County Meath Practice Direction: Procedure for setting Circuit Civil cases down for hearing
From 1 June 2021, in order to set a Circuit Civil case down for hearing, Letters of Consent from all the parties in a civil action must be lodged at the same time as the Notice of Trials with the Court Office. Parties must also advise the length of the hearing and the number of witnesses they intend to call.
In giving a Letter of Consent a party is confirming the following to the Court:
- All pleadings are complete
- Discovery is complete
- Expert reports are complete
- Parties are available for a hearing date for the future legal terms.
Where a party fails to provide the Letter of Consent within one month of it being sought, the other party can issue a Notice of Motion before the County Registrar’s Court to seek the County Registrar’s adjudication on whether the refusal/ delay is reasonable or not. In such cases, the County Registrar can determine whether the case is to be set down for hearing or refuse the application.
Where at the callover a case is not ready to be given a date for hearing the Notice of Trial will be struck out unless it is the first callover the case is listed in.
The aim of the Practice Direction is to maximise the resources of the Courts, to minimise the legal costs for the parties involved in litigation, and, to utilise valuable court time in the listing only of cases that are ready for hearing.
For Circuit Civil cases which are set down before 1 June 2021 the following will apply at the County Registrar’s callover in June 2021: where a case has been in the Callover for two or more callovers and the parties are not in a position to call the case on for hearing, the Notice of Trial will be struck out without prejudice.
Issued by His Honour Judge Patrick Quinn, Eastern Circuit.
11 February 2021