Fines and money fines during the epidemic

Coronavirus fine – what can you get fines for? The bans and orders now introduced seem absurd and illogical to many of us. The legality of the introduction of restrictions is also questioned, and even more so to enforce them, however, in the last few weeks, a huge number of fines and fines have been imposed, the total amount of which is counted in millions of PLN.

What to do if our behavior is found to be in violation of the rules introduced in connection with a pandemic? What are our rights?

Fines imposed by the Police

The police, stating that the restrictions have been violated, may impose a fine of up to PLN 500 on the accused. As the legal basis for the issued mandates, Police officers provide Art. 54 of the Code of Petty Offenses, according to which “anyone who violates the regulations on behavior in public places issued under the authorization of the Act shall be subject to a fine of up to PLN 500 or a reprimand”.

We have the right to accept a ticket or refuse to accept it.

Coronavirus Mandate – Admission

As a rule, accepting a mandate is tantamount to accepting responsibility for an offense, and thus admitting that it has been committed, therefore, if you accept the mandate, you lose the right to challenge it in court. The fine should be paid within 7 days, otherwise it will be collected through administrative enforcement.

However, according to Art. 101 of the Petty Offense Code, it is possible to revoke a legally binding mandate – if the fine was imposed for an act which is not a prohibited act as an offense or on a person who committed a prohibited act before the age of 17, or if the law provides that the perpetrator does not commit an offense, e.g. because of a necessary defense or a state of necessity. The request to revoke the mandate should be submitted within 7 days of receiving the mandate. It can also be waived ex officio. The application is not subject to a fee. The application must provide your personal data, i.e. name, surname, address, PESEL number, as well as the series and number of the mandate and describe the entire event, justify why the mandate should be revoked. Appeals are submitted to the District Court that has local jurisdiction over the offense. The court decides at the session in which the punished person has the right to participate, the representative of the body whose officer imposed the fine by way of a mandate and the revealed victim. Before issuing a decision, the court may order appropriate steps to verify the grounds for revoking the penalty notice. A ruling on the revocation of a criminal mandate is issued in the form of a non-appealable decision. If the court revokes the mandate, the entity on whose account the fine was collected will be obliged to return the amount paid.

Coronavirus Mandate – Denial of Admission

If we have committed an offense, we may refuse to accept a ticket, then the Police will send a request for punishment to the court competent for the place of the offense. Before the court, we have the right to provide appropriate explanations and provide evidence that the offense was not committed. In the event of an unfavorable court ruling – we have the right to appeal to a higher court.

The vast majority of lawyers are of the opinion that penalty notices are issued due to the alleged violation of the applicable restrictions in connection with the pandemic, it should not be accepted, as they are issued without a legal basis. Of course, this does not mean that every such mandate is unlawful, but only that we have grounds to question it. Therefore, if we have any doubts as to the legitimacy or legality of the mandate – a good solution is to refuse to accept it and clarify the dispute before the court.

coronavirus mandate

Administrative penalties imposed by Sanepid

If the police decide that our violation of the epidemic order is serious, we may be punished with an administrative penalty imposed by Sanepid in the amount of up to PLN 30,000.00. The police prepare a note of the intervention with our participation, which can then be forwarded to the State Sanitary Inspection. Based on the note, Sanepid may issue an administrative penalty in the amount of PLN 5,000 to PLN 30,000 . The legal basis for imposing the penalty is Art. 48a of the Act on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans. This penalty is immediately enforceable, which means that it must be carried out within 7 days. i.e. it would have to be performed if not for the legal regulations on suspension of administrative deadlines during a pandemic. According to art. 15zzr ust. 1 of the Anti-Crisis Shield Act, the administrative law deadlines do not start at all in the event of an epidemic. The deadline for the execution of the decision to impose a financial penalty is an administrative deadline, therefore it is suspended for the duration of the epidemic and begins to run after the epidemic ends. Therefore, the decision should be made within 7 days from the lifting of the epidemic.

You can appeal the decision, remember to also submit an application for suspension of its implementation. We submit the appeal together with the application to a higher-level authority, i.e. the provincial sanitary inspector, within 14 days from the delivery of the decision – this deadline has also been suspended, so in fact we have 14 days from the date of lifting the epidemic. If the decision is upheld, we are entitled to a complaint to the Provincial Administrative Court, which must be brought within 30 days from the delivery of the decision.



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