The purpose of case progression is to ensure that proceedings are prepared for trial in a manner which is just, expeditious and likely to minimise the costs of the proceedings and that the time and other resources of the court are employed optimally.
Listing of proceedings for case progression (Dublin Circuit)
- both parties have lodged a joint certificate of completion (signed by or on behalf of both parties) of the pre-case progression steps in the Form 37W of the Schedule of Forms, or
- a party has lodged a certificate of completion by that party of the pre-case progression steps in the Form 37W of the Schedule of Forms, and has given the opposing party not less than 14 days’ written notice of his completion of the pre-case progression steps and his intention to apply for a case progression hearing and calling on that party to complete the pre-case progression steps,
the County Registrar shall cause the proceedings to be listed before him for a case progression hearing and shall issue a Summons in Form 37L of the Schedule of Forms to each of the parties to attend such hearing, to which shall be attached the case progression questionnaire referred to in rule 78.
Where a Summons has not issued above in respect of the proceedings within twelve months after the date of issue of the Civil Bill, then unless:
- notice to fix a date for trial has been served and filed in accordance with these Rules, or
- a motion for judgment in default has been brought, or
- a motion for an order in agreed terms has been brought,
the proceedings shall be listed before the Court for an explanation of the delay in proceeding, and the Court may make such orders and give such directions as it considers appropriate, which may include striking out the proceedings including any counterclaim or directing the issue of a Summons for case progression by the County Registrar.
The County Registrar shall cause the proceedings to be listed before him for a case progression hearing on a date which is not later than 70 days after filing by the Respondent of his Defence, his Affidavit of Means and, where required by the CC Rules, his Affidavit of Welfare.
The County Registrar shall issue a Summons, in Form 37L of the Schedule of Forms, to each of the parties to attend such hearing, to which shall be attached the case progression questionnaire. In fixing the date on which the proceedings are listed before him for case progression, the County Registrar shall allow the parties sufficient time to vouch the items referred to in their respective Affidavits of Means within the time prescribed and to complete the case progression questionnaire within the time prescribed.
County Registrar’s directions as to vouching
Where a case progression hearing has been listed before the County Registrar the County Registrar may give directions as to the vouching of the items referred to in the parties’ respective Affidavits of Means where there is a dispute between the parties in relation to the vouching of any particular item or the adequacy of the said vouching.
The County Registrar may fix a date by which such directions are to be complied with.
Record of proceedings in case progression
Each County Registrar shall maintain a record, which may be in electronic form, of all proceedings at case progression hearings before him.
Such record shall, for the proceedings concerned, include particulars of—
- the date of issue of the summons to attend the hearing;
- the date of each hearing and any adjournment thereof;
- where the hearing is adjourned, the reason for the adjournment;
- the name of the County Registrar conducting the hearing;
- the names of counsel, solicitors and any parties attending;
- the orders made or directions given at the hearing or any adjournment thereof.
A copy of the record shall be placed on the Court file and a further copy of same shall be made available to a party to the proceedings at his request.
Conduct of case progression hearing
At the case progression hearing the County Registrar—
- shall establish what steps remain to be taken to prepare the case for trial, fix a timetable for the completion of preparation of the case for trial, and for that purpose adopt any timetable proposed by the parties if satisfied that it is reasonable;
- may make orders or give directions with respect to pleadings, the exchange of between the parties of statements of issues, the identifying of issues in dispute between the parties, particulars, discovery, interrogatories, inspection of documents, inspection of real or personal property, commissions and examination of witnesses, or otherwise, which may be necessary or expedient;
- may list the proceedings before the Court for the purpose of an application pursuant to section 47 of the Family Law Act or, after consultation with the appropriate County Registrar, cause the proceedings to be listed at the next sitting of the Court at any venue within the Circuit for that purpose;
- may, save in respect of any issue affecting a dependent child, receive and record on behalf of the Court undertakings to the Court from a party to the proceedings having effect pending the trial of the proceedings or until further order made by the Court;
- may adjourn the case progression hearing to enable any order made or any direction given to be complied with or any other act to be done or step to be taken in the proceedings;
- may make inquiries of the parties so as to ascertain the likely length of the trial and the arrangements, if any, for witnesses, information and communications technology (including video conferencing) and any other arrangements which require to be made for the trial;
- may fix the time and mode of trial, and may fix a date for trial (and may dispense with the requirement for service by either party of a notice of trial or a notice to fix a date for trial) or may give directions as to the service of a notice of trial or a notice to fix a date for trial;
- may make any orders and give any directions in respect of arrangements for the trial as he considers necessary;
- may direct any expert witnesses to consult with each other within such time as the County Registrar shall specify for the purposes of—
- identifying the issues in respect of which they intend to give evidence,
- where possible, reaching agreement on the evidence that they intend to give in respect of those issues, and
- considering any matter which the County Registrar or the Judge may direct them to consider, and require that such witnesses record in a memorandum to be jointly submitted by them to the County Registrar and delivered by them to the parties, particulars of the outcome of their consultations, within such time as the County Registrar shall specify:
provided that any such outcome shall not be in any way binding on the parties.
Any order made or direction given at a case progression hearing shall be issued within 21 days of that hearing.
The County Registrar may adjourn a case progression hearing from time to time and from place to place as may be appropriate, for the purposes of allowing any steps directed by the County Registrar or matters agreed to be done to be carried out, or so as to resume a case progression hearing after a matter has been referred to the Court by way of a Motion, or for any other reason, to enable the County Registrar to ensure that the proceedings are prepared for trial.
Certification of compliance: Dublin Circuit
This rule shall apply in the Dublin Circuit only.
Where during the course of case progression, both parties, not less than seven weeks before any adjourned case progression hearing date, jointly certify completion of the pre-case progression steps in the Form 37W of the Schedule of Forms, and compliance in full with all orders made and directions given in case progression and readiness for trial in the Form 37X of the Schedule of Forms, to which are appended copies of every order made and direction given in case progression, the proceedings shall be listed before the County Registrar to fix a date for hearing, notwithstanding that the case progression hearing is adjourned to a later date.
The County Registrar shall, save in exceptional circumstances to be identified in any order made, fix a date for the hearing by the Court of the proceedings and vacate any adjourned date for the case progression hearing.
Delay or Default
Where the County Registrar concludes that there has been undue delay or default in complying with any order made or direction given by the Court or by him, or with any requirement of these Rules, he may list the matter for hearing at the next sitting of the Court or, after consultation with the appropriate County Registrar, cause the matter to be listed at the next sitting of the Court at any venue within the Circuit.
Where the County Registrar so concludes, he shall furnish a Report to the Court setting out the delay or default concerned. Such report shall be in Form 37M of the Schedule of Forms.
Attendance at case progression hearing
The solicitors appearing for each of the parties or, where a party is not represented by a solicitor, the party himself, shall attend the case progression hearing and any adjournment thereof.
Where the County Registrar considers it necessary or desirable, he may direct that a party attend the hearing notwithstanding the fact that the party may be represented by a solicitor.
Each representative of a party attending the case progression hearing shall ensure that he is sufficiently familiar with the proceedings and has authority from the party he represents to deal with any matters that are likely to be dealt with.
Where a party is represented by counsel such counsel may attend the case progression hearing, but the fees of counsel for either party for attending the case progression hearing will be allowed in the taxation and measurement of costs only where the County Registrar so certifies.
Costs in connection with case progression
The County Registrar may award costs incurred in connection with the case progression hearing as between party and party. The County Registrar may tax and measure any such costs, and may, where the Court so directs, tax and measure any solicitor and client costs incurred in connection with a case progression hearing.
Where it appears to the County Registrar that a case progression hearing cannot conveniently proceed, or it appears to the Court that a case progression hearing could not conveniently proceed by reason of the failure of a party to be prepared for such hearing or, by reason of the default of any party in complying with any order or direction of the County Registrar, the County Registrar or, as the case may be, the Court, may award costs against such party, or may disallow the costs of such party, as the case may be.
Case progression questionnaire
Each party shall lodge with the County Registrar and serve on the other party not later than seven days before the date fixed for the case progression hearing a case progression questionnaire, duly completed, in Form 37N of the Schedule of Forms.
Where the County Registrar directs, a party shall revise or update a case progression questionnaire within such time as is directed by the County Registrar.