Plans for the Safe Conduct of Business from Sept 2020

Read the statement of the President of the Circuit Court 31st July 2020

Dublin Metropolitan District

Across the Dublin Metropolitan District An Garda Siochana are asked in all criminal prosecutions to have DPP directions and a disclosure pack ready for the first court appearance. Summary cases will be remanded and on the second court appearance a plea should be entered or a hearing date scheduled by date and time. If a plea of not guilty is to be entered on the second appearance then the accused need not attend court until the hearing date.

Criminal Courts of Justice – Summary Jurisdiction

In the CCJ accused persons who are charged with offences and who are legally represented do not need to attend court for their first remand and only need to attend when being sent forward for trial, entering a plea or attending for a hearing. Those without legal representation need to attend for every remand.

Courts 1,3 and 4 – Remand Courts
The work of these courts will be scheduled according to business to facilitate a throughput of people in the court building at a rate that respects public safety guidance. Business will be scheduled in these courts as follows:

10.30 – 11.30 New Bail Cases
11.30 – 12.15 New Custody Cases
12.00 – 13.00 New Remands  
14.00 – 16.00 Block Remand Matters

Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

 

Courts 2 and 18 – Hearing Courts
All cases block remanded in Courts 2 and 18 will be called at 10.30 each day and cases will be assigned new hearing dates.

All cases currently listed for hearing in Courts 2 and 18 will be written to in August 2020 and given scheduled times to attend for their hearings. Lists will be published and furnished to solicitors in advance of hearing dates with scheduled hearing times noted.

From 1st September 2020 all cases called on for hearing in remand courts will be remanded into a call over in either Court 2 or Court 18 as appropriate where a date will be fixed for the hearing of the matter. These call overs will be each Thursday afternoon at 10.30am.

Hearings will be allocated time slots. Prosecution and defence teams are asked to give as accurate an assessment of the time required for the hearing as possible. Adjournment of hearings that have been so allocated will only be granted in exceptional cases.

 

Court 8 – Summons matters
The maximum capacity of Court 8 is 27 including the Judge and Registrar. For this reason, all people whose case has been remanded during the COVID-19 response will be written to during August 2020 and given a time for their case to come before the court on the next remand date. We intend to schedule 20 people to attend court at 30 minute intervals from 10.30 to 14.45. Fines Enforcement matters will be dealt with at 14.00.

 

Court 55 – The Children Court – Summary Jurisdiction

Court 55 will implement a staggered listing system in place. The list commences at 10:30 with the short matters and will include new charge sheets and new summonses. The longer matters such as Section 75 applications will be dealt with at 11:30. The call over of the 2:00pm hearings will be at 12:00pm. The Solicitors have been asked to advise their clients that only one parent/responsible adult needs to attend Court during Covid times.
 

Chancery Street Courts – Civil Jurisdiction – Public Family Law

Court 44 will be the court to which all new child care business should be directed. Court 44 will conduct a remote call over of all business for the week ahead at 10.30 each Monday morning. and the presiding judge will schedule business between Court 44, 46 and Green Street for the week at that time.

Courts 44 and 46 will deal with all interlocutory matters and short hearings and business will be scheduled as much as possible. Court 46 will hear cases that are suitable for remote hearing. 

Green Street will be the court for cases that require a day or more and cases will be scheduled in advance, with a backup case listed should the scheduled case not go ahead for any reason. Green Street may also be available for shorter hearings that require greater capacity attendance only when absolutely necessary.

From 1st September 2020 Court 44 and Court 46 will sit elsewhere while necessary repairs are carried out on the Chancery Street building - this information will be updated when available.

 

Dolphin House – Civil Jurisdiction – Private Family Law

All family law cases, except those seeking relief for domestic violence and matters that have been between 16th March and 31st July 2020 assigned a hearing date, will on the 31st July 2020 be adjourned generally with liberty to re-enter. Interim Orders for access and maintenance will continue in force and orders for s.32 reports will continue to require compliance.

This step is being taken in circumstances where considerable time has passed since applications were lodged and recognising that circumstances of families may have changed in the interim.

Those applicants who wish to continue to have their cases heard may bring an application to re-enter the case on notice to the other party. In order to re-enter a matter the appropriate form (attached below) must be completed and returned to District Court Family Law Office, Dolphin House, East Essex Street, Dublin 2. The appropriate notice must also be served on the Respondent and/or the Respondent’s Solicitor.  Once the appropriate form is received in Dolphin House, the matter will be assigned a hearing date with a specific time slot.  The office will notify the parties of the assigned hearing date/allocated time.

All new applications received in Dolphin House from 1st August, 2020 fall outside of this requirement and will be listed in the normal way.

A separate entrance to the office will be opened at Dolphin House. Three courts will operate from Dolphin House from 1st September 2020 with one of the courts dedicated to hearing ex parte matters. The other two courts will deal with hearings on a scheduled basis hearing 2-3 cases at 45 minute intervals from 10.30 each morning. This will mean a decrease the number of cases that can be scheduled for hearing on a daily basis and parties are encouraged to come to agreement wherever possible. We hope that a fourth court will open from October 2020.

As space is at a premium we ask that practitioners take instructions before coming to court and as cases will be time allocated that parties have conducted settlement talks before court.

 

Court 23 – Civil Jurisdiction

With the exception of Small Claims matters and matters that already have an assigned hearing date, all other matters that were listed before Court 23 between 16th March, 2020 and 31st July, 2020 are hereby adjourned generally with liberty to re-enter.  In order to re-enter a matter the appropriate form (attached below) must be completed and returned to District Court Civil Office,  1st Floor, Áras Uí Dhálaigh, Inns Quay, Dublin 7 (It is important that the form attached is used).  The appropriate notice must also be served on the Defendant and/or the Defendant’s Solicitor. Once the appropriate form is received in the Civil Office, the matter will be assigned a hearing date with a specific time slot.  The office will notify the parties of the assigned hearing date/allocated time. All applications received in the Civil Office from 1st August, 2020 fall outside of this requirement and will be listed in the normal way.

Click here to download the Notice to re-enter a matter listed between 16th March 2020 and 31st July 2020 in Court 23.

Court 8 – Regulatory Enforcement

Business in Court 8 will be scheduled to take place in staggered intervals of 30 minutes each from 10.30am each day. The office will work with prosecutors to stagger lists and schedule cases for hearing, and prosecutors will then advise respondents of the times and dates on which they need to appear in court.

Where possible there will be a remote call over of cases where matters that are not proceeding can be struck out without the necessity of parties attending court.

 

Cloverhill District Court – Summary Jurisdiction

From 1st September 2020 one court will sit Tuesdays – Fridays at Cloverhill District Court. Efforts to ensure the safety and security of prisoners will continue to be put in place. We remind all practitioners the capacity of Courtroom 1 is 12 persons including the judge and registrar and ask that efforts are made to ensure that the capacity of the court room is respected at all times.

 

Blanchardstown District Court 1 and Court 2 – Summary Jurisdiction

Accused persons who are summoned or charged with offences and who are legally represented do not need to attend court for their first appearance and only need to attend when being sent forward for trial, entering a plea or attending for a hearing. Those without legal representation need to attend for every remand.

Court 1
The work of the court will be scheduled according to business to facilitate a throughput of people in the court building at a rate that respects public safety guidance. Business will be scheduled in these courts as follows:

10.30 – 11.30 New Bail Cases
11.30 – 12.15 New Custody Cases
12.00 – 13.00 New Remands 
14.00 – 16.00 Block Remand Matters/Scheduled hearings

Court 2 – Summons
The maximum capacity of Court 2 is XX including the Judge and Registrar. For this reason, all people whose case has been remanded during the COVID-19 response will be written to during August 2020 and given a time for their case to come before the court on the next remand date. 20 people will be scheduled to court at 30 minute intervals from 10.30 to 14.30.

Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

 

Dun Laoghaire District Court – Summary Jurisdiction

From 1st September 2020 all accused persons who are legally represented are excused from attending court save for attending for sending forward for trial on indictment, sentencing or for their case to be heard. Accused persons whose cases have been block remanded have been written to and given this advice.

The Court will commence at 10.30 and deal with new bail matters followed by custody matters/bail applications. Block remands and new remands will follow.

Cases where legal representative have indicated their client intends to enter an guilty plea will be remanded to a date and scheduled time where their client must attend for facts to be heard and for sentencing. Cases where legal representatives have indicated their client pleads not guilty will be remanded to a list to fix a hearing date when a scheduled hearing date will be fixed. The court will actively manage the numbers of accused persons required to attend court on each day set whether for hearing, plea or book of evidence.

Summons matters will be dealt with as usual each Thursday. Those summoned who have legal representation will not be required to attend for their first appearance and need only attend as scheduled for sentence/penalty where a plea is indicated or for a scheduled hearing as required.

Civil & Enforcement matters will continue to be scheduled on one Thursday each month. Practitioners are advised to contact the court office in September for further details in this regard.

 

Tallaght District Court – Summary Jurisdiction

From 1st September 2020 all accused persons who are legally represented are excused from attending court save for attending for sending forward for trial on indictment, sentencing or for their case to be heard. Accused persons who are not represented should attend court as remanded.

The Court will commence at 10.30 and will first deal with matters where accused persons are not represented. The Court will then deal with new bail matters, followed by custody matters/bail applications. Block remands and new remands will follow later in the list and will be followed by short hearings scheduled from 12 noon.

Each Thursday the court will carry out a call over of cases set down for hearing the following week to ensure that cases are ready to proceed, accused persons are generally excused from attending this call over. Cases remanded for accused persons to be served with books of evidence and sent forward for trial on indictment will also be deal with at each Thursday court and accused persons are required to attend. Each Thursday and the court will hear cases set down for hearings in excess of 45 minutes. These hearings will be scheduled and accused persons will be expected to attend.

Each Friday the court will deal with enforcement matters, Restorative Justices matters and certain scheduled hearings. 

 

Swords/Balbriggan District Courts – Summary & Civil Jurisdictions
Swords District Court – Summary Jurisdiction

In Swords criminal business will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the safe capacity of the Court. Applications for Search Warrants etc. will be heard before Court sessions in Chambers for safety reasons. The business of the court will be scheduled as follows:

Mondays – Hearing Days
Tuesdays - 10.30 – 11.00 New Bail/Custody matters/Remands
                    11.00 onwards Summons matters
Wednesdays - 10.30 – 11.00 New Bail/Custody matters/Remands
                    

Swords District Court – Civil Jurisdiction – Private Family Law  
Cases will be called into Court on an individual basis to ascertain their status. Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Family members or friends of Parties will not be allowed into the Courtroom.

Swords District Court – Civil Jurisdiction
Civil matters will be dealt with on the third Tuesday of each month and the following schedule will be followed:

10.30 Debt Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court. Where a respondent is to be examined as to his/her means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and scheduled to a time slot for hearing.
10.45 Regulatory Enforcement cases – the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily. Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.
11.00 Civil Claims – hearings.

12.00 Small Claims - hearings.

 
Balbriggan District Court – Summary Jurisdiction

In Balbriggan criminal business will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the safe capacity of the Court. Applications for Search Warrants etc. will be heard before Court sessions in Chambers for safety reasons.

10.30 – 11.00 New Bail/Custody matters/Remands
11.00 onwards Summons matters
 

Balbriggan District Court – Civil Jurisdiction – Private Family Law  
Cases will be called into Court on an individual basis to ascertain their status. Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Family members or friends of Parties will not be allowed into the Courtroom.

 

Balbriggan District Court – Civil Jurisdiction
Civil matters will be dealt with on the third Tuesday of each month and the following schedule will be followed:

10.30 Debt Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court. Where a respondent is to be examined as to his/her means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and scheduled to a time slot for hearing.
10.45 Regulatory Enforcement cases – the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily. Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

11.00 Civil Claims

 

 

District No.22 District Court Area of Carlow

General

1.      This Plan is subject to change as safety advice evolves.  It is also subject to amendment at short notice to accommodate other courts within Carlow Courthouse, such as, for example, Carlow Circuit Court.

2.      From 2nd September 2020, normal business will recommence insofar as possible in District No. 22 at Carlow Courthouse.

3.      The number of people who can safely attend at Carlow Courthouse, excluding judges and registrars is 60. The number of people that can be present within the District Court courtrooms, excluding the judge and the registrar is 16 and 12, respectively.

4.      Unless otherwise directed by the assigned judge, Carlow District Court will recommence sitting in accordance with its normal calendar, that is to say, at Carlow Courthouse on the first four Wednesdays in each month and on the first three Thursdays in each month. 

 

Criminal business

5.      Criminal business at Carlow Courthouse will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects the subsisting public safety guidance.  At present this will involve the continuation of the division of the business of the day into a 10:30am list, followed by the 11:00am list, 12:30pm list, 2:00pm list and the 3:00pm list.

6.      Application for warrants will be held in open court with the DAR switched on, in the usual way, and if it becomes necessary to ask questions that might compromise the content of the application then the court may be cleared.  Such applications may be heard throughout the day as required, subject always to the subsisting safety advice.  Urgent applications will be given priority.

7.      Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times, and to leave the courthouse and the curtilage thereof immediately after their case is concluded.  Consultations about court outcomes should occur elsewhere.

8.      Where practicable, court presenters are asked to have DPP directions and disclosure ready for the first court appearance.  Summary cases that can be dealt with there and then will be disposed of.  Where disclosure is appropriate the case will be adjourned, subject to available dates, for about 4 weeks for entry of a guilty plea or the reservation a hearing date.  The disclosure should be furnished within about 2 weeks, giving the accused and their solicitor about 2 weeks to consider the correct course.  If a hearing date is required the accused does not need to attend, but they must be available by telephone so that the solicitor can inform them of the hearing date and ensure the accused will be in attendance.

9.      Applications to vacate hearing dates will only be granted in wholly exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with the Practice Direction.  Accused persons are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date the trial may proceed in their absence, and if convicted a warrant may issue for their arrest.

 

Family law

10.    At 10:00am on each family law sitting the registrar or the judge will conduct a call over of the list with practitioners only present.  Cases with lay litigants will be left stand until 10:30am.  It is important that accurate time estimates are indicated to the registrar and/or judge.   The judge will sit at 10:30am and assign times to the cases as appropriate. The judge will also assign times to the lay litigant cases.  Cases where there is no appearance by the applicant by 10:30am may be struck out.  In general, consent matters and short matters will be taken first, followed by lengthier matters.  If it is anticipated that a case may take more than one hour, then the judge should be notified as a special hearing date may need to be assigned.

11.    Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days, together with confirmation in writing that they have explained the issue of contempt, and the consequences thereof, to their clients in respect of any breach of terms made a rule of court.

12.    Parties are asked not to bring family members, supporters or friends to court.

 

Child care

13.    Child care cases will continue to be listed on the 2nd Friday of each month.  Hearing dates will be assigned from time to time as required.

14.    Applications for extensions of interim orders that are on consent may be dealt with by affidavit exhibiting the relevant reports.  The reports should be emailed to the Court Office for the attention of the judge so that they can be read in advance.

15.    Where interim applications are not on consent, legal representatives for the respondent must be furnished with the reports in advance and the required witnesses must be agreed. 

16.    Parties should be encouraged not to attend where there is consent.  Respondents should be reassured that their non-attendance in such circumstances has been requested by the court and that it will not reflect poorly upon them.

17.    If the respondent is not represented, then the content of the reports should be read to the respondent, but they should not be furnished with the report.  At the call over, the case will be assigned a hearing time by the judge.

18.    Practice and procedure will be in accordance with the subsisting Practice Direction.

 

Civil matters

19.    Civil matter will be heard on the 1st Thursday of each month in Carlow Courthouse, in accordance with the calendar for the District as published on the Court Service website.

20.    In debt enforcement cases where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court.  Where a respondent is to be examined as to means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and may be scheduled to a time for hearing.

21.    In regulatory enforcement cases the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily.  Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

 

Children court

22.    Children and their guardians should attend court in the same manner as cases involving adults, as set out above.  The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the sole purpose of the court sitting is to adjourn for a report from the Probation Service.

23.    The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the solicitor for the child is aware that the report is not ready, provided the delay is not in any way attributable to the child.  In such circumstances the matter will be adjourned to a suitable date for finalisation.

 

Geraldine Carthy

Judge of the District Court

Date: 30 July 2020

 

 

 

District 19 – Cork City

Court 1 Anglesea Street – Summary Jurisdiction 

The work of the court will be scheduled according to business to facilitate a throughput of people in the court building at a rate that respects public safety guidance. Business will be scheduled as follows:

Monday - Thursday

10.30 – 11.30 New Bail matters and Video Link cases
11.30 – 13.00 New Custody matters and Remands
14.00 – 16.00 Sentencing / Hearings / Road Traffic Summons (Thursday)

Friday
10.30 – 11.00 Applications 
11.00 onwards – lengthy hearings

Only persons who have been summoned to court or who have business listed before the courts should attend at court buildings for the foreseeable future. Exceptions will be made for advocates or support workers to attend with vulnerable witnesses.

 

Court 3 Anglesea Street – Summary Jurisdiction

In Court 3 business will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance.

Monday - Traffic Court. 
10.30am  - 50 Summonses scheduled
11.30am - 50 Summonses scheduled
12.30 pm - 25 Summonses scheduled

14.00 -  Contested cases.

Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

Tuesdays and Thursdays
Criminal Hearings will be heard on Tuesdays and ThursdaysThe court will commence at 10.30 as usual and cases will be scheduled according to time slots. Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Accused people are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.

Wednesday 
Regulatory Enforcement cases will be heard at 10.30 – the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily. Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court. On Wednesday afternoons the Court will deal with Local Authority Parking matters where 100 Summonses will be issued for 2pm and 75 Summonses will be issued for 3pm.

 

Court 6 Washington Street  - Civil  Jurisdiction

Civil matters will be heard each Friday according to the following schedule to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance

10.30 Debt Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court.
11.00 Civil Claims – Motions or for mention matters only.
12.00 Small Claims
12.30 Contested Civil Claims
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Civil Claims Hearings

 

Court 4 Washington Street – Civil Jurisdiction – Private & Public Family Law 

Family law business will be conducted Monday through Thursday each week. The court will deal with hearings on a scheduled basis hearing 2 cases at 15 minute intervals from 10.30 each morning.

On Mondays and Wednesdays there will be a call over of public family Law cases at 12 noon when cases will be scheduled for hearing in the afternoon.  

Tuesdays and Thursdays are ordinary private family law days. Ex parte applications and new matters will be scheduled for hearing of 2 cases at 15 minute intervals from 10.30 each day. Private or public family law cases that require longer hearings will be scheduled for hearing on these afternoons.
 

Court 4 Washington Street – Summary Jurisdiction –  The Children Court

The Children Court will be convened each Friday at 10.30 at Washington Street Court House. Cases will be scheduled with one third of cases each at 30 minute intervals from 10.30. An Garda Síochana and the Court Service will advise children/young people and their parents or guardian of the time at which they are due to appear.
 

His Honour Judge Colin Daly

President of the District Court

31st July 2020

 

 

District Court Area Donegal District No.4

General

  • Judge Kelly directed that face coverings will be mandatory in his courtrooms with immediate effect. Signage to this effect will be displayed outside of the courtrooms.
  • The Court Service will investigate the possibility of having someone at the door taking names and asking appropriate questions regarding Covid19.

 

Criminal matters

  • In line with the Business Recovery Road map issued by the President of the District Court criminal lists will be staggered and time slots assigned with a view to restricting the number of people being in the courtroom and building at any one time.
  • The Court Service will issue the Criminal list on the Thursday morning of each week for the following Monday Court with time slots assigned for pages of the list.
  • The general running of the list will be as per table below:

Type/Page

Time slots

Comments

Warrants/Video-Link Bench Warrants

10am to 10.30am

 

Pages 1-3

10.30 to 11.30

 

Pages 3-5

11.30 to 12.30

 

Pages 6-7

12.30 to 1pm

 

Lunch 1pm to 2pm

 

 

Pages 8-11

2pm to 3.pm

 

Pages 12-15

3pm to 4pm

 

 

  • The Court will start at 10am from September
  • Defendants represented by a solicitor are not required to attend at court unless explicitly requested to do so by An Garda Siochana or if the matter is proceeding by way or plea or contest.
  • The 3rd Friday of each month will be used as an extra day for adjourned criminal matters with a view to ascertaining if the case will proceed on a plea or require a hearing date.
  • Hearing will be assigned time slots for the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month….the 1st Friday will be used for matters not reached on the 1st or 3rd Thursday.
  • A call over of hearing cases will be held by the Judge in to morning to finalise the hearing list for the day.
  • Currently there are circa 1500 Garda summonses awaiting a court date, the Court Service will work with An Garda Siochana to ascertain the most efficient way to schedule these summonses.
  • Summonses appearing before the court on the first occasion will be adjourned for 3 months in order to allow for disclosure to be complied with within 6 weeks and then for Solicitors to take instructions within the remaining 6 weeks.
  • If there are ex-parte Domestic Violence application on a criminal day these matters will be heard at 2pm.
  • When sittings recommence in Buncrana Courthouse it is suggested 1 day a month be set aside for the backlog of contested cases.

Family Law

  • The call-over conducted by Court Service staff will resume from September at 10am on the morning of the 2nd Wednesday.
  • CFA matters will be dealt with from 10.30am to 11am with a view to having all CFA matters listed for the 4th Thursday.
  • Consent matters can be e-mailed to the Court Office and an order will issue with the consent terms attached, e-mail to letterkennycourtoffice@courts.ie
  • Lay litigant cases will be called at the start of each list.
  • The Court Service and Judge will explore the possibility of remote call overs/ remote hearings.
  • The 2nd Friday of each month will be assigned to matters not reached on the Wednesday of that week.
  • The 4th Thursday will commence at 10am for CFA matters other matters will be assigned a time slot from 11am.
  • It is hoped the CFA Solicitors, Legal Aid Board Solicitors and private practitioners can meet the day in advance to discuss reports etc.
  • The Tannoy will only be used to call persons not represented when directed by the Judge.
  • CFA consent matters will be accepted by e-mail once approved by Judge Kelly after researching a High Court Judgment. .

 

Other matters

  • Probation Service at present are not attending at Court so requests for reports will be e-mail by Court staff.
  • Probation officers are carrying out reports but due to the current restrictions most of the interviews are carried out by phone.

 

Judge Paul Kelly

The District Court

 

District Number 7 Galway

1. Usual business will resume as much as possible in District Number 7 from 1st of September in Galway, Doire an Fhéich, Clifden and Cill Ronain

2. The number of people who can safely attend at Galway District Court is 19, Doire an Fhéich District Court is 14, Clifden District Court is 18 and Cill Ronain District Court is 8 (excluding the Judge and Registrar)

3. In this District the courts sits at 10.30 am in Galway and Doire and Fhéich, 11:00am in Clifden and 12 noon in Cill Ronain

4. In Galway District court criminal business will be scheduled in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the limits set out at 2 above.

10.00– 10.30 Video Link cases, , Urgent Domestic Violence Applications (search warrants etc will be heard in court for safety concerns)

10.30 – 11.30 Summons cases
11.30 – 12.00 custody cases and summons cases
12.00 – 1.00 Charge Sheets

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Remaining Matters and hearings.

Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

An Garda Siochana are asked to have DPP directions and a disclosure pack ready for the first court appearance. Summary cases will be remanded and on the second court appearance a plea should be entered or a hearing date scheduled by date and time. If a plea of not guilty is to be entered on the second appearance then the accused need not attend court until the hearing date. Bench warrants will not issue for offences under Section 4 or Section 5 of the Public Order Act, 1994.Should a defendant not appear on the first date, the case will be adjourned for the State to notify of the adjourned date, and will proceed in their absence on the next date.The issue of bench warrants will be kept to a minimum in so far as is practicable.

Criminal Hearings will be heard not before 2pm at each criminal sitting of Galway District Court. The court will commence at 10.30 as usual and cases will be scheduled according to time slots. Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Accused people are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.

When cases are adjourned to a special sitting of the District Court for hearing, should there not be availability at Galway Courthouse, the Courthouse at Doire an Fhéich will be used in order to facilitate such hearings.

5. In Galway District Court family law business will be conducted as follows:

Call Over of Cases – there will be a call over of cases where both parties are represented at 10am on the scheduled family law day.

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day the cases involving lay litigants only will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing on the next available family law day.

On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled and when a consent order cannot be attained. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.

6. In Galway District Court child care matters will be dealt with at 2:30pm

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the child care day the cases involving lay litigants will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing during the day.

Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.

7. In Galway District Court civil matters will be conducted as follows:

10.30 Civil Claims – consent orders will be taken and matters seeking a hearing date will be allocated a hearing at the next available date

11:00 Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court. Where a respondent is to be examined as to his/her means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and scheduled to a time slot for hearing.

8. In Galway District Court the children court will be conducted as follows:

12 noon:  On the day of the children court new matters will be dealt with first. Matters remanded from an earlier date will be remanded according to specific times when the young person and their parent will be expected to attend
 

Judge Mary Fahy

Judge of the District Court

 

District No 9 - Athlone, Mullingar and Longford
Plan for Safely Resuming Court Business

  1. Usual business will resume as much as possible in  District No 9, Westmeath from 1st of September in Athlone, Mullingar and Longford.
     
  2. The number of people who can safely attend at Athlone D.C. at any time is 32 and the number of people who can safely be present in Athlone District Court at any time (excluding the Judge and Registrar) is 16. 

    The number of people who can safely attend at Mullingar D.C. at any time is 47 and the number of people who can safely be present in Mullingar District Court at any time (excluding the Judge and Registrar) is 22.

    The number of people who can safely attend at Longford D.C. at any time is 60 and the number of people who can safely be present in Longford district Court at any time (excluding the Judge and Registrar) is 20.
     
  3. In this District the courts sits at Athlone on the first, second, third and fourth Wednesday of the month as well as the first Friday and the third Monday. 

    In Mullingar the Court sits on the first, second, third and fourth Thursday of the month as well as the second and fourth Friday and the fourth Monday.

    In Longford the court sits first, second, third and fourth Tuesday of the month as well as the third Friday and the second Monday of each month.

     
  4. In Athlone, Mullingar and Longford criminal business will be scheduled as set out below in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the limits set out at 2 above. It is to be noted that the times scheduled hereunder are approximate only and subject to review on a regular basis. We are in unprecedented territory in terms of staggering District Court criminal lists and it will take time to get an acceptable balance in terms of ensuring the health and safety of all in attendance in the courtroom and its environs and the smooth running of the court list. The very nature of District Court criminal applications, Charge Sheets  and Summonses can be dealt with in a matter of minutes or can take up to 15/20 minutes at least if the case is for hearing. This will not be known until the actual court date. It is anticipated that cases for hearing will be scheduled for a specific time and date in agreement with the District Court Judge, court presenter and solicitor for the accused. Set out hereunder are approximate times and are subject to review on a regular basis:

    10.30am – 10.45am: Video Link(Where there is no Video Link, criminalapplications shall commence at 10.30am)
    10.30am – 10.45am: Applications
    10.45am –11.15am Charge Sheets (Group 1)
    11.15am – 12 noon Charge Sheets (Group 2)
    12noon - 12.30pm Summonses /Callover for Hearing of Cases
    12.30pm – 1pm Young Persons
    2pm Onwards Summonses

    Charge Sheets will be put into groups based on the number of charge sheets coming up on the list. Each group will be given a time slot taking into account the capacity of the courtroom, the accused and the solicitor acting for the accused.

    Summonses in the afternoon will be similarly grouped but based on the prosecuting garda and scheduled as such when cases are being scheduled locally.

    Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

    An Garda Siochana are asked to have DPP directions and a disclosure pack ready for the first court appearance. Summary cases will be remanded and on the second court appearance a plea should be entered or a hearing date scheduled by date and time. If a plea of not guilty is to be entered on the second appearance then the accused need not attend court until the hearing date.
     
  5. In Athlone D.C. family law business is dealt with on the third Monday of each month and  will be conducted as follows:
    10.30 – 10.45 Criminal Matters / Callover
    10.45-11.45 Domestic Violence
    11.45-12 noon Maintenance / Arrears of Maintenance
    12noon – 12.30 CFA
    12.30 Onwards Guardianship of Infants Act

    In Mullingar D.C. family law business is dealt with on the fourth Monday of each month andwill be conducted as follows:
    10.30 – 10.45 Criminal Matters / Callover
    10.45-11.45 Domestic Violence
    11.45-12 noon Maintenance / Arrears of Maintenance
    12noon – 12.30 CFA
    12.30 Onwards Guardianship of Infants Act

    In Longford D.C. family law business is dealt with on the second Monday of each month and will be conducted as follows:
    10.30 – 10.45 Criminal Matters / Callover
    10.45-11.45 Domestic Violence
    11.45-12 noon Maintenance / Arrears of Maintenance
    12noon – 12.30 CFA
    12.30 Onwards Guardianship of Infants Act

    Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

    Child Care and other family law cases that require a datefor hearing will be given in agreement with the District Court Judge and the Solicitors for the parties

    On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.
     
  6. In Athlone D.C. civil matters are dealt with on the first Friday of each month and will be conducted as follows:
    a.10.30- 11.30 Criminal
    b.11.30 – 12 noon Summons requesting Debtor to attend
    c.12 noon – 12.30 Variation / Failure to comply
    d.12.30 Onwards Civil claims/ For Hearings / Motions/Small Claims

    In Mullingar D.C. civil matters will be dealt with on the fourth Friday of each month andwill be conducted as follows:
    a.10.30- 11.30 Summons requesting Debtor to attend
    b.11.30am – 12Noon Variation / Failure to comply
    c.12 Noon Onwards Civil claims/ For Hearings / Motions/Small Claims

    In Longford D.C. civil matters will be dealt with on the third Friday of each monthwill be conducted as follows:
    a.10.30- 12 Noon  Criminal
    b.12 Noon  Onwards Civil claims/ For Hearings / Motions/Small Claims

Judge Seamus Hughes
Judge of the District Court
21st July 2020

 

District No.22 District Court Area of Kilkenny

General

1.      This Plan is subject to change as safety advice evolves.  It is also subject to amendment at short notice to accommodate other courts within Kilkenny  Courthouse, such as, for example, Kilkenny Circuit Court, Central Criminal Court, High Court Personal Injuries & Appeals & Insolvency for the South East.

2.      From 1 September 2020, normal business will recommence insofar as possible in District No. 22 at Kilkenny Courthouse.

3.      The number of people who can safely attend at Kilkenny courthouses, excluding judges and registrars is 108 respectively. The number of people that can be present within the District Court courtroom, excluding the judge and the registrar is 25, respectively.

4.      Unless otherwise directed by the assigned judge, Kilkenny district court will recommence sitting in accordance with its normal calendar, that is to say, at Kilkenny courthouse on the first four Mondays and Tuesdays in each month and on the fourth Thursday in each month. 

 

Criminal business

5.      Criminal business at Kilkenny will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects the subsisting public safety guidance.  At present this will involve the continuation of the division of the business of the day into a 10:30am list, 11:00am list, followed by the 12:00pm list, and in the afternoon a 2:00pm & 3:00pm list.

6.      Video link cases will be heard at 10:30am before any other business non-urgent business.

7.      Application for warrants will be held in open court with the DAR switched on, in the usual way, and if it becomes necessary to ask questions that might compromise the content of the application then the court may be cleared.  Such applications may be heard throughout the day as required, subject always to the subsisting safety advice.  Urgent applications will be given priority.

8.      Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times, and to leave the courthouse and the curtilage thereof immediately after their case is concluded.  Consultations about court outcomes should occur elsewhere.

9.      Where practicable, court presenters are asked to have DPP directions and disclosure ready for the first court appearance.  Summary cases that can be dealt with there and then will be disposed of.  Where disclosure is appropriate the case will be adjourned, subject to available dates, for about 6 weeks for entry of a guilty plea or the reservation a hearing date.  The disclosure should be furnished within about 4 weeks, giving the accused and their solicitor about 2 weeks to consider the correct course.  If a hearing date is required the accused does not need to attend, but they must be available by telephone so that the solicitor can inform them of the hearing date and ensure the accused will be in attendance.

10.    Applications to vacate hearing dates will only be granted in wholly exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with the Practice Direction.  Accused persons are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date the trial may proceed in their absence, and if convicted a warrant may issue for their arrest.

 

Family law

11.    At 10:00am on each family law sitting the registrar or the judge will conduct a call over of the list with practitioners only present.  Cases with lay litigants will be left stand until 10:30am.  It is important that accurate time estimates are indicated to the registrar and/or judge.   The judge will sit at 10:30am and assign times to the cases as appropriate. The judge will also assign times to the lay litigant cases.  Cases where there is no appearance by the applicant by 10:30am may be struck out.  In general, consent matters and short matters will be taken first, followed by lengthier matters.  If it is anticipated that a case may take more than one hour, then the judge should be notified as a special hearing date may need to be assigned.

12.    Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days, together with confirmation in writing that they have explained the issue of contempt, and the consequences thereof, to their clients in respect of any breach of terms made a rule of court.

13.    Parties are asked not to bring family members, supporters or friends to court.

 

Child care

14.    Please refer to Plan for Carlow District Court.

Civil matters

15.    Civil matters will be heard every fourth Tuesday of the month within the District, in accordance with the calendar for the District as published on the Court Service website.

16.    In debt enforcement cases where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court.  Where a respondent is to be examined as to means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and may be scheduled to a time for hearing.

17.    In regulatory enforcement cases the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily.  Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

 

Children court

18.    Children and their guardians should attend court in the same manner as cases involving adults, as set out above.  The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the sole purpose of the court sitting is to adjourn for a report from the Probation and Welfare Service.

19.    The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the solicitor for the child is aware that the report is not ready, provided the delay is not in any way attributable to the child.  In such circumstances the matter will be adjourned to a suitable date for finalisation.


Judge Geraldine Carthy
The District Court

31st July 2020

 


 

District 13 Limerick City & County

Court 6, Mulgrave Street Court House, Limerick City - Summary Jurisdiction

Accused persons who are charged with offences and who are legally represented do not need to attend court for their first remand and only need to attend when being sent forward for trial, entering a plea or attending for a hearing. Those without legal representation need to attend for every remand.

Local practitioners have agreed to direct their clients to attend at staggered times at 30-minute intervals during the day according to their position on the court list which is published in advance of each sitting.

eg. No.’s 1 - 20 on the court list to attend 10.30 am, and No’s 21-40 on the court list to attend at 11.00 and so on.

Only persons who have been summoned to court or who have business listed before the courts should attend at court buildings for the foreseeable future. Exceptions will be made for advocates or support workers to attend with vulnerable witnesses.

Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.  Accused persons are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.

Applications for relief under the Domestic Violence Act 2018 will be heard at 12.30.pm  each day.

The Children's Court will take place each Tuesday at 2.30 pm, again practitioners will advise their clients of the time at which they need to attend.

 

District Court, Merchants Quay, Limerick City – Civil Jurisdiction -  Private Family Law

All family law cases, except those seeking relief for domestic violence, ongoing arrears of maintenance and matters that have been dealt with between 16th March and 31st July 2020, will on the 31st July 2020 be adjourned generally with liberty to re-enter. Interim Orders for access and maintenance will continue in force and orders for s.32 reports will continue to require compliance.

This step is being taken in circumstances where considerable time has passed since applications were lodged and recognising that circumstances of families may have changed in the interim.

Those applicants who wish to continue to have their cases heard may bring an application to re-enter the case on notice to the other party. In order to re-enter a matter the appropriate form (attached below) must be completed and returned to District Court Family Law Office, Merchants Quay, Limerick. The appropriate notice must also be served on the Respondent and/or the Respondent’s Solicitor.  Once the appropriate form is received in Merchants Quay, the matter will be assigned a hearing date with a specific time slot.  The office will notify the parties of the assigned hearing date/allocated time.

All new applications received in Merchants Quay from 1st August, 2020 fall outside of this requirement and will be listed in the normal way.

Cases will be heard according to time slots allocated to each case on each day.

All Arrears of Maintenance matters, currently before the Court, will be heard on Friday 4th September, in a list to be issued (with time slots).

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On each family law day the cases involving lay litigants will have their cases listed per time slot as advised to the parties by the office and will proceed unless one or other is seeking legal representation when their cases will be scheduled for hearing on the next available family law day.

On the family law day parties are asked to attend only  at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.  Litigants and solicitors will be directed to enter the court by one door and exit another door. 

 

District Court, Merchants Quay Court House – Civil Jurisdiction - Public Family Law (Child Care) Every Wednesday

The list will be prepared in consultation with the solicitor for the Child & Family Agency and cases will be allocated time slots in accordance with the anticipated time each case is likely to take. The list will be furnished to all practitioners in advance of each Wednesday.

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

Cases involving lay litigants will be given time slots and if legal representation is required  their cases shall be scheduled for hearing and time slotted on the next childcare hearing dated.

On the child care day parties are asked to attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.

 

Newcastle West District Court – Summary Jurisdiction

The number of people who can safely be present  in the court room at Newcastle West is 12 at any time (including the Judge and Registrar). Criminal business will be scheduled in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the  capacity limits of the court room.

Accused persons who are charged with offences and who are legally represented do not need to attend court for their first remand and only need to attend when being sent forward for trial, entering a plea or attending for a hearing. Those without legal representation need to attend for every remand.

Local practitioners have agreed to direct their clients to attend at staggered times at 30 minute intervals during the day according to their position on the court list which is published in advance of each sitting. i.e. No.’s 1 - 20 on the court list to attend 10.30 am, and No’s 21-40 on the court list to attend at 11.00 and so on.

Only persons who have been summoned to court or who have business listed before the courts should attend at court buildings for the foreseeable future. Exceptions will be made for advocates or support workers to attend with vulnerable witnesses.

Criminal Hearings will be heard on 4th Tuesday of the month.  Please are to be listed for the 2nd Friday of the month.   Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.  Accused persons are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.

On the 3rd Tuesday of every month civil matters will be heard at 10.30 followed by Crime – Summons matters at 11.30.  Some criminal hearings may also be scheduled later on this day each month.

Children Court matters are dealt with at one o’clock on any day as needed and will be heard in camera.

 

Newcastle West District Court – Civil Jurisdiction – Family Law

Family law business will be conducted on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. Lists will be issued with time slots allocated to each case and parties are asked to attend promptly at their allocated time and to enter the court building by the door indicated and exit through the other door indicated to properly manage the numbers in the court room.


Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day the cases involving lay litigants will have their cases listed per time slot and will proceed unless one or other is seeking legal representation when their cases scheduled for hearing on the next available family law day.

On the family law day parties are asked to attend only at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court. 

 

Kilmallock District Court – Summary and Civil Jurisdiction

Sittings as scheduled will resume from 1st September 2020. There will be no changes to the order of business and measures to ensure public safety will be implemented and public health guidelines observed. A one way system of entry and exit to the building will be observed.

 

 

District Court Area of Roscommon District No.4

1. Usual business will resume as much as possible in District No. 4 from 1st of September in Roscommon, Castlerea, Ballaghaderreen, Strokestown, Ballinasloe, Loughrea and Tuam.
 

2. The number of people who can safely attend at Roscommon at any time is 41 and the number of people who can safely be present in Roscommon District Court at any time (excluding the Judge and Registrar) is 18.
 

3. In this District the courts sits at Roscommon Courthouse on the first and third Tuesday in each month at 10.30 a.m.

 

4.In Roscommon District Court criminal business will be scheduled in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the limits set out at 2 above.

10.30 – 11.30 Call-over of the main list (pleas/adjournments)

11.30 – 12:30 Custody cases/Execution of Bench Warrants
12:30 – 13:00 New Summons

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – end of dayHearings with allocated time slots
 

5. Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

An Garda Siochana are asked to have DPP directions and a disclosure pack ready for the first court appearance. Summary cases will be remanded and on the second court appearance a plea should be entered or a hearing date scheduled by date and time. If a plea of not guilty is to be entered on the second appearance then the accused need not attend court until the hearing date.

Criminal Hearings will be heard on  first and third Tuesday in each month. The court will commence at 10.30 as usual and cases will be scheduled according to time slots. Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Accused people are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.
 

6. In Roscommon family law business will be conducted as follows:

10:00 – 10:30am Call Over of Cases first and third Tuesday in each month.  The purpose of the call over is to establish the cases that are ready for hearing and to schedule them for hearing on the family law day according to time slots.

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day the cases involving lay litigants only will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing on the next available family law day.

On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.
Parties are asked not to attend Court unless a settlement cannot be reached

 

7. In Roscommon child care matters will be conducted as follows:

10:00am – 10:30am Call Over of Cases first and third Tuesday in each month.

The purpose of the call over is to establish the cases that may be dealt with by consent and to schedule contested cases on the child care day according to time slots.

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the child care day the cases involving lay litigants will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing during the day.

On the child care day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.

 

8. In Roscommon District Court civil matters will be conducted as follows:

10:00am - 10.30am Call Over of Cases first and third Tuesday in each month. Matters to be listed for hearing on Family Law/Civil court dates at allocated time slots

Debt Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court. Where a respondent is to be examined as to his/her means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and scheduled to a time slot for hearing.

Regulatory Enforcement cases – the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily. Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

 

9. In Roscommon District Court the children court will be conducted as follows:

On the day of the children court new matters will be dealt with first. Matters remanded from an earlier date will be remanded according to specific times when the young person and their parent will be expected to attend.

 

Judge James Faughnan

Judge of the District Court

22nd July 2020

 

 

District No. 24  - Waterford City District Court
 

1. Usual business will resume as much as possible in District No 24 from 1st of September in Waterford City District Court.
2. The number of people who can safely attend at Waterford Courthouse at any time is 75 and the number of people who can safely be present in Court No. 2 at any time (excluding the Judge and Registrar) is 18.

3. In this District the courts sits at Waterford each Monday (Civil, Licensing, Miscellaneous, Criminal Hearings), Tuesday (Crime – Charge Sheets, Criminal Hearings), Wednesday(Family Law) and Thursday(Crime – Summons, Criminal Hearings) each week for the first four weeks of the month.

4. In Waterford City District Court criminal business will be scheduled in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the limits set out at 2 above.

10.00– 10.30 Applications (search warrants etc will be heard in court for safety concerns)
10.30 – 11.00 New Custody Cases/Execution of Bench Warrants/Video Link
11.00 – 12.00 Remand/New Summons (50)
12.00 – 1.00 Remands & Adjournments/New Summons (50)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Tuesday (Hearing)/Thursday New Summons (50) (Hearing) Matters.
 

Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times, and to leave the courthouse and the curtilage thereof immediately after their case is concluded.Consultations about court outcomes should occur elsewhere.

Where practicable, court presenters are asked to have DPP directions and disclosure ready for the first court appearance.Summary cases that can be dealt with there and then will be disposed of.Where disclosure is appropriate the case will be adjourned, subject to available dates, for about 6 weeks for entry of a guilty plea or the reservation a hearing date.The disclosure should be furnished within about 4 weeks, giving the accused and their solicitor about 2 weeks to consider the correct course.If a hearing date is required the accused does not need to attend, but they must be available by telephone so that the solicitor can inform them of the hearing date and ensure the accused will be in attendance.

Criminal Hearings will be heard on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The court will commence at 10.30 as usual and cases will be scheduled according to time slots. Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Accused people are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.

5. In Waterford City District Court family law business will be conducted as follows:

First Four Wednesday’s of the Month with Child and Family Agency matters being heard on the 2nd Wednesday. The 1st and 3rd Wednesday Court cases will be allocated time slots according to category of application. Domestic Violence Applications to be listed between 10.30am and 11.45am, Guardianship Applications to be listed between 11.45am and 1.00pm and all Maintenance Applications to be listed for 2.00pm. Call Over of Cases – there will be a call over of cases at the start of each time slot to determine consent or short matters to be prioritised.  The 4th Wednesday shall be reserved for the hearing of any matter where it is indicated a substantial period of time is required for the hearing.
Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.

 

6. In Waterford City District Court child care matters will be conducted as follows:

Applications for extensions of interim orders that are on consent may be dealt with by affidavit exhibiting the relevant reports.  The reports should be emailed to the Court Office for the attention of the judge so that they can be read in advance.

Where interim applications are not on consent, legal representatives for the respondent must be furnished with the reports in advance and the required witnesses must be agreed.

Parties should be encouraged not to attend where there is consent.Respondents should be reassured that their non-attendance in such circumstances has been requested by the court and that it will not reflect poorly upon them.

If the respondent is not represented, then the content of the reports should be read to the respondent, but they should not be furnished with the report. On the child care day the cases involving lay litigants will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing during the day.

On the child care day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.
 

7. In Waterford City District Court civil and licensing matters will be conducted as follows:

The first four Mondays of each month:

10.30 Licensing Applications.

10.45 Debt Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court. Where a respondent is to be examined as to his/her means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and scheduled to a time slot for hearing.

11.00 Regulatory Enforcement cases – the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily. Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.
11.30 Civil Claims – Motions or for mention matters only.

12.00 Examination of Debtors/Regulatory Enforcement Hearings/Civil Claims Hearings

13.00 Lunch

 

8. In Waterford City District Court the children court will be conducted as follows:

On the 1st Monday of each month, save for Bank Holidays and where the 1st Monday of the month is a Bank Holiday the children court shall take place on the 2nd Monday of that month. On the day of the children court new matters will be dealt with first. Matters remanded from an earlier date will be remanded according to specific times when the young person and their parent will be expected to attend.

 

Judge Kevin Staunton
Judge of the District Court
24th day of July, 2020

 

District No.23 Wexford

General

This Plan is without prejudice to the content of the Practice Directions already in force in respect of Criminal matters and Childcare proceedings within the District.

This Plan is subject to change as safety advice evolves.  It is also subject to amendment at short notice to accommodate other courts within Wexford Courthouse, such as, for example, Wexford Circuit Court.

From 1 September 2020, normal business will recommence insofar as possible in District No. 23 at both Wexford and Gorey courthouses.

The number of people who can safely attend at Wexford and Gorey courthouses, excluding judges and registrars is 91 and 26, respectively. The number of people that can be present within the District Court courtrooms, excluding the judge and the registrar is 17 in each.

Unless otherwise directed by the assigned judge, Wexford district court will recommence sitting in accordance with its normal calendar, that is to say, at Wexford courthouse on the first four Mondays and Tuesdays, and the fourth Thursday in each month and Gorey will sit at Gorey courthouse on the first four Wednesdays and the first three Thursdays in each month. 

Criminal business

Criminal business at both venues will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects the subsisting public safety guidance.  The Court will commence at 10.30 am as usual.  New Summonses will be scheduled into various time slots from 11.30 am onwards. Video link cases will be heard at 10:30am before any other non-urgent business.

Application for warrants will be held in open court with the DAR switched on, in the usual way, and if it becomes necessary to ask questions that might compromise the content of the application then the court may be cleared.  Such applications may be heard throughout the day as required, subject always to the subsisting safety advice.  Urgent applications will be given priority.

Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times, and to leave the courthouse and the curtilage thereof immediately after their case is concluded.  Consultations about court outcomes should occur elsewhere.

Where practicable, court presenters are asked to have DPP directions and disclosure ready for the first court appearance.  Summary cases that can be dealt with there and then will be disposed of.  Where disclosure is appropriate the case will be adjourned, subject to available dates, for about 6 weeks for entry of a guilty plea or the reservation a hearing date.  The disclosure should be furnished within about 4 weeks, giving the accused and their solicitor about 2 weeks to consider the correct course.  If a hearing date is required the accused does not need to attend, but they must be available by telephone so that the solicitor can inform them of the hearing date and ensure the accused will be in attendance.

Applications to vacate hearing dates will only be granted in wholly exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with the Practice Direction.  Accused persons are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date the trial may proceed in their absence, and if convicted a warrant may issue for their arrest.

 

Family law

At 10:00am on each family law sitting the registrar or the judge will conduct a call over of the list with practitioners and lay litigants only present.  It is important that accurate time estimates are indicated to the registrar and/or judge. If it is anticipated that a case may take more than one hour, then the judge should be notified as a special hearing date may need to be assigned.

Cases where there is no appearance by the applicant by 10:30am may be struck out. 

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days, together with confirmation in writing that they have explained the issue of contempt, and the consequences thereof, to their clients in respect of any breach of terms made a rule of court.

In general, all consent matters and short matters will be taken first, followed by lengthier matters.  DV and CFA applications will be listed at 10.30 am, Maintenance at 11.45 am and Guardianship at 2.00 pm. 

Parties are asked not to bring family members, supporters or friends to court.

 

Child care

Child care cases will continue, subject to review, to be listed on the same days as family law cases.  Hearing dates will be assigned from time to time as required.

Applications for extensions of interim orders that are on consent may be dealt with by affidavit exhibiting the relevant reports.  The reports should be emailed to the Court Office for the attention of the judge so that they can be read in advance.

Where interim applications are not on consent, legal representatives for the respondent must be furnished with the reports in advance and the required witnesses must be agreed. 

Parties should be encouraged not to attend where there is consent.  Respondents should be reassured that their non-attendance in such circumstances has been requested by the court and that it will not reflect poorly upon them.

If the respondent is not represented, then the content of the reports should be read to the respondent, but they should not be furnished with the report.  At the call over, the case will be assigned a hearing time by the judge.

Practice and procedure will be in accordance with the subsisting Practice Direction.

 

Civil matters

Civil matter will be heard every second or third month, at both venues within the District, in accordance with the calendar for the District as published on the Court Service website.

In debt enforcement cases where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court.  Where a respondent is to be examined as to means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and may be scheduled to a time for hearing.

In regulatory enforcement cases the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily.  Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

 

Children court

Children and their guardians should attend court in the same manner as cases involving adults, as set out above.  The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the sole purpose of the court sitting is to adjourn for a report from the Probation and Welfare Service.

The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the solicitor for the child is aware that the report is not ready, provided the delay is not in any way attributable to the child.  In such circumstances the matter will be adjourned to a suitable date for finalisation.

 

John Cheatle
Judge of the District Court
Date: 23 September 2020

 

District No. 6 – Dundalk, Drogheda and Ardee

General

1.      This Plan is subject to change as safety advice evolves.  It is also subject to amendment at short notice to accommodate other courts within  Dundalk and Drogheda Courthouses, such as, for example, Dundalk Circuit Court.

2.      From 1st September 2020, normal business will recommence insofar as possible in District No. 6.  The scheduled start time for all court dates will be 10:30am rather than 10am.

3.      The number of people who can safely attend at Dundalk Courthouse in the public foyer areas is  54. The number of people that can be present within the courtrooms, excluding the judge and the registrar is 14 in Courtrooms 1 & 2, 15 Courtroom 3 and 16 in Courtroom 4 respectively.

4.      Unless otherwise directed by the assigned judge, Dundalk, Drogheda and Ardee District Courts will recommence sitting in accordance with the normal calendars as published on the Court Service website. 

Please note however that all Drogheda scheduled sittings as and from the 1st of September 2020 until the end of Michaelmas Term  will take place at Dundalk Courthouse.  This is to facilitate criminal trials for Counties Louth and Kildare taking place in Drogheda Courthouse.

Criminal business

5.      Unless attendance is necessary, where a Defendant is either on Bail or on Summons and is represented by a Solicitor there is no requirement for the Defendant to attend Court.  The matter can be dealt with by the Solicitor.  If attendance is necessary for election, return for Trial, for finalisation etc, the Defendant should be told to attend alone and wait outside the Court until called.  Disclosure should be requested and provided by the Court Presenters office and does not require an order of the Court.  A member of an Garda Síochána will be in attendance each Court day to check who is present and to call Defendants into court as required.  Lists will be provided to the Gardai by the Court Registrar at 10:00am each Court day.

6.      Criminal business at Dundalk Courthouse will be scheduled to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects the subsisting public safety guidance.  At present this will involve the continuation of the division of the business of the day.

7.         Application for warrants will be dealt with first and will be held in open court with the DAR switched on, in the usual way, and if it becomes necessary to ask questions that might compromise the content of the application then the court may be cleared.  Such applications may be heard throughout the day as required, subject always to the subsisting safety advice.  Urgent applications will be given priority.

8.      Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times, and to leave the courthouse and the curtilage thereof immediately after their case is concluded.  Consultations about court outcomes should occur elsewhere.

9.      Where practicable, court presenters are asked to have DPP directions and disclosure ready for the first court appearance.  Summary cases that can be dealt with there and then will be disposed of.  Where disclosure is appropriate the case will be adjourned, subject to available dates, for about 4 weeks for entry of a guilty plea or the reservation a hearing date.  The disclosure should be furnished within about 2 weeks, giving the accused and their solicitor about 2 weeks to consider the correct course.  If a hearing date is required the accused does not need to attend, but they must be available by telephone so that the solicitor can inform them of the hearing date and ensure the accused will be in attendance.

10.      Applications to vacate hearing dates will only be granted in wholly exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with the Practice Direction.  Accused persons are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date the trial may proceed in their absence, and if convicted a warrant may issue for their arrest.

Family law

11.    It is no longer possible to have consultations / negotiations on the scheduled Family Law days.  Parties should contact their Solicitors in advance of the Court day with their instructions.  At 10.30am on each family law sitting the registrar or the judge will conduct a call over of the list with practitioners only present.  Cases with lay litigants will be left stand until 10:40am.  It is important that accurate time estimates are indicated to the registrar and/or judge.   The judge will sit at 10:30am and assign times to the cases as appropriate. The judge will also assign times to the lay litigant cases.  Cases where there is no appearance by the applicant by 10:30am may be struck out.  In general, consent matters and short matters will be taken first, followed by lengthier matters.  If it is anticipated that a case may take more than one hour, then the judge should be notified as a special hearing date may need to be assigned.

12.    Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days, together with confirmation in writing that they have explained the issue of contempt, and the consequences thereof, to their clients in respect of any breach of terms made a rule of court.

13.    Parties are asked not to bring family members, supporters or friends to court.

Child care

14.    Child care cases will continue subject to review,  to be listed on the same days as family law cases.  Hearing dates will be assigned from time to time as required.

15.    Applications for extensions of interim orders that are on consent may be dealt with by affidavit exhibiting the relevant reports.  The reports should be emailed to the Court Office for the attention of the judge so that they can be read in advance.

16.    Where interim applications are not on consent, legal representatives for the respondent must be furnished with the reports in advance and the required witnesses must be agreed. 

17.    Parties should be encouraged not to attend where there is consent.  Respondents should be reassured that their non-attendance in such circumstances has been requested by the court and that it will not reflect poorly upon them.

18.    If the respondent is not represented, then the content of the reports should be read to the respondent, but they should not be furnished with the report.  At the call over, the case will be assigned a hearing time by the judge.

19.    Practice and procedure will be in accordance with the subsisting Practice Direction.

Civil matters

20.    Civil matters for Dundalk District Court will be heard on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and Drogheda District Court on the 3rd Tuesday in each month in Dundalk Courthouse, in accordance with the calendar for the District as published on the Court Service website.

21.    In debt enforcement cases where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court.  Where a respondent is to be examined as to means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and may be scheduled to a time for hearing.

22.    In regulatory enforcement cases the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily.  Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

Children’s court

23.    Children and their guardians should attend court in the same manner as cases involving adults, as set out above.  The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the sole purpose of the court sitting is to adjourn for a report from the Probation Service.

24.    The child or their guardian is not required to attend where the solicitor for the child is aware that the report is not ready, provided the delay is not in any way attributable to the child.  In such circumstances the matter will be adjourned to a suitable date for finalisation.

Eirinn Mc Kiernan

Judge of the District Court

Date: 17th August 2020

District No. 12 - Clare

1. Usual business will resume as much as possible in District No.12 from 1st of September in Ennis, Killaloe, Kilrush and Gort. For safety purposes the Killaloe District Court will continue to sit at the Courthouse in Ennis for the foreseeable future. This is subject to constant review.

2. The number of people who can safely attend at Ennis District Court at any one time is 17. The  number of people who can safely be present in Killaloe District Court (sitting at Ennis Courthouse) is 17 at any one time.

The number of people who can safely be present in Kilrush District Court is 16 at any one time.

The number of people who can safely be present in Gort District Court is 16 at any one time. These figures exclude the Judge and Registrar

3. In District No.12 the Courts sits on days as specified on the current Court Calendar

4. In District No.12, business  will be scheduled in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the limits set out at 2 above.


5. Criminal Court business

So far as it is practicable, Criminal Court business will be dealt with in the following order:-

  • Protection orders, search warrants etc. will be heard in court for safety concerns)
  • Video Link
  • Non Licensing applications
  • Licensing applications
  • Chargesheets
  • Summons

The manner of the disposal of the above will be to ensure compliance with Public Health Regulations and to minimise unnecessary attendance in Court where same does not prejudice the administration of Justice.

6. Civil Court business

Civil Business will be transacted in a manner which protects Public Health, minimises attendances in court, other than where such prejudices the rights of Litigants. By virtue of the variety of work involved it is not possible to provide a global schedule indicating the precise manner of dealing with same.

7. Family Law Court business.

For Family Law, we are moving to a system whereby all Family Law cases will be more precisely time slotted to minimise unnecessary attendance at the Courthouse on Family Law sitting days by Litigants.

Judge Patrick Durcan

Judge of the District Court
22nd July, 2020

District No.4 - District Court Areas of Roscommon, Castlerea, Harristown, Ballaghaderreen, Strokestown, Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Tuam.    

Plan for Safely Resuming Court Business

 

  1. Usual business will resume as much as possible in District No. 4 from 1st of September in Roscommon, Castlerea, Harristown, Ballaghaderreen, Strokestown, Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Tuam

 

  1. The number of people who can safely attend at Roscommon District Court is 18, Castlerea District Court is 12, Harristown District Court is 8, Ballaghaderreen District Court is 10, Strokestown District Court is 8, Loughrea District Court is 16, Ballinasloe District Court is 11 and Tuam District Court is 23 at any time (excluding the Judge and Registrar)
     
  2. In this District the courts sits at
  • Roscommon Courthouse on the first and third Tuesday in each month at 10.30 a.m.
  • Castlerea Courthouse on the first and third Friday in each month at 11.30 a.m.

(Summary Jurisdiction), fourth Friday in each month at 11.30 a.m (Civil/Family Law Jurisdiction)

  • Harristown (Remand Court only) on the first, second, third and fourth Friday in each month at 10.30 a.m.
  • Ballaghaderreen Courthouse on the second Friday in each month at 12.00 noon.
  • Strokestown Courthouse on the fourth Wednesday in each month at 10.30 a.m.
  • Loughrea Courthouse  on the first and second Wednesday in each month at 10.30 a.m. (Summary Jurisdiction) and on the third Thursday in each month at 10.30 a.m. (Civil/Family Law Jurisdiction)
  • Ballinasloe Courthouse on the first and fourth Thursday in each month at 10.30 a.m. (Summary Jurisdiction) and on second  Thursday in each month at 10.30 a.m. (Civil/Family Law Jurisdiction)
  • Tuam Courthouse -  on the second and fourth Tuesday in each month at 10.30 a.m.
  • and on the third Wednesday in each month at 10.30 a.m.  (Civil/Family Law Jurisdiction)

 

  1. In Roscommon, Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Tuam District Court  criminal business will be scheduled in order to ensure a throughput of people before the court at a rate that respects public safety guidance and the limits set out at 2 above.
     

10.00–10.30 Urgent Domestic Violence Applications (search warrants etc     

will be heard in court for safety concerns)

10.30 – 11.30 Call-over of the main list including Charge

  •  

11.30 – 12:30 Custody cases/Execution of Bench Warrants
12:30 – 13:00 New Summons

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – end of day Remaining matters and Hearings

 

  • Cases will be called at similar intervals in Castlerea, Strokestown and Ballaghaderreen District Courts
     
  • Harristown District Court is for remand purposes only.  Cases via video-link to commence at 10:30am

 

  1. Practitioners are asked to direct their clients to attend court at the relevant times.

    An Garda Siochana are asked to have DPP directions and a disclosure pack ready for the first court appearance. Summary cases will be remanded and on the second court appearance a plea should be entered or a hearing date scheduled by date and time. If a plea of not guilty is to be entered on the second appearance then the accused need not attend court until the hearing date.

    Criminal Hearings will be heard on the days as outlined. The court will commence at 10.30 as usual and cases will be scheduled according to time slots. Cases are expected to be ready when called. Applications to vacate or remand hearing dates will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Accused people are warned that if they fail to attend on a hearing date evidence may be heard in their absence and a warrant may issue for their arrest.
     
  2. In District Number 4  family law business will be conducted as follows:
     

A call -over of cases at 10:00am on scheduled family law days as set out above.  The purpose of the call over is to establish the cases that are ready for hearing and to schedule them for hearing on the family law day according to time slots.

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where both parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the family law day the cases involving lay litigants only will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing on the next available family law day.

On the family law day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.
 

 

  1. In District Number 4 child care matters will be conducted as follows:


A call -over of cases at 10:00am on scheduled family law days as set out above. The purpose of the call over is to establish the cases that may be dealt with by consent and to schedule contested cases on the child care day according to time slots.

Consent matters may be dealt with by email where parties have agreed terms and where solicitors undertake to lodge a signed and witnessed agreement in court within 3 days.

On the child care day the cases involving lay litigants will be called at 10.30 and their cases scheduled for hearing during the day.

On the child care day parties should only attend at court at the time their case is scheduled. Practitioners are asked to keep their arguments aligned to the time allocated to the case. Parties are asked not to bring family members or friends with them to court.

 

  1. In District Number 4  civil matters will be conducted as follows:

    A call -over of cases at 10:00am on scheduled civil days as set out above. Matters to be listed for hearing on Family Law/Civil court dates at allocated time slots

 

Debt Enforcement Cases – where the parties have reached agreement the respondent need not attend court. Where a respondent is to be examined as to his/her means the examination will be adjourned to the next date and scheduled to a time slot for hearing.

Regulatory Enforcement cases – the prosecutor should avoid bringing parties to court unnecessarily. Parties attending court will be admitted to the court only according to the safe capacity of the court.

 

  1. In District Number 4 the children court will be conducted as follows:


On the day of the children court new matters will be dealt with first. Matters remanded from an earlier date will be remanded according to specific times when the young person and their parent will be expected to attend.

Judge James Faughnan

Judge of the District Court
22nd July 2020