Duration of Civil Bill
A Civil Bill is in force for 12 months. If it is not served within this time, the plaintiff may apply before its expiration to the County Registrar for leave to renew the Civil Bill. An application for leave may be applied for after expiry to the Court.
The Court or the County Registrar, may if satisfied that reasonable efforts have been made to serve or for other good reason, may order that the Civil Bill shall be renewed for six months from the date of renewal. Where an application for renewal is made an ex parte (unilaterally), any defendant may apply before entering appearance, by motion to set the Order aside.
It is renewed by being stamped with the date and day, month and year of such renewal and delivered to the solicitor, subject to the solicitor filing a prescribed memorandum. The Civil Bill or other originating document is to remain in force including for the purpose of the Statute of Limitations.
Where the original Civil Bill is lost or destroyed, the Court on being satisfied as to such destruction or loss, and the correctness of a copy, may order such copy to be sealed and served in lieu of the original Civil Bill or other originating document.
A Civil Bill may be served by pre-paid registered post, addressed to the last known residence or place of business in the State of the defendant. It shall be posted by the person by or on whose behalf it is issued. Alternatively, personal service may be effected on the defendant. Personal service may be effected by delivering a copy of the Civil Bill (or other originating document) to the defendant personally, whenever he is to be found within the jurisdiction.
If it appears by affidavit that he is personally within the jurisdiction and that due and reasonable diligence has been exercised in endeavouring to effect service, service may be effected by delivering a copy at his place of residence within the jurisdiction to the husband, wife or some other relative over 16 years of age, apparently resident there or at the defendant’s place of business or employment or office within the jurisdiction to an employee of the defendant over the age of 16 years.
After service has been effected, the person serving the Civil Bill shall indorse his name on the original, and shall state the day of the week upon which and the manner of and place where, the service was effected. It is to include the person (in the case of delivery to a family member or employees etc., the person upon whom the document was served.
Service under the Rules is to be authenticated by affidavit or statutory declaration made by the person serving the same. It shall be sworn and declared within a reasonable time after service. If service was effected by registered post, it should be sworn not earlier than 10 days after the date of posting. The date of the affidavit or statutory declaration may be indorsed on the original Civil Bill or other originating document.
Where the person who has effected service does not of his own knowledge know that the person served is the respondent, he may make a declaration stating that he believes the same to be truth to the best of his knowledge. The judge of his own initiative or on application of any party alleged to be affected by the service may require further evidence as he may think fit.
Solicitor Accepts or Susbtituted Service
Service of a Civil Bill or other originating document on a Solicitor shall be sufficient, provided that he shall at the time of service indorse on the original Civil Bill or other originating document his acceptance of service and his undertaking to enter an appearance thereto.
When an order for substituted service is made, the order shall be served with the Civil Bill or the terms of the order shall be stated in a notice by the advertisement, if applicable. Every order shall state the time within which the defendant may enter an appearance or comply with requirements of the order.
Applications to the Court or County Registrar for substituted service or substitution of notice for service, shall be supported by affidavit setting out the grounds on which the application is made. In any case, the Judge or the County Registrar may declare the service actually effected as sufficient.
In the case of an infant, service on a parent or guardian, or on the person with whom the infant resides, if there is no parent or guardian, shall, unless the Judge or the County Registrar otherwise orders, be deemed good service. The Judge may order that the service made on the infant is deemed good service.
In the case of a person of unsound mind, whether formally found so or not, service on the Committee or on the person with whom the person lacking capacity resides, or under whose care he is, shall, unless the Judge or the County Registrar otherwise order, be deemed sufficient.
Motions, notices of motions and other notices, and Court Orders required to be served and witness summonses may be served in the same manner as a Civil Bill or other originating document.
Where no mode of service is provided for the Rules, they may be served by delivering the same to the party on whom it is to be served personally or by delivering the same at the residence or place of business of such person or sending the same by pre-paid registered post, addressed to such person or person at his last known residence or place of business.
Where a person acts by a Solicitor, any document required to be delivered or served on such party may be delivered or served on that Solicitor, except where personal service is required under the Rules. Service of any document on the Solicitor or delivery of the same to his office or Document Exchange or sending it by pre-paid post to such office, shall be deemed good service upon the person for whom the Solicitor acts, upon the day in which the same is so delivered or would in the ordinary course of post be delivered.
A person who effects service in accordance with these provisions, shall within four days, return the original document properly indorsed as prescribed in the Rules to the Solicitor from whom the same was received. The endorsement of service and a statutory declaration of service, shall be in the form set out in the Rules and shall be proved by statutory declaration in the format concerned.
Civil Bill for service out of the jurisdiction, must be issued in accordance with a special procedure. In some cases, this requires an application to the Court or to the County Registrar. In other cases, EU Regulations or Convention may allow direct issue and service without an order..
There are various rules in the relation to service outside the jurisdiction. Formerly, it was necessary to make application to Court in almost all cases. Conventions and in particular, the EU Regulations have facilitated service, out of the jurisdictions without a court order as of right in most cases.
Notwithstanding the above, parties to a contract may agree that the Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain proceedings in respect of such contract or in the alternative, that service of a document in any proceedings may be effected at any place within or without its jurisdiction on any person on behalf of that party, in a manner specified in the contract.
Service of such document at the place or on the party or on the person or other in the manner specified in the contract is deemed good service, wherever the parties are resident. If no place, person or mode of service is so specified, service out of the jurisdiction of such document may be ordered.
The traditional rule provides that service out of the jurisdiction may be allowed by the Court or the County Registrar whenever: –
- the subject matter is land within the jurisdiction;
- it relates to the interpretation, set aside, rectification or enforcement of any act, deed will, contract obligation or liability affecting land in the State;
- relief is sought against a person domiciled or ordinarily resident within the jurisdiction;
- the action is for the administration of deceased person\’s estate, who, at the time of his death, was domiciled within the jurisdiction or for the execution of the trusts of any written instrument, of which the person to be served is a trustee and which ought to be executed in accordance with law of Ireland;
- Is brought to enforce, rescind, dissolve or annul a contract to recover damages in respect of the breach of contract either made within the jurisdiction, made by or through an agent trading or residing within the jurisdiction on behalf of a principal outside the jurisdiction;
- by its terms or by implication governed by Irish law;
- the action is one brought for breach committed within the jurisdiction, where so ever the contract was made;
- the action is founded on a tort committed within the jurisdiction;
- an injunction is sought as to anything done or to be done in the jurisdiction, or any nuisance within the jurisdiction;
- a person out of the jurisdiction is a necessary and proper party to any action brought against some other person, who has been duly served within the jurisdiction;
- the proceedings relate to an infant or a person of mental incapacity whether or not so found, domiciled in or a citizen of Ireland;
- it relates to interpleader in respect of property within the State;
- proceedings for appointment of an arbitrator or umpire to set aside, enforce an award in an arbitration held within the jurisdiction or to be held;
- the proceeding is by a mortgagee or mortgagor in relation to mortgage of personal property situate within the jurisdiction seeking sale, delivery or possession by the mortgagor, redemption, conveyance or redelivery by the mortgagee, without personal judgment;
- the proceedings relate to matrimonial and family law matters and the applicant is domiciled or ordinarily domiciled in the jurisdiction and jurisdiction in such circumstances is permitted by Statute;
- the proceedings are pursuant to the Succession Act and the deceased, at the time of his death, had a fixed place of abode within the jurisdiction.
Non-EU Application for Leave
An application for leave to service Civil Bill or notice thereof on a defendant outside of Ireland shall be supported by an affidavit setting out the belief of the person concerned that the plaintiff has good cause of action and showing at what a place or country the defendant is to be served and may probably be found and whether such person sought to be served is or is not a citizen of Ireland, the grounds on which the application is made. No leave shall be granted unless it is sufficiently shown to the Court or the County Registrar that the case is a proper one for service outside of Ireland.
Applications for consent to serve outside of the jurisdiction shall be made before the issue of the document. The affidavit to ground the same shall, when no proceeding is pending, be entitled as between the parties to the intended proceeding and \”In the Matter of the Courts of Justice Acts\”.. Any order giving leave to effect service, or to give notice out of the jurisdiction, shall limit a time after such service or notice, within which the person to be served may enter an appearance, and such time shall depend on the place or country where or within which the document is to be served, or the notice given.
Where the person to be served is not a citizen of Ireland, notice of the document and not the document itself, is served. Notice in lieu of service shall be given in the manner in which the documents themselves are required to be served. Where an Order is made, giving leave to serve a document or notice on a person out of the jurisdiction, a copy shall be served with the document or notice.
Any person served with a Civil Bill or notice of it, may apply to Court in order to discharge the order authorising the service.
Service of a Civil Bill or notice out of the jurisdiction may be undertaken without leave in accordance with EU Council Regulation. See the separate sections on Conflicts of Law. No proceedings between the parties concerning the same cause of action may be pending in another EU State or State.
Either the defendant or other person to be served must be domiciled in Ireland or in another State. The proceedings must be of a class to which the Judgment Regulation or the Convention applies. Alternatively, the defendant or other party to be served may be a party to an agreement conferring jurisdiction to which the Convention or Judgment Regulations apply.
Where the person to be served is not an Irish citizen, notice of the document, is to be served.
Service of an originating document or notice of it may be made in accordance with
- special provisions in relation to family and maintenance matters;
- a method compatible with the law of the state in which service is to be effected;
- service in accordance with the Convention on Service Abroad of judicial documents in civil and commercial matters;
- the defendant or his legal representative have agreed or consented in writing;
- where a defendant is present within the jurisdiction, personally, in accordance with the rules;
- on a solicitor who has undertaken to accept service.
Where a Civil Bill or notice is served out of the State under the above provisions, the time to be inserted therein within which the person to be served shall enter an appearance is to be five weeks in the case of a Civil Bill or notice of is it in the EU or European territory of a Member State or Contracting State to the Judgments Convention or six weeks in the case of non-European territory.
Where a person desires to contest jurisdiction under the EU Rules or Judgment Convention, he may enter an appearance in a prescribed format for the purpose of contesting jurisdiction. A person who desires to contest jurisdiction shall deliver a Defence stating that he contests jurisdiction under the Regulation, Convention etc. He may do so, notwithstanding pleadings in the Defence which go to the merits of the claim.
Where a Defence has been delivered in which jurisdiction is contested, any party to the proceedings may apply by motion on notice to the Court, grounded on affidavit for the purpose of determining the question of jurisdiction as a preliminary issue. Alternatively the matter may be set down for trial. The Judge may determine the question of jurisdiction on affidavit, or may direct the trial of the issue, with or without pleadings, as he sees fit.
A person who desires to contest jurisdiction in proceedings in which there is no provision in the Rules for the delivery of a Defence, shall as soon as opportune apply to Court on fourteen days’ notice to the other party or parties for an order declining jurisdiction. The judge may determine the question in the same manner as above.
Where a person served with a Civil Bill outside the State has entered an Appearance, the time within which the Defence shall be delivered shall be 28 days from the date of Appearance. Where an application has been brought for an order declining jurisdiction, the time shall be 28 days from the determination of the application, unless the Court otherwise orders.