Circuit Court Sittings
Sittngs of the Circuit Court are to be held at places within each Circuit as may be prescribed, at such times as the Judge of such Circuit shall from time to time direct and appoint. In all Circuits, notice of the sittings shall be given in Iris Oifigiuil at least two months in advance. There are provisions for adjournment of sittings, on giving such notice as may be practicable
Notice of sittings outside Dublin shall be published in Iris Oifigiuil and in a newspaper circulating in the area, not later than two months before the relevant date. The President of the Circuit Court, if assigned to Dublin or Senior Judge of the Circuit Court, shall appoint the times and places for sittings of the Circuit Court in the Dublin Circuit.
Sittings are not generally held during the months of August and September, other than to continue hearings commenced before the beginning of August. During August and September, Judges of the Circuit Court shall sit in Dublin, on such dates as may be announced, to hear applications and cases for the Dublin Circuit as may require to be promptly heard.
Applications of an urgent nature whether during vacation or otherwise may be made to the President of the Circuit Court or to a Judge nominated by him. Notice must be given to the County Registrar who shall submit the matter to the President or Judge nominated.
Place of Action
At the election of the claimant, in a case based on contract, whether to enforce, rescind, dissolve or annul the contract or damages for breach, the claim may be brought in the county where the defendant or any of the defendant, ordinarily resides or carries on any business, profession or occupation or in the county where the contract was made.
In the case of an action based on tort, the claimant may elect to bring the claim in the county where the defendant, or any one or more of the defendant ordinarily resides or carries on a business, profession, or occupation or where the tort is alleged to have been committed.
Proceedings relating to land and rectification of the Land Registry registers are to be brought in the county in which the lands are situate or in which the larger portion of them are situated. Probate and administration applications in respect of the estate of a deceased person, must be taken in county where the testator or intestate ordinarily resided at the date of his death.
There are specific provisions in respect of jurisdiction under the EU Judgments regulation.
In other cases, subject to any specific exceptions which may apply, proceedings are to be brought in the county where the defendant or any one or more of the defendants, ordinarily resides or carries on any business, profession or occupation.
In the case of the company or other body corporate, jurisdiction is exercised in the Circuit where the corporation or association has its registered office or other official address or where the central management and control of the corporation is exercised or where the corporation or association carries on business.
Most jurisdiction exercised domestically may be exercised by a Judge of the Court for the time being assigned to the Circuit where the defendant or one of the defendant ordinarily resides or carries on business, a profession or occupation.
Judges of the Circuit Court are to wear a black coat and vest of uniform nature and material, and a black gown of uniform make and white bands as heretofore worn or a black gown of uniform nature and material with sleeves bearing dark red double ribbon banding and a single white neck tab, save as otherwise provided (such as in family proceedings). A Judge is no longer required to wear a wig of a ceremonial type during sittings.
A Judge shall be addressed in Court by his title, and may be referred to as \”The Court\” or the Irish language equivalent..
The Court Seal is retained by the County Registrar\’s office. It is not necessary that Decrees, Orders, or Warrants shall be signed by the Judge. They may be authenticated by the Seal of the Court and the signature of the County Registrar.
The County Registrar manages the Circuit Court Office. In addition, the County Registrar has registration in relation to many pre-trial and case management applications in the Circuit Court. Some of these powers are equivalent to those in which Masters have jurisdiction power in the High Court.
The County Registrar has powers to tax bills of cost and certify the amount properly due on direction by the judge. The County Registrar may refer matters to the Circuit Court judge. Most matters on which the County Registrar has jurisdiction, may be appealed to the judge.
Certain applications relating to the parties and proceedings may be made to the County Registrar. They include the appointment of a guardian to represent the interests of a person under age or not mentally competent in legal proceedings; orders amending proceedings when a person becomes of full age; orders correcting clerical errors in proceedings and orders to enforce court orders.
Where a court action requires that accounts and enquiries be made in relation, for example, to a partnership or an estate, the County Registrar may be directed to make enquiries and render accounts in relation to particular matters. The County Registrar may order the placing of advertisements in cases where enquiries are being made in relation to incumbrances and persons having an interest in the matter.
In certain types of cases, persons may have to verify their claim in relation to the subject matter of the accounts and enquiries. The proofs are made to the County Registrar pursuant to the court order. The County Registrar prepares certificates certifying matters required to be certified to the court.
The range of (pre-trial) orders which the County Registrar may make, has greatly expanded in the last 20 years. They include
- orders for extension of time;
- orders for discovery and inspection of documents;
- certain orders for the appointment of a receiver
- certain orders for garnishee enforcement against debts receivable;
- orders in relation to service of legal proceedings;
- orders to amend proceedings,
- orders for payment out of funds in court,
- orders in uncontested cases to have an account and enquiries taken;
- order for the issue of proceedings outside the State;
- certain probate orders;
- orders in relation to enforcement of court orders;
- orders for transfer of proceedings;
- orders allowing third parties to be brought into proceedings;
- certain orders for recovery of a specific amount or specific item;
- orders for judgment in unliquidated damages claims where no appearance or defence has been entered;
- order for recovery of land where no appearance or defence has been entered;
- order for recovery of land on a mortgage where no appearance or defence has been entered.