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Another unfavorable judgment for expropriated owners

On 15th of September Polish Supreme Court ( III CZP 107/14) in a panel of seven judges gave an answer for legal question asked by Polish Ombudsman “whether civil court could consider invalidity of real estate sale contract or perpetual usufruct right contract, concluded before 1st January 1998, if such contract infringes former owner right to restitution of expropriated real estate, which has become redundant for public purposes.”

This question was asked because of differences in jurisprudence concerning situation when real estates – redundant for public purposes –, instead of being restituted to their former owners, was sold by municipality during a pending administrative proceedings on their restitution. Polish legislator tried to solve this problem by blocking a administrative possibility of restitution real estates sold before 1st January 1998. However, such regulations does not prejudge whether it is possible to reverse the legal consequences of such agreements before a civil court.

Supreme Court said that “contracts of sale of expropriated real estate and contracts establishing a perpetual usufruct right for such real estate are not invalid on grounds that they were concluded in violation of art. 69 sec. 1 and art. 47 sec. 4 of an Act of 29 April 1985 on Land Management and Expropriation.”

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