If the defendant intends to defend a Civil Bill or other proceeding, he shall enter an appearance in the Circuit Court Office in the prescribed form. The Form is to be lodged with or sent by post to the County Registrar so as to reach the Office before the expiration of the time limited for appearance. A copy of such form is to be sent at the same time or lodged with or sent by post to the claimant, if he sues in person or to his Solicitor.
The time for entering appearance is ten days from the service of the Civil Bill, exclusive of the day of service or such further time as may be agreed between the parties, unless the Court shall otherwise direct.
Where no appearance has been entered, within the time allowed, to a Civil Bill, in respect of a defendant who is of unsound mind even if not so found or an infant, the claimant shall, before proceeding with the action against the defendant, apply to the Court Office in the manner set out in the Rules, for an order that some proper person be assigned guardian ad litem of such defendant, by whom he may appear and defend.
A defendant who has entered an Appearance shall within the further period of 10 days, deliver to the claimant or his Solicitor a Defence in writing, which shall be dated and be in the format described by the Rules with such modifications as may be appropriate.
The Defence shall clearly state the grounds upon which the defendant disputes the claimant\’s claim. No Defence shall be admitted to defeat a claim or part thereof unless, it could fairly have been inferred from the particulars given in the Defence.
Every defendant in ejectment proceedings shall be entitled to plead every defence which he may have at law or in equity.
No Defence shall be delivered outside of the time specified by the Rules, without the leave of the County Registrar save as the parties otherwise agree. No Defence shall be delivered unless defendant has previously entered an Appearance under the Rules. No pleading subsequent to Defence, or Defence and Counterclaim, is permitted.
A defendant in an action may set off or set up as a counterclaim against the claims of the claimant, any right or claim, whether such claim or counterclaim is a claim in damages or not. Such set off or counterclaim shall have the same effect as a cross action.
The Judge may pronounce a final judgment in the same action, both on the original and counterclaim. The Judge may, on application of the claimant before trial, if Judge is of the opinion that the counterclaim cannot be conveniently disposed of in the pending action or ought not to be allowed, refuse permission to the defendant to avail himself thereof.
Tender of Mones
In the case of a Defence setting up a tender before action, the monies must be lodged and brought into Court.
In the Dublin Circuit, any Defendant may at any time after an entry of appearance or at any time thereafter being a date not later than the date of the Notice of Trial or at least eight weeks before the hearing date mentioned in the Notice of Trial as may be agreed, lodge in Court an amount which he alleges is sufficient to satisfy the claimant\’s claim. Such lodgement may be with an admission or denial of liability. Where there is more than one claim or cause of action, the defendant shall state in respect of which of them, such lodgement is made.
Outside the Dublin Circuit, a defendant may at the time at or after the entry of appearance or at any time thereafter, before the Notice of Trial, or at least eight weeks before the day upon which the case is first due to be heard or such shorter period as may be agreed, lodge, an amount in Court which he alleges to be sufficient to satisfy the claimant\’s claim. It may be lodged with or without an admission of liability. Where there is more than one claim or cause of action, the defendant shall state in respect of which the lodgement is made.
The following rule applies in the Dublin Circuit only. The defendant may once, without leave, and upon notice to the claimant, lodge an additional money so as to increase the lodgement. Notice must be given and the additional lodgement must be made. The additional lodgement must be given prior to the above deadlines, i.e., before Notice of Trial or at least eight weeks before the day on which the case is first due to be heard outside of Dublin or eight weeks before the date mentioned in the Notice of Trial in Dublin.
A defendant making a lodgement does so by a document other than his Defence.This shall be kept by the County Registrar on a separate file and shall not be disclosed to the Judge until all issues have been decided save for costs. The form of document is prescribed.
Save in the case of a lodgement with a Defence of tender, the claimant may, within ten days after such lodgement, serve notice that he accepts the amount lodged. This will operate as a stay on proceedings and the settlement of the claimant\’s claim in respect of which the lodgement was made, save as to costs.
Prior to service of notice of trial, the claimant may on written notice to a defendant, lodge monies in answer to a counterclaim, and the same provisions as apply to a lodgement in Court by the defendant are applicable.
Party Lacking Capacity
In the case of a claimant under a legal disability, the lodgement may be accepted, only by leave of the Judge. Application for leave is made by motion on notice.
Where a claimant who is not under a legal disability, wishes to accept the amount lodged, it may be paid without any Judgment or Order upon lodging a notice of acceptance in full satisfaction. It may be accepted late with the defendant solicitor\’s consent, or that of the defendant, if there is no solicitor.
Where the claimant, who is not under a legal disability, accepts a lodgement, he shall be at liberty, if his entire claim is thereby satisfied, to tax his costs after the four days from the service of notice of acceptance, unless the Judge otherwise orders. In case of non-payment of the costs within seven days after such taxation, the claimant is entitled to enter judgment for his costs so taxed.
Where the claimant, not being under disability, does not accept the amount lodged, he is liable for all costs incurred from that date, unless he obtains judgment for a greater amount than the total amount lodged, exclusive of costs.
Where the lodgement is not accepted, then at termination of proceedings, all sums lodged shall be repaid to the solicitor on record for the defendant or if there is none, to the defendant.
In all actions where a lodgment of money is made pursuant to the provisions of the Rules, the party making such lodgment may by notice to the County Registrar request that the money be placed either on a deposit or on a current account. The party making such lodgment in a deposit account shall be entitled to payment of the interest accruing thereon and such interest shall be paid out to the solicitor for the person who made same or, if there is no solicitor on record for such person, to the person who made same upon the determination of the proceedings subject to any ruling to the contrary which the Court may make. Such interest shall not form part of such lodgment.
Certain sovereign and quasi-sovereign bodies including Government Departments, Attorney General, the State, insurer, Motor Insurers Bureau or Visiting Bureau of Ireland may in lieu of lodging the monies in an offer, make an offer of tender of payment. This has the same effect as the lodgement and the above provisions apply. If the sum stated in the tender offer is not actually paid, it is to continue to be liable for the sums specified plus interest.