Defending a case
To formally notify the plaintiff (the person bringing the case) and the court that you intend to defend the case, you ‘enter an appearance’ after a summons is served on you.
An appearance (called a Memorandum of Appearance in General), is a document which must be in the format set out in Order 12 of the Rules of the Superior Courts. If you are not represented by a solicitor, you can send the appearance by post, including copies and a stamped addressed envelope, to the High Court Central Office. An appearance for a company may only be entered by a solicitor, except with leave of the Court. A Conditional Appearance may be entered to challenge the jurisdiction (country) where the proceedings are to be heard.
To file an appearance you should check the following:
• Have you attached the correct fees?
• Is the appearance in the correct format?
• Have you included three copies of your appearance? - two of which will be returned to you
• If filing by post have you included a self-stamped addressed envelope?
• Have you included the record number of your case in the top right hand corner? - for example, 2014/0000 P
You must serve the appearance document on the solicitor for the plaintiff or on the plaintiff him/herself if the plaintiff is not represented by a solicitor. You can serve the appearance by post on the solicitor or the plaintiff in person.
If you are served with a plenary summons, your appearance should request that a 'statement of claim' be sent to you.
Exchange of documents before case is ready for trial
A number of documents are exchanged between the parties before a case can be given a date for hearing. They are not filed in the Central Office but must be included with the documents for the judge on the day of the hearing.
You may also find it necessary to bring applications before the court before the hearing of your case. These applications are issued by way of notice of motion grounded on an affidavit.
If nothing has happened in your case for more than 12 months and you wish to make an application to the Court, you will need to serve a notice of intention to proceed on the other party and wait for a period of one month before filing any further documents.