

Address

Phone: (+48)

Fax: (+48)

Email address

Białystok Regional Court

ul. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie 1

15-950 Białystok

85 745 92 20

85 7421517

oz@bialystok.so.gov.pl

Bielsko-Biała Regional Court

ul. Cieszyńska 10

43-300 Bielsko-Biała

33 499 04 88

33 4990488

patrycja.pater-osuch@bielsko-biala.so.gov.pl

Bydgoszcz Regional Court

ul. Wały Jagiellońskie 2

85-128 Bydgoszcz

52 325 31 55

52 3253255

oz@bydgoszcz.so.gov.pl

Sąd Okręgowy w Częstochowie

ul. Dąbrowskiego 23/35

42-200 Częstochowa

34 368 44 25

34 3684420

prezes@czestochowa.so.gov.pl

anna.bocianowska@czestochowa.so.gov.pl

Elbląg Regional Court

pl. Konstytucji 1

82-300 Elbląg

55 611 24 09

55 611 24 08

55 6112215

oddzial.administracyjny@elblag.so.gov.pl

Gdańsk Regional Court

ul. Nowe Ogrody 30/34

80-803 Gdańsk

58 321 31 19

[maintenance]

58 321 31 41 [Head of Administrative Office]

58 3213234

section.oz@gdansk.so.gov.pl

Gliwice Regional Court

ul. Kościuszki 15

44-100 Gliwice

32 338 00 52

32 3380204

oz@gliwice.so.gov.pl

Gorzów Wielkopolski Regional Court

ul. Mieszka I 33

66-400 Gorzów Wielkopolski

95 725 67 18

95 725 67 02

95 7202807

95 7256790

marta.samolak@gorzow-wlkp.so.gov.pl

sekretariat@gorzow-wlkp.so.gov.pl

Jelenia Góra Regional Court

al. Wojska Polskiego 56

58-500 Jelenia Góra

75 641 51 13

75 7525113

oz@jelenia-gora.so.gov.pl

o.administracyjny@jelenia-gora.so.gov.pl

Kalisz Regional Court

al. Wolności 13

62-800 Kalisz

62 765 77 64

62 7574936

administracja@kalisz.so.gov.pl

Katowice Regional Court

ul. Francuska 38

40-028 Katowice

32 607 01 83

32 783 68 06

32 6070184

obrot_zagraniczny@katowice.so.gov.pl

Kielce Regional Court

ul. Seminaryjska 12 a

25-372 Kielce

41 340 23 20

41 340 23 82

41 340 24 92

41 3402320

oz@kielce.so.gov.pl

Konin Regional Court

ul. Energetyka 5

62-510 Konin

63 245 14 43

63 2423022 +172

63 2426569

oz@konin.so.gov.pl

administracja@konin.so.gov.pl

Koszalin Regional Court

ul. Waryńskiego 7

75-541 Koszalin

94 342 87 50

94 3428897

administracja@koszalin.so.gov.pl

Kraków Regional Court

ul. Przy Rondzie 7

31-547 Kraków

12 619 52 41

12 619 52 62

12 619 52 04

12 6195665

oz@krakow.so.gov.pl

Krosno Regional Court

ul. Sienkiewicza 12

38-400 Krosno

13 437 36 71

13 437 36 73

13 4320570

Obrot.zagr@krosno.so.gov.pl

administracja@krosno.so.gov.pl

Legnica Regional Court

ul. Złotoryjska 40

59-220 Legnica

76 754 50 36

76 7545107

76 7545012

oz@legnica.so.gov.pl

Lublin Regional Court

ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 43

20-076 Lublin

81 46010 04

81 4601013

malgorzata.stec-szewczyk@lublin.so.gov.pl

obrotzagraniczny@lublin.so.gov.pl

Łomża Regional Court

ul. Dworna 16

18-400 Łomża

86 216 62 81

86 215 42 54

86 2166753

sekretariat@lomza.so.gov.pl

Łódź Regional Court

XI Wydział Wizytacyjny (Division 11 – Inspection)

Plac Dąbrowskiego 5

90-921 Łódź (pokój [room] 118)

42 677 87 99

42 2126082

oz@lodz.so.gov.pl

Nowy Sącz Regional Court

ul. Pijarska 3

33-300 Nowy Sącz

18 448 21 45

18 4482185

alimenty@nowysacz.so.gov.pl

Olsztyn Regional Court

ul. Dąbrowszczaków 44A 10-543 Olsztyn

89 521 60 49

89 6123838

oz@olsztyn.so.gov.pl

Opole Regional Court

pl. Daszyńskiego 1

45-064 Opole

77 541 81 34

77 5418109

Obrot.zagr@opole.so.gov.pl

Ostrołęka Regional Court

ul. Gomulickiego 5

07-410 Ostrołęka

29 765 01 30

29 7650181

sekretariat@ostroleka.so.gov.pl

Piotrków Trybunalski Regional Court

ul. Słowackiego 5

97-300 Piotrków Trybunalski

44 649 41 59

44 649 41 21

44 6478919

oz@piotrkow-tryb.so.gov.pl

Płock Regional Court

pl. Narutowicza 4

09-404 Płock

24 269 73 20

24 269 73 64

24 2625253

oz@plock.so.gov.pl

urszula.wyrwas@plock.so.gov.pl

Poznań Regional Court

ul. Stanisława Hejmowskiego 2

61-736 Poznań

61 628 37 30

61 628 37 31

61 628 37 34

61 6283739

opzagr@poznan.so.gov.pl

Przemyśl Regional Court

ul. Konarskiego 6

37 - 700 Przemyśl

16 676 13 36

16 6761353

m.telega@przemysl.so.gov.pl

Radom Regional Court

ul. Marszałka

J. Piłsudskiego 10

26-600 Radom

48 677 67 80

48 677 67 88

48 3680287

wizytacje@radom.so.gov.pl

Rybnik Regional Court

ul. Józefa Piłsudskiego 33

44-200 Rybnik

32 784 05 78

32 7840402

oz@rybnik.so.gov.pl

Rzeszów Regional Court

Plac Śreniawitów 3

35-959 Rzeszów

17 875 63 94

17 8627265

elzbieta.czudec@rzeszow.so.gov.pl

Siedlce Regional Court

ul. Sądowa 2

08-110 Siedlce

25 640 78 46

25 6407812

poczta@siedlce.so.gov.pl

Sieradz Regional Court

al. Zwycięstwa 1

98-200 Sieradz

43 826 66 50

43 826 66 07

43 8271014

sekretariat@sieradz.so.gov.pl

administracja@sieradz.so.gov.pl

marta.kazmierczak@sieradz.so.gov.pl

Słupsk Regional Court

ul. Zamenhofa 7

76-200 Słupsk

59 846 95 43

59 846 95 13

59 8469424

59 8469429

agnieszka.kozlowska@slupsk.so.gov.pl

referat.wiz@slupsk.so.gov.pl

Suwałki Regional Court

ul. Waryńskiego 45

16-400 Suwałki

87 563 12 13

87 563 13 00

87 5631303

sekretariat@suwalki.so.gov.pl

anna.klekotko@suwalki.so.gov.pl

Szczecin Regional Court

ul. Małopolska 17

70-227 Szczecin

91 483 01 70

91 483 01 47

91 4830170

obrot.zagraniczny@szczecin.so.gov.pl

Świdnica Regional Court

pl. Grunwaldzki 14

58-100 Świdnica

74 851 82 87

74 8518270

dorota.molag@swidnica.so.gov.pl

aneta.zajaczkowska@swidnica.so.gov.pl

Tarnobrzeg Regional Court

ul. Sienkiewicza 27

39-400 Tarnobrzeg

15 688 25 00

15 6882678

15 8229756

oz@tarnobrzeg.so.gov.pl

halina.rojek@tarnobrzeg.so.gov.pl

magdalena.kochanowska-lezon@tarnobrzeg.so.gov.pl

Tarnów Regional Court

ul. J. Dąbrowskiego 27

33-100 Tarnów

14 688 74 09

14 6887417

sad_okregowy@tarnow.so.gov.pl

Toruń Regional Court

ul. Piekary 51

87-100 Toruń

56 610 56 09

56 6555706

oz@torun.so.gov.pl

Warszawa Regional Court

al. „Solidarności” 127

00-898 Warszawa

22 440 11 54 [maintenance]

22 654 44 43

22 6544411

paulina.luscinska-dziurda@warszawa.so.gov.pl

a.kowalczyk@warszawa.so.gov.pl

Warszawa-Praga Regional Court in Warsaw

ul. Poligonowa 3

04-051 Warszawa

22 417 73 93


oz@warszawapraga.so.gov.pl

dariusz.olowski@warszawapraga.so.gov.pl

Włocławek Regional Court

ul. Wojska Polskiego 22

87-800 Włocławek

54 412 03 65

54 4118575

oz@wloclawek.so.gov.pl

Wrocław Regional Court

ul. Sądowa 1

50-046 Wrocław

71 370 43 91

71 7482964

oz@wroclaw.so.gov.pl

Zamość Regional Court

ul. Wyszyńskiego 11

22-400 Zamość

84 631 69 27

84 631 69 28

84 6316993

aneta.juszczak@zamosc.so.gov.pl

prezes@zamosc.so.gov.pl

Zielona Góra Regional Court

pl. Słowiański 1

65-069 Zielona Góra

68 322 02 21

68 4567769

oz@zielona-gora.so.gov.pl

zaneta.pejs@zielona-gora.so.gov.pl

katarzyna.andrzejuk@zielona-gora.so.gov.pl

15 If I am in another country and the debtor is in this Member State:

15.1 Can I address a request directly to such an authority or private organisation in this Member State?

Article 55 of Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations does not require that applications be made through a central authority of the State in which applicants reside. Applications in compliance with the formal requirements laid down in Chapters IV and VI of the Regulation and in the Code of Civil Procedure may be sent directly to the competent Polish court.

Details of sending authorities are available at:

https://www.gov.pl/web/stopuprowadzeniomdzieci/lista-organow-centralnych

The sending authorities of foreign countries specified in the declarations annexed to the Regulation provide the person entitled to maintenance with all the necessary information, help him or her to complete the required documents, check whether that person’s application is formally correct and send it abroad.

15.2 If so, how can that authority or private organisation be contacted and what kind of assistance can I receive?

If a court has awarded maintenance and the case falls within the scope of application of Regulation (EC) No 4/2009, a creditor residing abroad may use the procedure provided for in this Regulation and apply to the competent sending authority of the country in which he or she resides or submit an application for a declaration of enforceability of a foreign decision to the competent court (see point 5). Applications for enforcement can be submitted to the office of any court bailiff.

If Poland and the country in which the creditor resides are parties to a convention or a bilateral agreement concerning the recognition and enforcement of judgments in maintenance cases, such assistance is provided to the extent specified in that agreement. As a rule, bilateral agreements provide that applications are to be lodged with the Polish court directly or through a court in the country where the judgment has been issued. In the latter case, applications are forwarded through central authorities, typically the Ministry of Justice or the authorities notified for the purposes of the New York Convention:

http://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/MTDSG/Volume%20II/Chapter%20XX/XX-1.en.pdf

Details of the courts can be found at

https://www.gov.pl/web/sprawiedliwosc/znajdz-wybrany-sad-powszechny

and the details of bailiffs at: http://komornik.pl/

16 Is this Member State bound by the 2007 Hague Protocol?

Yes, since 18 June 2011.

17 If this Member State is not bound by the 2007 Hague Protocol, which law will be applicable to the maintenance claim according to its private international law rules? What are the corresponding private international law rules?

Not relevant.

18 What are the rules on access to justice in cross-border cases within the EU following the structure of Chapter V of the Maintenance Regulation?

The rules applicable in Poland comprise the Act of 17 December 2004 on the right to assistance in civil proceedings conducted in the Member States of the European Union (Journal of Laws 2005, No 10, item 67, as amended) and Council Directive 2003/8/EC of 27 January 2003 to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes (OJ L 26/41, 31.1.2003, p. 90), which supplement the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Act on court costs in civil cases. A party that expects to be awarded a specific form of assistance (e.g. the appointment of a lawyer, the translation of documents or the reimbursement of travel expenses) should communicate this clearly to the court in the EU application form https://e-justice.europa.eu/contentPresentation.do?clang=en&idTaxonomy=157

19 What are the measures adopted by this Member State in order to ensure the functioning of the activities described in Article 51 of the Maintenance Regulation?

On 28 April 2011, the Polish legislator adopted the Act amending the Code of Civil Procedure and certain other acts (Act of 28 April 2011 amending the Code of Civil Procedure, the Act on the right to assistance in civil proceedings conducted in the Member States of the European Union and on the right to assistance with a view to the amicable resolution of a dispute before the bringing of civil proceedings and the Act on assistance for persons entitled to maintenance – Journal of Laws 2011, No 129, item 735), pursuant to which a Polish central authority may order the authority with jurisdiction over the debtor to conduct a maintenance inquiry.

If the defendant’s or participant’s place of residence is unknown, the Ministry of Justice sends queries to central and local registers and records (including the possible use of the PESEL.SAD database) in order to determine the competent court or bailiff, or to reply to a request for specific measures. No changes are currently planned to the statutory bases, financing and the team of the central authority in order to ensure that the tasks described in Article 51 are carried out.

 

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Last update: 27/05/2022

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