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48 1936

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT, 1936

PART V.

The District Court.

Assignment of justices to districts.

46. —(1) Every person who is appointed to be a justice of the District Court shall be so appointed to be the justice assigned to a particular district.

(2) Any justice of the District Court may at any time, if he so consents but not otherwise, be transferred by the Minister for Justice from the district to which he is then assigned to another district and shall upon such transfer become and be assigned to such other district in lieu of the first-mentioned district.

(3) Nothing in this section shall apply to persons appointed under section 76 of the Principal Act to be temporary assistant justices of the District Court, or appointed under section 13 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1928 (No. 15 of 1928), to be assistant justices of the District Court.

Power to extend retiring age of justices in Irish-speaking districts.

47. —(1) Where a justice of the District Court, assigned to a district which includes an area in which the Irish language is in general use, is about to reach the age of retirement applicable to him by virtue of section 72 of the Principal Act and the Executive Council are satisfied that such justice possesses such knowledge of the Irish language as enables him to dispense with the assistance of an interpreter when evidence is given in that language and that such justice is not suffering from any physical or mental ill-health or disability which would render him unfit to continue to discharge efficiently the duties of his office, the Executive Council may, if they so think proper and notwithstanding anything contained in the said section 72 , by order made before such justice attains the said age continue such justice in office for such period (not exceeding five years) from and after he attains the said age as they shall think proper and shall specify in such order.

(2) Where a justice of the District Court has been continued in office under this section for a period not exceeding five years or for two or more periods not exceeding in the aggregate five years and the Executive Council are satisfied that such justice is not suffering from any physical or mental ill-health or disability which would render him unfit to continue to discharge efficiently the duties of his office, the Executive Council may, if they so think fit and notwithstanding anything contained in section 72 of the Principal Act, by order made before the expiration of the said period or the last of the said periods (as the case may be) continue such justice in office for such further period from and after such expiration as they shall think proper and shall specify in such order, but subject to the limitation that the aggregate of the periods for which such justice is continued in office under this section shall not exceed five years.

(3) Where a justice of the District Court is continued in office under this section, the provisions of the Principal Act and this Act in relation to the resignation, removal, and pension of a justice of the District Court shall continue to apply to such justice during the period or periods for which he is so continued in office.

Pension rights of justices of the District Court.

48. —(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, every justice of the District Court who, after the passing of this Act, resigns or otherwise for any cause vacates his office after having completed thirty or more years of service shall be entitled for his life to a pension amounting to two-thirds of his salary at the time he so resigns or vacates his office.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, every justice of the District Court who, after the passing of this Act, vacates his office owing to age or permanent infirmity after having completed ten or more years and less than thirty years of service shall be entitled for his life to a pension calculated at the rate of one-sixth of his salary at the time he so vacates his office with the addition of one-fortieth of his said salary for every completed year of service in excess of ten such years.

(3) Any person who, at the passing of this Act, holds office as a justice of the District Court may, by notice in writing sent to the Minister for Finance not more than three months after such passing, elect to retain the pension rights conferred by section 75 of the Principal Act, and, where any such person so elects, the foregoing sub-sections of this section shall not apply to him and, in lieu thereof, the said section 75 shall (notwithstanding the repeal of that section by this Act) continue to apply to such person subject to the following modifications, that is to say:—

(a) the amount of any pension to which a person becomes entitled under the said section 75 (as so applied) after the passing of this Act shall be ten per cent. greater than the amount of the pension to which he would have been entitled under the said section 75 if this section had not been enacted but subject to the limitation that the amount of such pension shall not, by virtue of the addition of such percentage, exceed one-half of the salary of such person at the time he vacates his office, and

(b) for the purposes of the subsequent provisions of this section, a pension payable under the said section 75 as applied by this section shall be deemed to be a pension under this section and the said provisions shall apply and have effect accordingly.

(4) A justice of the District Court who was formerly a District Justice under the District Justices (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 (No. 6 of 1923), shall be entitled to reckon for the purposes of this section or of section 75 of the Principal Act as applied by this Act his services as such District Justice as service as a justice of the District Court, and if he shall vacate his office as such justice of the District Court owing to age or permanent infirmity after less than twenty years' service (reckoned as aforesaid) he shall be deemed, for the purposes of this section, to have served in his said office for twenty years.

(5) Where a person in receipt of a pension under this section is employed in a situation remunerated out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, then—

(a) such pension shall not be payable in respect of any period during which the remuneration of such person in such situation is equal to or greater than his remuneration in his former office in respect of which he is entitled to such pension, and

(b) so much only of such pension shall be payable in respect of any period during which the remuneration of such person in such situation is less than his remuneration in his said former office as with his remuneration in such situation will amount to his remuneration in his said former office.

(6) This section shall apply and be deemed always to have applied to every justice of the District Court who was formerly a District Justice under the District Justices (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 (No. 6 of 1923), and vacated his office owing to age before the passing of this Act, and accordingly every such justice shall be entitled and be deemed always to have been entitled, as from the date on which he so vacated his office, to such pension as he would have been entitled to if this section had then been in force, but subject to such adjustment as the Minister for Finance shall direct in respect of pension, gratuity, and allowance paid to him under section 75 of the Principal Act before the passing of this Act.

(7) Section 15 of the Principal Act shall apply to pensions payable under this section in like manner as it applies to the pensions mentioned in that section.

Removal, etc., of justices of the District Court.

49. —(1) The Chief Justice, the President of the High Court, and the Attorney-General shall constitute an advisory committee for the purposes of this section, and when acting as such committee shall have full power to inquire into and investigate in such manner as they think proper, whether by examination of witnesses or otherwise, any matters referred to them under this section or in regard to which they are authorised by this section to take action.

(2) The Registrar of the Supreme Court shall act as secretary to the said advisory committee.

(3) The Minister for Justice or any member of the said advisory committee may at any time bring to the notice of the said advisory committee either of the following matters in relation to any particular justice of the District Court, that is to say:—

(a) the fitness of such justice to continue to hold his office having regard to his mental or physical health, or

(b) the conduct of such justice (whether in the execution of his office or otherwise) either generally or upon a particular occasion.

(4) The said advisory committee shall investigate every matter brought to their notice under the next preceding sub-section of this section and—

(a) if such matter is the fitness of a justice of the District court to continue to hold his office having regard to his physical or mental health, the said advisory committee shall either (as they or a majority of them shall think proper) decide that no action should be taken in the matter or decide that such justice is unfit as aforesaid to continue to hold his office, or

(b) if such matter is the conduct of a justice of the District Court, the said advisory committee shall either (as they or a majority of them shall think proper) decide that no action should be taken in the matter, or decide that such conduct amounts to misbehaviour in office or that it amounts to misconduct and (in either case) that such justice is, on account of such conduct, unfit to continue to hold his office.

(5) Whenever the said advisory committee decides under this section that a justice of the District Court is unfit to continue to hold his office, the said advisory committee shall make and send to the Executive Council a report of their said decision (including a statement of the nature of such unfitness), and upon receipt of such report—

(a) if the nature of the unfitness stated in such report is mental or physical infirmity, the Executive Council may, if they so think proper, give such justice an opportunity of vacating his office on account of such infirmity and, if he does not or cannot avail himself of such opportunity, remove such justice from office on account of such infirmity, or

(b) if the nature of the unfitness stated in such report is either misbehaviour in office or misconduct, the Executive Council may, if they so think proper, give such justice an opportunity of vacating his office and, if he does not avail himself of such opportunity, remove him from office on account of such misbehaviour in office or misconduct, as the case may be.

(6) Whenever a justice of the District Court is removed from office by the Executive Council under this section on account of mental or physical infirmity, he shall be deemed, for the purposes of pension, to have vacated his office owing to permanent infirmity.

(7) No decision of or report by the said advisory committee under this section shall be questioned or made the subject of proceedings in any Court.

(8) In this section the expression “justice of the District Court” includes an assistant justice appointed under section 13 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1928 (No. 15 of 1928), but does not include a person appointed under section 76 of the Principal Act to be a temporary assistant justice of the District Court or a person appointed under this Part of this Act to act temporarily as a justice of the District Court.

Salary of assistant justice of the District Court.

50. —(1) Whenever an assistant justice of the District Court appointed (whether before or after the passing of this Act) under section 13 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1928 (No. 15 of 1928), has or shall have completed five years' service as such assistant justice, the salary of eight hundred pounds per annum which he is entitled, under sub-section (4) of the said section 13, to receive shall become and be increased, as on and from the 1st day of April, 1936, or such completion (whichever is the later) to nine hundred pounds per annum.

(2) Whenever any such assistant justice as is mentioned in the foregoing sub-section of this section shall have completed ten years' service as such assistant justice, the increased salary of nine hundred pounds per annum which he is entitled, by virtue of the said foregoing sub-section, to receive shall become and be further increased to nine hundred and fifty pounds per annum.

(3) All salary payable to an assistant justice by virtue of this section shall be charged on and payable out of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof.

Appointment of persons to act temporarily as additional justices of the District Court.

51. —(1) Whenever it appears to the Executive Council that, owing to the temporary absence from duty for any cause of a justice of the District Court or an unusual and temporary increase in the business of the District Court in any district or any other cause, it is necessary, in order to prevent the work of the District Court getting into arrear either generally or in any particular districts or district, to increase temporarily the number of the justices of the District Court, one or more persons who are practising barristers or solicitors of six years' standing at least at the date of appointment may be appointed to act as a justice or justices of the District Court for such period as the Executive Council shall think proper in respect of each such person.

(2) Every person appointed under this section to act as a justice of the District Court may, during the period for which he is so appointed, be assigned by the Minister for Justice from time to time as occasion requires to any district, and every such person shall while so assigned to a district have, in relation to such district and concurrently with the justice permanently assigned to such district, all the privileges, powers, and duties for the time being conferred or imposed by law on the justice permanently assigned to such district.

(3) Every person appointed under this section to act as a justice of the District Court shall, during the period for which he is so appointed, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas such remuneration as the Minister for Justice shall, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, determine.

(4) Every person appointed under section 76 of the Principal Act to be a temporary assistant justice of the District Court who, at the passing of this Act, is holding office under such appointment shall continue to hold such office for the duration of such appointment in all respects as if this section had been in force at the date of such appointment and such appointment had been made thereunder.

Amendment of section 77 of the Principal Act.

52. —Paragraph A of section 77 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion at the end of the said paragraph of a new clause as follows, that is to say:—

“(v) in proceedings at the suit of the council of a county, a county or other borough, or an urban district, or the commissioners of a town or a board of conservators of fisheries or a drainage board constituted under the Drainage Improvement of Land (Ireland) Acts, 1863 to 1892, for the recovery of any sum not exceeding twenty-five pounds in respect of rates due to such council, commissioners or board.”

Amendment of section 79 of the Principal Act.

53. —Notwithstanding anything contained in section 79 of the Principal Act—

(a) any civil proceedings founded on contract which is within the jurisdiction of the District Court may be brought, heard, and determined (at the election of the plaintiff) either before and by the justice mentioned in that behalf in the said section 79 or before and by the justice for the time being assigned to the district wherein the contract is alleged to have been made, and

(b) any civil proceedings founded on tort which is within the jurisdiction of the District Court may be brought, heard, and determined (at the election of the plaintiff) either before and by the justice mentioned in that behalf in the said section 79 or before and by the justice for the time being assigned to the district wherein the tort is alleged to have been committed, and

(c) any civil proceedings in ejectment which is within the jurisdiction of the District Court may be brought, heard, and determined (at the election of the plaintiff) either before and by the justice mentioned in that behalf in the said section 79 or before and by the justice for the time being assigned to the district wherein the lands the subject of such proceedings are situate.

Justice of District Court acting for another justice at request of latter.

54. —(1) Where a justice of the District Court assigned to a particular district requests another justice of the District Court to exercise, during such period not exceeding seven days as such first-mentioned justice may specify, the privileges, powers, and duties for the time being conferred by law on such first-mentioned justice in relation to such district, such other justice may in addition to exercising the privileges, powers, and duties conferred by law on him in relation to the district to which he is for the time being assigned, exercise during the said period the privileges, powers, and duties for the time being conferred by law on such first-mentioned justice in relation to such first-mentioned district.

(2) The provisions of this section are in addition to and not in substitution for the provisions of section 15 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1928 (No. 15 of 1928).

Power of Circuit Court to release from recognisance.

55. —Whenever an order is made by the District Court binding a person to the peace or to good behaviour or to both the peace and good behaviour and requiring him to enter into a recognisance in that behalf, such person may, at any time within one month after he has entered into such recognisance in accordance with such order, and on giving seven days' notice to the officer of the Gárda Síochána in charge of the district in which such person resides, apply in a summary manner to the judge of the Circuit Court within whose circuit the courthouse in which such order was made is situate to be released from the obligations imposed on him by such order and such recognisance respectively, and on the hearing of such application such judge may, if he so thinks proper, release such person from such obligations or modify in such manner as such judge thinks proper all or any of such obligations, and may make such release or modification either absolutely or subject to conditions and, in particular, subject to such person entering in the District Court into a new recognisance in lieu of such first-mentioned recognisance.

Amendment of section 83 of the Principal Act.

56. —Notwithstanding anything contained in section 83 of the Principal Act, an appeal shall lie by leave of the High Court to the Supreme Court from every determination (pronounced on or after the date of the passing of this Act) of the High Court on a question of law referred to the High Court under that section.

Amendment of section 84 of the Principal Act.

57. Section 84 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution of the words “the courthouse in which such decision was given is situate” for the words “the district or any part of the district of the justice lies” now contained therein, and the said section shall be construed and have effect accordingly.

Amendment of section 18 of Courts of Justice Act, 1928 .

58. —Sub-section (3) of section 18 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1928 (No. 15 of 1928), is hereby amended by the substitution of the words “the courthouse in which such order was made is situate” for the words “the district or any part of the district of such justice lies” now contained therein, and the said section shall be construed and have effect accordingly.

Appeals in licensing and club cases.

59. —Notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment and, in particular, notwithstanding anything contained in section 18 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1928 (No. 15 of 1928), as amended by this Act, every appeal which lies to the Circuit Court from an order of the District Court in a criminal case, under the Licensing (Ireland) Acts, 1833 to 1927, or under the Registration of Clubs Acts, 1904 to 1927, shall lie to the judge of the Circuit Court within whose circuit is situate the licensed premises or the club premises on or in respect of which the offence the subject of such order was committed or to which such order otherwise relates.

Power to strike out with costs in cases of excess of jurisdiction.

60. —Where a civil proceeding is brought in the District Court which that court has not jurisdiction to hear and determine, the justice shall, as soon as such want of jurisdiction becomes apparent, order such proceeding to be struck out and may, if he thinks proper, make an order awarding to the defendant such costs as the court could have awarded if it had jurisdiction to try and determine such proceeding and either the plaintiff did not appear or appeared and failed to prove his demand.

Duration of decree or dismiss of District Court.

61. —Every decree and every dismiss made (whether before or after the passing of this Act) by the District Court in a civil proceeding shall continue and, in the case of every such decree or dismiss made before the passing of this Act, be deemed always to have continued to be in force and to have effect for so long as such decree or dismiss would so continue or have so continued if it had been a judgment of the High Court.

Power to Attorney-General to send forward for trial.

62. —(1) Where a person is brought before a justice of the District Court charged with an indictable crime, and such charge either cannot lawfully be or is not disposed of summarily by such justice, and such justice refuses to receive informations in relation to such charge or to send such person forward for trial on such charge, then and in every such case it shall be lawful for the Attorney-General to direct that such person be sent forward for trial to a specified Court to which such justice could lawfully have so sent such person.

(2) Whenever the Attorney-General gives a direction under this section that a person be sent forward for trial to any particular Court on any particular charge, the Attorney-General shall cause such direction to be communicated to the district court clerk for the district court area in which such person was brought before the District Court on such charge, and thereupon such direction shall have the same operation and effect in all respects as an order of a justice of the District Court sending such person forward for trial to such Court on such charge would have had, and all persons concerned shall act accordingly

(3) When a direction by the Attorney-General under this section has been communicated to the district court clerk in pursuance of the next preceding sub-section of this section, such district court clerk shall cause to be served on the person to whose trial such direction relates notice in writing stating that the Attorney-General has directed under this section that such person shall be sent forward for trial to a particular Court (which shall be specified in such notice) on a particular charge (which shall be similarly specified) and that such person is required to attend before the said Court at a specified time and place and there to stand his trial on the said charge.

(4) If a person on whom a notice has been served under the next preceding sub-section of this section fails to attend before the Court at the time and place specified in such notice, it shall be lawful for such Court, on proof of the service of such notice on such person not less than seven clear days before the day on which he is thereby required to attend before the said Court and of the service on such person of copies of the relevant depositions and particulars of all additional evidence intended to be adduced by the prosecution on the trial of such person, to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of such person and the bringing of such person before the said Court in custody.

Attendance of witnesses in civil cases.

63. —A justice of the District Court shall have the same powers of procuring the attendance of witnesses in the District Court in the exercise of his jurisdiction in civil cases as are vested in him in the exercise of his jurisdiction in criminal cases.

The Dublin Metropolitan Area and the Dublin district.

64. —(1) In this section—

the word “enactment” means an enactment contained in a British Statute or in an Act of the Oireachtas.

(2) The Minister for Justice may, if and when he thinks proper, by order declare that as on and from a specified day (in this section referred to as the appointed day) a specified district prescribed under section 68 of the Principal Act or under sub-section (3) of section 47 of the Court Officers Act, 1926 (No. 27 of 1926), shall be styled and known as the Dublin Metropolitan District.

(3) If and when the Minister for Justice makes such order, as is authorised by the next preceding sub-section of this section. the following provisions shall have effect as on and from the appointed day, that is to say:—

(a) the said Minister may, at any time or times, by order transfer the title “Dublin Metropolitan District” to any other district prescribed under the said section 68 or the said section 47 differing wholly or partially from the district to which such title was previously attached;

(b) so much of any Act of the Oireachtas as requires, expressly or by implication, that one of the districts so prescribed as aforesaid shall consist of or include or be delimited by reference to the Dublin Metropolitan area shall cease to have effect;

(c) every reference in section 72 or section 74 of the Principal Act to the Police District of Dublin Metropolis (now styled the Dublin Metropolitan Area) shall be construed as a reference to the Dublin Metropolitan District, and the said sections shall have effect accordingly;

(d) every enactment which shall, on the day before the appointed day, be in force in and apply to the Dublin Metropolitan Area and in and to no other part of Saorstát Eireann shall, on and after the appointed day, cease to apply to the Dublin Metropolitan Area and in lieu thereof shall be in force in and apply to the Dublin Metropolitan District, and every reference in any such enactment to the Police District of Dublin Metropolis or to the Dublin Metropolitan Area shall be construed as a reference to the Dublin Metropolitan District;

(e) every enactment which shall, on the day before the appointed day, be in force in and apply to the whole of Saorstát Eireann except the Dublin Metropolitan Area shall, on and after the appointed day, be in force in and apply to the whole of Saorstát Eireann except the Dublin Metropolitan District, and every reference in any such enactment to the Police District of Dublin Metropolis or to the Dublin Metropolitan Area shall be construed as a reference to the Dublin Metropolitan District;

(f) nothing in either of the two next preceding paragraphs of this sub-section shall operate to keep in force any enactment or any provision in any enactment after the time at which such enactment or provision would have ceased to be in force if this section had not been enacted.