Regional Court (Poland)
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Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy) is the name given to the common court of the first instance in Poland. Regional Courts are called upon to hear a wide range of cases related to the scope of civil, criminal, family and guardianship, labour and social security and economic law.
Decisions of the Regional Courts are normally subject to appeal, typically to the District Courts (Sąd Okręgowy) for the area in which the regional court is located.
The Regional Courts are established and abolished by way of a regulation issued by the Minister of Justice in consultation with the National Council of the Judiciary in Poland. One Regional Court is established to have jurisdiction over one or more communes, however, under justified circumstances more than one Regional Court may be established to have jurisdiction over only one commune.
The Regional Court is composed of departments (depending on the needs) as follows:
- civil department,
- criminal department,
- department for families and minors,
- department for labour and social security (in the regional courts located in the towns/cities where there are the district courts with the departments for labour and social security)
- land and mortgage department,
- commercial department (in the regional courts located in the towns/cities where there are the district courts)
The Minister of Justice may issue a regulation on creating the out-of-town departments which are outside the main seat of the Regional Court and based in other towns/cities (e.g. 2013-2014, The Regional Court in Piła, VII Civil Department based in Złotów).