Says "This marks another milestone" in court reform

 

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, T.D., today confirmed that Part 3 of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (No. 32 of 2013), which increases the monetary jurisdiction of the Circuit Court and District Court, will take effect from the 3rd of February 2014. The Act increases the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court to €75,000 and of the District Court to €15,000. In regard to personal injury actions, the revised monetary jurisdiction limit of the Circuit Court will be €60,000. This will result in a substantial amount of court litigation previously dealt with at Circuit Court level initiated on or after the 3 February 2014 being dealt with in the District Court and such litigation which up to now had to come before the High court being dealt with in the Circuit Court.

 

The Minister has also signed rules of court which are due to come into effect on the 3rd February 2014 to coincide with the increase in jurisdiction of the District Court and Circuit Court which will consolidate the rules affecting the civil procedures of the District Court. This involved an extensive revision of the existing rules of court so that, in regard to civil procedures (apart from family law and licensing), they are as self-contained and as easy to follow as possible. They also introduce some fundamental changes to how civil proceedings in the District Court can be commenced.

 

In addition, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the Minister has signed new fees orders in respect of the Supreme Court and High Court, the Circuit Court and the District Court which will also apply from 3rd of February. The increase in fees takes into account CPI indexation and also the new procedural changes in litigation at District Court level such as interim applications to Court for discovery and rulings in personal injury cases in respect of minors or persons with a disability.

 

Speaking today, Alan Shatter TD., Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence said, "The changes to the jurisdiction limits of the Circuit and District Courts should ultimately lead to reduced legal costs for individuals and companies involved in litigation. It is crucial that parties involved in legal conflict do not incur more legal costs than are necessary in circumstances in which they have to resort to litigation. It is also important that our court jurisdictions keep substantially in line with inflation and that our higher courts are not unnecessarily overburdened with appeals that could and should be properly dealt with at a lower level. 

 

It is over 20 years since the monetary jurisdiction of our courts was changed. These are important and substantial court jurisdictional reforms which are in the public interest. Their commencement on 3 February 2014 marks another milestone in the modernisation of our legal system and structures. I am pleased that the revised jurisdictions will now come into force on 3 February."

 

29 January 2014

 

ENDS

 

 

Note for Editors

Jurisdiction of Circuit Court and District Court

The monetary jurisdiction limits of the Circuit Court and District Court have remained unchanged since 1991. The Courts Act 1991 set the current monetary jurisdiction limits for civil matters at €38,092 (£30,000) for the Circuit Court and €6,384 (£5,000) for the District Court. Although the Courts and Court Officers Act 2002 made statutory provision for increases in the limits to €100,000 and €20,000 respectively, these increased limits were never brought into operation.

The Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 which was enacted in July 2013 increased the jurisdiction limits to €75,000 for the Circuit Court and €15,000 for the District Court. In regard to personal injury actions, the revised jurisdiction limit of the Circuit Court is restricted to €60,000.

 

 

The relevant list of orders is set out below:

 

COURTS AND CIVIL LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 2013 (JURISDICTION OF DISTRICT COURT AND CIRCUIT COURT) (COMMENCEMENT) ORDER 2013 - S.I. No. 566 of 2013

This Order appoints 3rd day of February 2014 as the date on which section 2(1) and Part 3 of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (No. 32 of 2013) comes into operation.

 

RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURTS (COURTS AND CIVIL LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 2013) 2014 - S.I. No. 16 of 2014

These rules amend the Rules of the Superior Courts by the substitution of rule 5(2) of Order 4, rule 40 of Order 99 and Part II of Appendix W to facilitate the increase in the monetary jurisdiction of the Circuit Court and District Court provided for in Part 3 of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (No. 32 of 2013).

 

DISTRICT COURT (CIVIL PROCEDURE) RULES 2014 - S.I. No. 17 of 2014

These rules amend the District Court Rules to provide a revised civil procedure in that Court and to facilitate the increase in the monetary jurisdiction of the District Court provided for in Part 3 of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (No. 32 of 2013).

 

SUPREME COURT AND HIGH COURT (FEES) ORDER 2014 - S.I. No. 24 of 2014

This order revokes the Supreme Court and High Court (Fees) (No.2) Order, 2013 (S.I. No 466 of 2013) and provides for the fees to be charged with effect from 3 February 2014, in the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Central Office, the Examiner’s Office, the Taxing Master’s Office, the Accountant’s Office, the Office of Wards of Court, the Probate Office and District Probate Office and District Probate Registries.

 

CIRCUIT COURT (FEES) ORDER 2014 - S.I. No. 23 of 2014

This order revokes the Circuit Court (Fees) Order, 2013 (S.I. No 240 of 2013) and provides for the fees to be charged in Circuit Court offices with effect from 3 February 2014.

 

DISTRICT COURT (FEES) ORDER 2014 - S.I. No. 22 of 2014

This order revokes the District Court (Fees) Order, 2013 (S.I. No 241 of 2013) and provides for the fees to be charged in District Court offices with effect from 3 February 2014.

 

In addition, the three fees orders provide for the exemption from fees of certain proceedings, including family law proceedings.