23 March 2020
COVID-19 – Suspension of the limitations period?

A limitations period does not start and, if started, is suspended for any claims if, due to force majeure, the entitled person cannot bring them before a court or other authority set up to hear cases of a given type – for the duration of the obstacle (Article 121(4) of the Civil Code).

Force majeure is a natural event or an act of force. The case-law defines it also as a sudden, external event, e.g. epidemics or pandemics, unforeseen by the parties at the time of the agreement, the consequences of which could not be rationally prevented.

Even though the majority of courts and offices in Poland have limited their front desk operations, the submission of documents or bringing actions is still possible.

This means that despite the fact that COVID-19 pandemics is a force majeure event, it is not force majeure which renders impossible the bringing of claims by the entitled person.

Given the above, for the time being, the COVID-19 pandemics does not suspend the limitations period.

Nonetheless, without a doubt, every case should be examined in view of its individual circumstances.

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