On 28 January 2021, the Supreme Court examined the cassation appeal filed by barrister Anna Respond on behalf of a Polish Army veteran who was a participant in the proceedings for the division of joint property of spouses after the cessation of marital joint property.
As a participant in the Veterans are Among Us – a Veteran Friendly Place programme, organised by the Stratpoints Foundation (http://sowislo.com.pl/aktualnosci/stratpoints-%E2%80%93-nowy-partner-kancelarii.html), the Law Firm provided legal assistance to the injured veteran on a pro bono basis.
In this ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Law Firm’s appeal in its major part and reversed (to the extent unfavourable to the appellant) the ruling of the Regional Court in Jelenia Góra and remanded the case for re-examination.
The above judgment was issued in the following factual state:
The marriage of the participants in the proceedings was concluded in 2000 and lasted until 2010.
During the marriage, the applicant was a partner in three civil partnerships, whose income was the only source of the applicant’s income.
As part of her business, in 2003 the applicant and a second partner in one of the companies acquired the right of perpetual usufruct to a plot of land.
Both the Court of First Instance and the Court of Second Instance assumed that the above-mentioned asset constitutes the applicant’s separate property. The courts also assessed the issues of the distribution of profits from civil partnerships and the possibility of dividing the payment awarded to the petitioner in instalments differently from the conclusions of the participant (the injured veteran).
The participant (the injured veteran) did not agree with the above decisions and decided to file a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court.
Due to the narrowly construed principle of surrogacy of the spouses’ separate property at the date of acquisition of the right of perpetual usufruct to the land, the Supreme Court held that the applicant’s share in that right entered into the spouses’ joint property.
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