Place of Trial
All proceedings in the High Court are to be tried at the Four Courts, Dublin, unless otherwise provided by the Rules. Subject to this an application by any party for a direction that the trial of any proceedings other than those mentioned below, should take place at a particular venue may be made to a Judge promptly after the close of pleadings and in any event not later than three months prior to the date fixed for trial by motion. It is made on notice to the other party or if the other party or parties consent, on a unilateral application.
In the case of claims for damages for personal injury caused by negligence, nuisance, breach of duty and fatal injuries, notice of trial shall be served for the city mentioned below in any case where the claimant resides or the wrong is alleged to have been committed happened in the relevant County. The trial shall, save where a direction has been given thereunder, take place in the city or town concerned.
Dundalk: Louth, Meath, Longford, Cavan, Monaghan.
Kilkenny: Kilkenny, Waterford, Tipperary, Offaly, Laois, Wexford.
Waterford: Waterford, Tipperary, Laois, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford.
Cork: Cork and Kerry.
Limerick: Limerick, Tipperary, Kerry, Clare.
Galway: Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Clare.
Sligo: Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan, Longford, Westmeath, Roscommon, Mayo.
Where he considers it necessary for the effective disposal of business so requires, the President of the High Court may direct that trials generally, or of any particular category of proceedings, which would otherwise take place at a city or town above, shall take place at another city or town specified in that direction.
A party to proceedings referred to above may apply for a direction that such proceedings be tried at a town other than that for which proceedings would have been set down for trial above.
A party to any such proceedings may apply for a direction that such proceedings be tried in a city or town other than those for which the proceedings may be set down for trial, with the consent of the other party and save where the venue for trial is Dublin,by letter sent after the close of the pleadings to the officer managing the Central Office, enclosing a letter of consent.
Where the venue sought is Dublin, or where the other party does not consent, on application may be made promptly after the closing of the pleadings and in any event not later than three months prior to the date fixed for trial to a Judge designated by the President of the High Court for that purpose, on notice to the other parties.
A notice of trial shall state whether it is for the trial of the cause or matters or issues therein, and shall be in one of the prescribed forms.
Unless otherwise provided by law, proceedings in the High Court shall be tried in Dublin, save where having regard to the available facilities for the trial of proceedings and the desirability of providing a trial date as soon as possible, once proceedings are ready, the President of the High Court whether in respect of individual proceedings or categories of proceedings, otherwise directs.
Notice and Mode of Trial
A notice of trial shall be served in all proceedings commenced by plenary summons or adjourned for a plenary hearing. They shall be set down for trial in the Central Office. A motion to set aside a notice of trial must be brought within four days after service of the notice complained of.
The claimant in a probate and admiralty action commenced by plenary summons and a petitioner in matrimonial matters shall apply by motion on notice to the Master for directions. The Master shall fix the time and mode of trial and make any ancillary orders in respect of pleadings, particulars, discovery, inspection, settlement of issues, or otherwise, as may be necessary. If the claimant fails to apply within fourteen days from delivery of the last pleading, any party may apply for directions as aforesaid.
In all cases where there is no entitlement to a jury as of right, the matter shall be tried by a Judge without a jury, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. In cases where there is right to a trial by the jury, the party serving notice of trial shall state whether he requires that the issues of fact be tried with or without a jury. If the other party within 14 days from the service of notice of a trial, signifies a desire by notice in writing to have the same tried with jury, it shall be so tried.
If it shall appear at any time after the issuing of proceedings, upon application to the Court of either party, that the matter in dispute consists of matters of account which cannot conveniently be tried in the ordinary way, the Court may on application decide such matter in a summary manner. Alternatively, they may be referred to an arbitrator appointed by the parties or to the Master or Examiner upon such terms as to costs as the Court thinks reasonable.
The Court may, order that different questions or facts shall be tried by different modes of trial. It may order that one or more questions of fact shall be tried before the others.
Giving Notice of Trial
Notice of trial may be given in any matter by the claimant or another party the position of the claimant. It may be given with the reply if any, whether it closes the pleadings or not, or at any time after the issues of fact are ready for trial.
If a claimant in an action does not within three weeks after the close of pleadings give notice of trial, the defendant may on notice to the claimant apply to Court for liberty to give notice of trial. The Court may make such order, which shall seem just.
If the claimant does not within six weeks after the close of pleadings, or such extended time as the Court may allow, give notice of trial, the defendant may, before notice of trial given by the claimant, give notice of trial or may apply to the Court to dismiss the action for want of prosecution.
Notice of trial shall state whether it is for the trial of the cause or matter or of issues therein, and shall be in one of the prescribed forms. 21 days’ notice of trial shall be given, unless the party to whom it is given has consented or is under terms, or has been ordered to take short notice of trial. Short notice of trial is four days\’ notice unless otherwise ordered.
Notice of trial shall be given before setting down the action for trial.
Unless, within fourteen days after notice of trial is given the action shall be set down by the other party, the notice of trial shall be no longer in force. Notice of trial or the setting down or entering for trial shall not operate for any particular sittings; but shall be deemed to be for any day after the expiration of the notice on which the trial may come in its order upon the list.
Where a party giving notice of trial omits to set down the action within seven days, the party to whom notice has been given may set down the action.
Where any cause or matter shall have been adjourned for further consideration, the same may, after the expiration of eight days, within 14 days of the filing of the Examiner\’s certificate, be set down for further consideration, on the written request of the solicitor for the claimant or party having the conduct of the proceedings.
After the expiration of 14 days, the matter may be set down by the Registrar or on request of the solicitor for the claimant or any other party; and in either case, upon production of a judgement or order adjourning further consideration, and a copy the Examiner\’s certificate or memorandum of the date when the certificate was filed, indorsed on the request by the proper officer. The cause or matter when so set down shall not be put into the list for further consideration until the expiration of six days from the date on which the same was set down.
The party desiring to set down the proceedings for trial shall do so by delivering to the proper court officer a copy of the notice of trial together with two copies of the whole of the pleadings, and of any letter or notice for particulars and reply thereto. One of which shall be for the use by the Judge at the trial. The party entering any proceedings for trial or his solicitor shall lodge a separate certificate certifying that order copies lodged are true copies.
Proceedings at Trial I
In an action for the recovery of land, if the claimant appears and the defendant does not appear, the claimant shall be entitled to a verdict, without proof of title. In the case of an action for recovery of land, grounded on title, the claimant shall be entitled to prove the amount of damages sustained by reason of the loss of mesne rates and profits. In case of an action for the recovery of land for non-payment of rent, the claimant shall be entitled to prove the amount of rent actually due and have a verdict for the same.
If, when a trial is called, the claimant appears, and the defendant does not appear, the claimant may prove his claim in so far as the burden of proof lies on him. Where in a trial is called on and the defendant appears, and the claimant does not appear, the defendant, if he has no counter-claim, shall be entitled to judgement dismissing the action. If he has a counter-claim, he may prove his counter-claim, in so far as the burden lies on him.
Any judgement obtained where one party does not appear at the trial may be set aside by the Court upon such terms as may seem fit, upon an application made within six days after the trial.
Proceedings at Trial II
The Judge may, if he thinks it expedient for the interests of justice, postpone or adjourn a trial for such time and on such terms, as he shall think fit.
On a trial with a jury, the party who begins, or his counsel, shall be entitled at the close of his case, if his opponent does not announce any intention to adduce evidence, to address the jury a second time for the purpose of summing up evidence. The opposite party, or his counsel, shall be allowed to open the case, and also to sum up evidence, if any, and the right to reply shall be the same as under previous practice.
The Judge may disallow questions put in cross-examination of any party or other witness which may appear to him vexatious and not relevant to the matter proper to be inquired into in the cause or matter.
The Judge may, at or after a trial, direct that the judgement be entered for any or either party, or adjourn the case for further consideration before him. No judgement shall be entered after a trial without an order of the Judge.
On every trial, the Registrar or other proper officer shall record all findings of fact as the Judge may direct and the directions, if any, of the Judge as to judgement, and the certificates, if any, granted by the Judge, in a book to be kept for such purpose. If the Judge shall direct that any judgement be entered for any party, the Registrar or other proper officer shall enter judgement accordingly.
Reference to Assessors or Master
Trials with assessors shall take place in such manner and upon such terms as the Court shall direct.
The arrangement and control of proceeding under a reference to the Master as to damages shall be subject to the control and direction of the Master.
The evidence in all cases shall be taken down at the time by the Master, and preserved by him. The result of the inquiry before the Master shall be stated in a certificate signed by him. Such certificate, when settled, shall be engrossed, and when signed shall be filed. It shall thereupon stand confirmed within four days after filing thereof unless the motion to set it aside is a motion granted. Where a Master\’s certificate shall stand confirmed or be confirmed on motion, the final judgement may be entered accordingly.
Where in every action and proceeding in which it appear to the Court that the amount of damages sought is substantially a matter of calculation, the Court may direct that the amount for which final judgement is entered shall be ascertained by the Master or other proper officer of the Court, and the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents before the Master or other proper officer may be compelled by subpoena.
The Master or other officer may adjourn the inquiry from time to time, and shall certify the amount found by him. When damages are to be assessed in respect of any continuing cause of action, they shall be assessed down to the time of the assessment.