General High Court Business
Under Article 34.3.1 of the Irish Constitution, you are entitled to issue proceedings in the High Court to litigate any issue of law or fact whether criminal or civil.
However, as the Circuit and District Courts have local and limited jurisdiction, if you proceed in the High Court and the amount awarded to you by the judge is less than the Circuit Court limit which is €75,000 (€60,000 for personal injury cases) or the District Court limit which is €15,000 you could be penalised by the High Court for the extra costs incurred by not taking your case in the lower court.
Similarly, if you take a case to the High Court involving land, where the rateable valuation of the land is less than €254.00, you may incur similar penalties, as cases under this amount should be taken in the Circuit Court.
Circuit court jurisdiction
District court jurisdiction
Only the High Court can deal with the following areas:
Constitutional challenges to legislation
Winding up of companies
Appointment of examiners of companies
Wardship (of Minors and Persons of Unsound Mind) matters
Challenges to the validity of an election to the Oireachtas or of any referendum result
Applications under the Medical Practitioners Act, 1978
Applications under the Nurses Act, 1985
Applications under the Dentists Act, 1985
Applications under the Solicitors Acts, 1954 - 1994
Bail applications in murder and extradition cases
Proceedings in the following types of cases are not issued in the Central Office, but in 3 other offices of the High Court:-
Probate motions - Probate Office
Wardship petitions and motions - Office of Wards of Court
Bankruptcy summonses and motions - Office of the Examiner of the High Court
The commercial division of the High Court was established in 2004 to fast track high net worth cases (in excess of one million euro) and proceedings regarding intellectual property. It is governed by Order 63A of the Rules of the Superior Courts and encompasses
- Proceedings where the value of the claim is not less than €1 million in respect of claims in contract or tort arising out of business transactions and certain types of arbitration claims
- Proceedings involving intellectual property (including passing off), these are not restricted in terms of the value of the claim
- Appeals from, or judicial review applications in respect of, any statutory body where the judge managing that list considers that, having regard to the commercial or any other aspect of such application, it is one appropriate for entry into the commercial list.
There is no automatic right of entry to the Commercial List of the High Court. Applications for entry to the Commercial List are heard each Monday in term.
Applications, for entry to the list are by way of Notice of Motion grounded on the certificate of the solicitor for the applicant. The certificate, signed by the solicitor personally, on behalf of the firm on record will certify that the proceedings fall within the definition of ‘commercial proceedings’ in the court rules and undertake best endeavours to secure the client’s compliance with all directions.
The court uses a case management system that is designed to streamline the preparation for trial, remove unnecessary costs and ensure full pre-trial disclosure. Proceedings can be adjourned for a short period to allow resolution of the dispute through some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, conciliation or arbitration.
The Notice of Motion is subject to a €5,000 court fee which is refundable if the application is refused.
The Central Office of the High Court
You can commence your case or file documents in the Central Office of the High Court in person or by post, the address is:
High Court Central Office
When you call to the office you should take a ticket and wait to be called. The office deals with all High Court business and the queue can be long, so you should allow time for this.
To make sure your document is accepted check the following:
1. The correct court fee has been paid and stamped on the document being filed.
2. The document has been signed, or in the case of an affidavit, correctly sworn.
3. You have copies of the document to be returned to you.
4. If filing by post, a stamped self addressed envelope must be included.
5. If filing an affidavit you must state at the bottom of the affidavit whether it is being 'filed on behalf of the plaintiff/defendant, applicant/respondent by ….' and include the date of filing.
6. You should ensure the case record number is on the top right hand corner of the document, for example, 2014 / 0000 P or 2013 / 0000 S.
If you are looking for a copy of an order from your file;
• If you are representing yourself you can request the copy. If you are represented by a solicitor the solicitor must make the request.
• Requests for plain copy orders are made by email to the Central Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: this is a plain copy and is not attested.
• A copy of an attested order may be required for an official purpose or appeal. If so, email email@example.com.
This must be collected in person from the office with the relevant court fee, paid by fee card from the Stamping Office.
If you are looking for a copy of a document from your file;
• If you represent yourself you can make the request. If you are represented by a solicitor the solicitor must make the request.
• The request for a copy document should be made in person at the office.
• The file can be requested for 10.30 a.m. or 2.30 p.m. You should attend the office 15 minutes prior to these times.
• Attach the court fee card and the completed ‘bespeak docket’ (available in the office) to the document.
• Present the file with the court fee card and ‘bespeak docket’ to a member of staff.
• You must attend at the office to collect your document(s).
Note: it can take 2 to 3 working days to process the copy document.
If you are looking for a copy of an attested copy High Court Judgment;
• You should request a copy of a judgment through HighCourtJudgments@courts.ie
• There is a court fee for attested copy judgments.
• Alternatively, you can check the judgments section on this site where judgments are published free of charge once available.
If you want to contact the registrar who was in court for your case;
1. Look up your case on High Court Search. In the 'Order Details' view the initials of the registrar will appear under the heading ‘Registrar’.
2. Send an email for the attention of the registrar to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Your specific query or request can be added into the body of the email.
__________________________This page updated: 5 April 2017