Commenced by Civil Bill
Civil proceedings in the Circuit Court, unless otherwise provided by Statute or Rules are commenced by the issue of a Civil Bill. It is to be in accordance with the forms of Civil Bills set out in the Schedule of Forms to the Rules, with such modifications as are suitable. It is to set out the facts that may be necessary to show the Court’s jurisdiction.
The Civil Bill shall state the first name, surname, occupation and residence or place of business of the claimant and defendant. If the defendant is sued in a representative capacity, the capacity is to be stated.
The Civil Bill shall call upon the defendant to enter an appearance within a stated time after service, which shall not be less than 10 days or such other time as may be limited for appearance by agreement of the party or order of Court, to answer the claim of the claimant. It shall warn him of the consequences of failure to do so. The office may allow an appearance to be entered late.
Every Civil Bill shall be signed by the claimant or by his solicitor and shall be endorsed with particulars of the claimant’s claim or demands. It shall state the nature, extent and grounds thereof, full particulars of all items of special damages being claimed and the relief sought. Where it is a money claim, the amount shall be stated together with the rate and amount of interest claimed.
The claimant, when the amount alleged to be due to him exceeds the Circuit Court jurisdiction, may state this on the face of the Civil Bill and waive and abandon the claim for the balance. The decree is made in full satisfaction of the original demand.
Some Case Specific Requirements I
If, in the first instance, the claimant desires an account to be taken, this shall be stated, together with the specific amount which the claimant claims to be subject to that account if any.
Where there is more than one claim, it shall state like particulars for each and the relief sought in respect of each. If the claimant desires to abandon part of the claim, in order to bring the claim within the Circuit Court jurisdiction, it shall so state.
Where the claimant’s claim is for a debt or liquidated claim only, the endorsements, besides setting out the nature of the claim shall state the amount claimed for the debt and for costs respectively. It shall state that, upon payment of such amount and costs within six days after service, further proceedings will be stayed.
The amount so claimed for costs in all cases (except those where there has been order for service of the Civil Bill, or notice thereof, out of the jurisdiction or substituted service or notice by advertisement of the Civil Bill), shall be in the amount of the Schedule of fees set by the County Registrar for the County of the Dublin from time to time. If there is more than one defendant, the amounts may be increased by a reasonable sum for each additional defendant served.
Where, by statute not mentioned in the Rules, proceedings are authorised and directed to be taken in the Circuit Court, the proceeding shall be commenced by Civil Bill. The parties may agree to an enlarged jurisdiction by agreement and this shall be in the form prescribed.
When any proceedings or cause of action which the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear is apparent on the face of the Civil Bill, the Court shall strike out the action, unless the court has received the prescribed consent has been signed. If the want of jurisdiction relates to the venue on the face of the Civil Bill, the Court may transfer the proceedings to the appropriate Circuit or it may strike them out ,with costs as appears appropriate.
Some Case Specific Requirements II
Where proceedings are commenced under EU Judgments Convention or Regulation, the Civil Bill is to be indorsed with statements setting out the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the matter and the facts relied on to show jurisdiction and the appropriate venue.
In proceedings on foot of a bills of exchange, promissory notes or other securities for money, the Civil Bill shall state the dates thereof, the sums for which the same are given and the sums claimed to be due for principal and interest, the rate of interest, the parties and the dates when it became due.
In proceedings for rent and for the use and occupation of land, the Civil Bill shall state the amount claimed for rent or for use and occupation of the land, the period for which the same is alleged to be due, the name of and the place in the town or townland and the county in which the premises are situate and in the case of lease, the date of the lease and its parties.
In other proceedings on foot of written documents, the Civil Bill shall state the date of the document, the parties and if it is for the payment of money, the amount claimed, and if the claim is for breach of contract, the alleged breach or breaches of such contract.
Other than where the Circuit Court Rules make specific provision otherwise, each Civil Bill is to be signed and presented in duplicate to be issued out of the Circuit Court Office having jurisdiction. The Civil Bill is to be stamped, sealed and issued in the manner set out below and this is to be the original Civil Bill. The duplicate is to be filed in the Office.
The Civil Bill shall, before issue for service, be stamped with the appropriate court fees, as prescribed by law. Otherwise it is invalid. A Civil Bill shall be presented to the Office, sealed, marked with the record number by the proper officer and shall be deemed issued.
The Circuit Court Office shall enter particulars in the cause book in date and the numerical order of issue. At the time of issue, the officer of Circuit Court Office is to mark on the duplicate Civil Bill, the date of issue, full details in relation to stamping and the record number assigned to it. Civil Bill may not be served until it has been issued.
A Civil Bill is in force for 12 months. If it is not served within this time, the plaintiff may apply before its expiration to the County Registrar for leave to renew the Civil Bill. An application for leave may be applied for after expiry to the Court.
The Court or the County Registrar, may if satisfied that reasonable efforts have been made to serve or for other good reason, may order that the Civil Bill shall be renewed for six months from the date of renewal. Where an application for renewal is made an ex parte (unilaterally), any defendant may apply before entering appearance, by motion to set the Order aside.
It is renewed by being stamped with the date and day, month and year of such renewal and delivered to the solicitor, subject to the solicitor filing a prescribed memorandum. The Civil Bill or other originating document is to remain in force including for the purpose of the Statute of Limitations.
Where the original Civil Bill is lost or destroyed, the Court on being satisfied as to such destruction or loss, and the correctness of a copy, may order such copy to be sealed and served in lieu of the original Civil Bill or other originating document.
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