The current surge in the incidence rate of Covid 19 has resulted in unprecedented numbers of Courts Service staff, Judges, practitioners and witnesses unable to attend at Courthouses. This position is reflected across the justice sector. The President of the District Court, has therefore, decided to cancel courts 8 and 23 in the Four Courts for the week commencing the 4th April 2022.
A case which does not come into the defined category above, may be treated as urgent if a good case can be made. A party can email the relevant court office setting out the reasons why the case should be considered urgent. This should be on notice to the other side who must be given an opportunity to set out their position.
The Courts Service and Judiciary recognise that this is an evolving situation which will be kept under review on a regular basis, having regard to staffing levels, Judicial availability, Government announcements, and public health guidance.
Those attending court are requested to observe public health guidance regarding social distancing, hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette and use of face coverings while in the court building and the court room.
The Courts Service has set out guidance on how to access the courts safely and we expect all court users to observe this guidance. The Courts Service has put measures in place to help people safely navigate their way through court buildings and again we ask for your cooperation. In the event that courts cannot be conducted safely Judges may have to suspend cases until a safe environment can be achieved.
These measures will come into effect from Monday 4th April 2022 for the week.
Please note that apart from the above, absence of key personnel including judges, court staff, Gardai, Prison Service and practitioners may also result in individual cases being unable to proceed as planned. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption.
Judge Paul Kelly
President of the District Court.