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District Court Rules

Order: 40

Beginning civil proceedings in the court : S.I. No. 17 of 2014

The below amendment(s) have been made to this instrument which can be viewed by clicking on the link(s):

No40-S.I. No. 513 Of 2016: District Court (Issue Of Civil Proceedings) Rules 2016
No40-S.I. No. 423 Of 2019 District Court (Extension Of Validity Of Claim Notice) Rules 2019

1—GENERAL

1 Definitions

1. In this Order-

"the 1924 Act" means The Courts of Justice Act 1924 (No. 10 of 1924); "the 1991 Act" means the Courts Act 1991 (No. 20 of 1991).

2 Claim not to be divided

2. (1) A claimant must not divide a claim for the purpose of making the claim the subject of two or more claim notices.

(2) A claimant who has a claim for more than the amount for which a claim may be made in the Court may abandon the excess by so stating in the claim notice.

3 Names, addresses and representation of parties

3. (1) A claim notice must—

      (a) state the full name and address of the claimant and an address for service of documents on the claimant; and

      (b) if the claimant sues in person, state an address for service of documents on the claimant; and

      (c) if the claimant sues or the respondent is sued in a representative capacity, state the capacity in which the claimant sues or the respondent is sued in a representative capacity; and

      (d) state the name and address of the respondent; and

      (e) if the claimant sues by a solicitor, state the name or firm and business address of the solicitor and also, if the solicitor is the agent of another, the name or firm and business address of the principal.

(2) Where a solicitor’s name is given on a claim notice as solicitor for a claimant—
      (a) the solicitor must, on request in writing by a respondent, confirm in writing whether the claim notice was filed by or with the authority of the solicitor on behalf of that claimant; and

      (b) if the solicitor confirms in writing that the claim notice was not filed by or with the authority of that solicitor, the Court must stay the civil proceedings and no further step may be taken in the civil proceedings without the permission of the Court.

4 Commencement of civil proceedings

4. (1) Subject to the provisions of these Rules which apply to particular categories of claims or cases, a civil proceeding must be commenced by the filing for issue and service of a claim notice.

(2) Save where otherwise provided by these Rules or by an Act and subject to Order 41B and the Conventions to which it relates, a claim notice must be filed with and issued by the Clerk for the Court area:

      (a) in which the respondent or one of the respondents ordinarily resides or carries on any profession, business or occupation,
or at the election of the claimant,
      (b) in proceedings founded on contract, (except proceedings arising from an agreement under the Consumer Credit Act 1995 or the European Communities (Consumer Credit Agreements) Regulations 2010 (S.I. 281 of 2010)) in which the contract is alleged to have been made, or

      (c) in proceedings founded on tort, in which the tort is alleged to have been committed, or

      (d) in ejectment proceedings, in which the lands the subject of the proceedings are situated.

(3) Filing must be effected by filing with the Clerk assigned to the Court area referred to in sub-rule (2), in person or by post.

(4) Unless otherwise provided by law, civil proceedings in the Court must be heard and determined at a sitting of the Court for the transaction of civil business for the Court area in which the civil proceeding was brought.

(5) A claim notice which has been issued by a Clerk is deemed to have been issued on the date on which it was filed with the Clerk for issue.

5 Form of claim notice

5. (1) Unless sub-rule (2) applies, a claim notice must be in Form 40.01, Schedule C, or in Form 40.02, Schedule C in a debt claim.

(2) If a claim notice is to be served out of the State, the claim notice must be in the form required by Order 41A (service out of the State with the permission of the Court) or, as the case may be, Order 41B (service out of the State without the permission of the Court).

(3) A claim notice must contain a statement of claim. (4) A statement of claim must—

      (a) contain, in a summary form, a statement of all material facts on which the claimant relies, but not evidence by which those facts are to be proved;

      (b) contain the necessary particulars of every fact;

      (c) if the claim arises by or under any enactment, identify the specific provision of the enactment that is relied on;

      (d) state specifically the amount or other relief or remedy sought; (e) state the place where and the date when the claim arose.

(5) A statement of claim in a debt claim must state that the claim is for debt or liquidated damages, must specify the amount claimed by way of debt or liquidated damages and must include particulars of the claimant’s demand for payment.

(6) A statement of claim must be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively, and each fact or matter stated, so far as practicable, must be contained in a separate paragraph.

(7) Where the claim is founded on any written document, the statement of claim must state the date of the document and the parties to the document and:

      (a) if the claim is for the payment of money, the amount claimed, or

      (b) if the claim is for breach of contract, the alleged breach or breaches of the contract.

(8) A statement of claim must contain a list of all correspondence and other documents on which the claimant will rely at the trial including the date if any and a brief description of each document.

(9) Any claim notice in which damages are claimed is assumed to include a claim for interest from the date of judgment, where permitted by law, and for the costs of the civil proceedings, whether or not expressly claimed.

(10) Where a claimant alleges that he or she was unable, at the time at which a claim notice was issued, to include in the claim notice any of the information required by this rule to be specified in the claim notice, he or she must include in the claim notice a statement of the reasons why it is claimed that any such information could not be provided at the time of issue of the claim notice. The claimant must, when the claim notice is served or as soon as may be thereafter (whether by amendment or otherwise) provide such of the information required by this rule as was not included in the claim notice.

6 Costs to be specified

6. (1) In a debt claim, the claim notice must be indorsed with a statement as follows—

      "If you pay the amount of €...... and costs of €....... to the claimant or the claimant's solicitor within ten days and without filing and serving an appearance and defence you may avoid further costs.".
(2) The amount of costs in the indorsement must be the appropriate amount set out in the Schedule of Costs.

(3) If a claim notice is indorsed in accordance with sub-rule (1), and the respondent pays the amounts claimed within the time limited for filing and serving an appearance and defence, then the civil proceeding is concluded.

(4) The claimant must notify the Clerk in writing when civil proceedings are concluded in accordance with sub-rule (3).

7 Consent proceedings

7. (1) Where civil proceedings of the kind mentioned in paragraph A of section 77 of the 1924 Act are brought before the District Court and the amount claimed in such proceedings is in excess of €15,000 and, pursuant to the proviso (inserted by section 4(c) of the 1991 Act) to paragraph A of section 77, the necessary parties to the proceedings sign a form of consent either before or at any time during the hearing, the consent must be in the Form 40.03, Schedule C.

(2) When completed, the consent must be attached to and filed together with the original claim notice or other originating document or, as appropriate, must be produced to the Court during the hearing.

(3) Every consent so filed or produced must be retained by the Clerk with the original claim notice or other originating document and must be noted on the court record and on any order issued in relation to the civil proceedings.

(4) Costs, where allowed in any such civil proceedings, must be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Schedule of Costs.

8 Proceedings transferred from the High Court or Circuit Court

8. (1) Where civil proceedings are remitted or transferred to the District Court by the High Court under section 25 of the 1924 Act or by the Circuit Court under section 15 of the 1991 Act, the claimant must, within 14 days from the date of perfection of the order for remittal or transfer, file with the Clerk a certified copy of the order and the summons, civil bill or other originating document (or a copy thereof) and copies of all documents already delivered and orders made in the proceedings.

(2) Where the claimant omits or refuses to file the documents within the 14 day period mentioned in sub-rule (1), the respondent must do so as soon as may be after the expiration of the 14 day period.

(3) The party filing the documents must give notice to every other party to the proceedings of such filing.

(4) After filing of the order and documents, the civil proceedings must continue as if they had been commenced in the Court and any respondent who has not served a defence and filed an appearance must do so within the 21 days of service of the notice referred to in sub-rule (3).

(5) The civil proceedings must be heard and determined by the Court as if they had originally been commenced in the Court.

(6) A note of the remittal or transfer must be entered on the court record and on any order issued in relation to the proceedings.

(7) Costs, where allowed in any such civil proceedings, must be in accordance with the provisions of the Schedule of Costs.

9 Proceedings under section 74 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007

9. (1) Any claim by a consumer for damages under section 74 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (No. 19 of 2007) must be commenced by the issue and service in accordance with this Order of a claim notice, entitled in the matter of section 74 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and otherwise in the Form 40.01, Schedule C with such modifications as are appropriate.

(2) Any consent under section 74(4) of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 must be in the Form 40.03, Schedule C but, instead of reciting that it is given under section 77A of The Courts of Justice Act 1924, must recite that it is given under section 74(4) of the Consumer Protection Act 2007, and must be lodged with the Clerk either before or at any time during the hearing.

10 Duration

10. (1) A claim notice is valid for service for one year after the day it is filed.

(2) If a claim notice has not been served on a respondent or if a witness summons has not been served on a witness, the Court may from time to time extend the validity of the claim notice or witness summons for such period from the day of the order as the Court directs, not being more than six months from that day.

(3) An order may be made under sub-rule (2) before or after expiry of the claim notice or witness summons.

(4) The claimant may apply under sub-rule (2) without notice to the respondent, but if the Court considers that the respondent ought to be heard, the Court may adjourn the further hearing and direct the claimant to give written notice to the respondent of the place and time to which the application was adjourned.