A Respondent shall enter an Appearance in the Office within 10 days of the service upon him of a Family Law Civil Bill. Where required, the appropriate statutory declaration made pursuant to section 5 of the Judicial Separation Act or section 6 of the Divorce Act, which shall be in the Form 37D of the Schedule of Forms, shall be filed together with the Appearance.
The respondent shall serve a copy of the Appearance and appropriate statutory declaration on the applicant’s solicitor or, where the applicant is acting in person, on the applicant. The Appearance shall include an address for service of any interlocutory applications and shall be signed by the respondent’s solicitor or, by the respondent, if appearing in person.
A Respondent shall, within 10 days from the date of service of the Appearance, or such further time as may be agreed between the parties or allowed by the Court, file and serve a Defence.
In any proceedings in which financial relief is sought, an Affidavit of Means, , sworn by the respondent shall be filed and served together with the Defence.
In all proceedings where an Affidavit of Welfare of the applicant is required, an Affidavit of Welfare, sworn by the respondent shall be filed and served together with the Defence.
Where pension relief is sought by way of counterclaim, notice thereof in accordance with Form 37C of the Schedule of Forms shall also be served on the trustees of the pension scheme in question and an Affidavit of such service sworn and filed within seven days of service of the Defence and Counterclaim.
Extension of time
No Appearance or Defence shall be entered after the time specified in the CC Rules without the leave of the Court or of the County Registrar or the agreement of the parties, and no Defence shall be entered unless the respondent has previously entered an Appearance as required.
Save where otherwise directed by the Court, a Counterclaim, if any, brought by a respondent shall be included in and served with the Defence, in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.
Interim and Interlocutary
Any interim or interlocutory application shall be heard on Affidavit, unless the Court otherwise directs, save that the deponent of any Affidavit must be available to the Court to give oral evidence or to be cross-examined as to the Court shall seem appropriate.
Where any oral evidence is heard by the Court in the course of any application made ex parte, a note of such evidence shall be prepared by the applicant or the applicant’s solicitor and approved by the Judge and shall be served upon the respondent forthwith together with a copy of the order made (if any), unless otherwise directed by the Court.
Motion for judgment in default
Where a respondent has made default in entering an Appearance or filing a Defence, as the case may be, the applicant may, subject to the following provisions of this rule, at any time after such default, apply to the Court by motion on notice:
- to the respondent, and
- where pension relief is sought, to the trustees of the pension scheme concerned,
for judgment in default of Appearance or Defence.
Upon the hearing of such application the Court may, on proof of such default as aforesaid, and upon hearing such evidence, oral or otherwise, as may be adduced, give judgment on the applicant’s claim endorsed on the Family Law Civil Bill, or may give leave to the respondent to defend the whole or part of the claim upon such terms as the Court may consider just.
In the case of default of Defence in proceedings for a declaration of parentage, the Court may on proof of such default as aforesaid, and upon hearing such evidence, oral or otherwise, as may be adduced, give judgment on the Family Law Civil Bill or direct that the application proceed on the footing that the matters set out in the Family Law Civil Bill be deemed to be admitted by the party in default..
Motion for Order in agreed terms
In any case in which the parties are agreed in respect of all of the reliefs being sought, the Applicant or the Respondent may, subject to the provisions of the following sub-rules of this Rule, by notice of motion, to be served on the other party and, on the trustees of the pension scheme concerned, not less than 14 clear days before the hearing, apply to the Court for judgment in agreed terms.
An application shall, unless the Court otherwise directs, be grounded, inter alia, upon:
- an affidavit exhibiting the agreed terms, and
- an affidavit or updated Affidavit of Means of each party, sworn in each case not earlier than six months before the date on which the motion is issued.
On the hearing of the application the Court may, upon hearing such evidence, oral or otherwise, as may be adduced:
- give judgment in the terms agreed between the parties, or
- adjourn the application and direct the attendance of a party or other person, or the giving of further evidence on the application, as the Court may require, or
- give directions in relation to the service of a Notice of Trial or Notice to fix a date for Trial.
Where an agreement or consent to the making of an order under this rule is given in writing by a party who does not intend to appear on the hearing of the motion, such agreement or consent shall be verified on affidavit or otherwise verified or authenticated in such manner as the Court considers sufficient.
Where an order to be sought under this rule includes an order for pension relief, a draft of such order which has, so far as the pension relief sought is concerned, been served on the trustees of the pension scheme in question, shall be handed into Court on the hearing of the application.
Notice of Trial (Circuits other than Dublin Circuit)
This rule shall not apply to the Dublin Circuit.
Not less than ten days’ notice of trial shall be served upon the respondent and all other necessary parties. Where relief is sought against them, notice of trial shall also be served upon the trustees of the pension scheme in question.
The notice of trial shall be filed at the Office not later than seven days after it is served. Service and filing of the notice of trial shall operate to set down the action or matter (including counterclaim if any) for hearing at the next ensuing Sittings.
The service of notice to fix a date for a trial, as duly completed in the Office, on all necessary parties shall operate to set down the action (including a counterclaim if any) for hearing, to be listed before the County Registrar for allocation of a date for the hearing.
Notice to fix a date for Trial (Dublin Circuit)
Where notice to fix a date for trial is to be given, the party intending to give notice shall lodge with the Office a notice to fix a date for trial in the Form 15B of the Schedule of Forms.
On receipt of such notice, duly completed, from the Office, that party shall serve a copy of the completed notice setting out the date upon which a date for hearing will be fixed by the County Registrar on all of the other parties and, where relief is sought on the trustees of the pension scheme in question.
At least ten days’ notice to fix a date for trial shall be given. The service of notice to fix a date for a trial, as duly completed in the Office, on all necessary parties shall operate to set down the action (including a counterclaim if any) for hearing upon such date as may be fixed by the County Registrar.
Service of notice of trial or notice to fix a date for trial by Respondent
Where the Applicant has failed to serve a notice of trial or notice to fix a date for trial, as appropriate, within ten days after the date on which the Applicant has been directed or permitted to do by the County Registrar, in any proceedings which are subject to case progression, the Respondent may do so and may file the same in accordance with these Rules.
The Court, if it considers it desirable, may order that two or more actions to which the CC Rules applies be tried together, and on such terms as to costs as the Court shall deem just