Civil proceeding can most commonly be described as a legally organized human action that seeks to deal with a civil matter. However, the word “deal”, although it is quite common, best describes the general nature of matters that may be the subject of various civil proceedings.
Meanwhile, litigation is a basic but not the only type of civil procedure. Its key character is expressed in the fact that legal provisions concerning litigation apply accordingly to other types of proceedings regulated by the Civil Procedure Code. Civil proceedings usually involve adverse interests of the parties (hence the previous term: “adversarial proceedings”). The opposite is a non-litigious proceeding (previously : “non-adversarial proceedings”), which is also a type of civil proceedings – but there is no dispute between the parties. Examples include all kinds of proceedings regarding various legal actions, such as the conclusion of marriage.
Litigation takes the form of examination proceedings in which the court must carefully examine the case in order to pass a judgement. At the same time, litigation is not uniform because there are at least several litigation modes – for example an alimony case is settled differently than a case in the field of labor law.
These dissimilarities are best shown by the division of litigation into ordinary and non-ordinary procedure. The ordinary procedure is for the resolution of any matter which is not subject to separate proceedings under special legal provisions. Separate proceedings include, among others, issues related to labor law, social security, payment-order proceedings, electronic proceedings, simplified proceedings, writ-of-payment proceedings and many others.
Author of the text: Patryk Szulc
Translation: Beata Wiśniewska