Fiction of service for liquidation. The Polish Post can fail to deliver even an advice note?

Delivering correspondence or parcels by Poczta Polska has already grown into myths and anecdotes to such an extent that when the parcel machines appeared at this operator, it was joked that we would not find parcels in them, but only a delivery note. It turns out that it happens that even the delivery of the advice note is not so obvious.

An interesting matter was described today by the website Dziennik Gazeta Prawnarelated to the court correspondence that the postman was to deliver to one of the offices.

Not everyone remembers it, but the delivery of forensics has a rich and bumpy history in Poland. InPost once delivered it in Poland, which was also extremely received by compatriots. Even though the parcels did arrive, and if they did not arrive, the advice note did, but the parcels themselves landed at the nearby Ruch kiosks or greengrocers, due to the operator’s own infrastructure not yet undeveloped.

InPost, however, lost another tender for the delivery of court correspondence, and thanks to this, it focused on the development of infrastructure, and Poczta Polska took care of the delivery again. Unfortunately, problems with their delivery have also returned.

The case that DGP is writing about today was pending before the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw, and concerned a complaint about granting permission to occupy a road lane. In it, the court summoned the complainant to supplement the court fee within 7 days of the service of the summons. The problem is that the applicant did not receive this summons, and Poczta Polska claimed that it had notified it twice: on July 9, 2021 and on July 19, 2021, and returned it to the court 7 days later. Ultimately, the applicant completed the entry on 2 August, but the court dismissed the complaint in its entirety as it had been submitted out of time.

The applicant appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court, arguing that he had not received any advice on the dates indicated by Poczta Polska, and as confirmation he presented the assurances of the building manager, who had seen the monitoring recordings showing that the postman had not left one in the mailbox. However, it turned out to be a problem to make such a recording available to the complainant, due to the provisions of the GDPR. Fortunately, he archived this recording for the purposes of a possible request by an authorized body, in this case a court.

What does the Polish Post Office say? Here is a quote from our operator’s stand:

(..) just as the postman cannot prove that the service was performed properly, the client is not able to prove that the postman definitely did not try to deliver the parcel.

However, in the hearing before the Supreme Administrative Court, it turned out that it was possible thanks to the aforementioned recording of the building administrator, which shows, according to the administrator’s assurances, that the postman did not actually throw the notification into the mailbox on the day of delivery.

In its decision, the Supreme Administrative Court emphasizes that in connection with the above findings, the court cannot unequivocally give credence to the Polish Post Office and must try to determine for itself whether the notification was finally sent to the mailbox or not.

The case has therefore been returned to the Provincial Administrative Court, which will now assess whether the delivery of the correspondence in question can be accepted. In this case, he will ask the building manager to confirm the information contained in the recording.

Re-examining the case, the Provincial Administrative Court asked Poczta Polska to explain the discrepancies in the operator’s responses to complaints regarding the registered mail (…). A credible explanation of the above circumstances will also require requesting the manager of the building in which the applicant’s attorney-in-fact is located, to provide information as to whether the video surveillance recordings of the building’s interior show that the postman has attempted to deliver any correspondence to the premises and that he has thrown this establishment any correspondence. Only on this basis, the Provincial Administrative Court will assess whether the delivery of the correspondence in question can be accepted.

The whole case clearly shows how ineffective the institution of the fiction of service in administrative matters, which, like in civil proceedings, for natural persons should be liquidated. In such cases, the obligation to provide pleadings that require certain actions to be taken by the parties rests with the bailiff. It seems to me that there is nothing to prevent such a procedure from being applied to all types of proceedings, in the name of maintaining the possibility of effective defense or pursuing one’s rights before courts, both by citizens and entrepreneurs.

Source: Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
Stock Image from Depositphotos.

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