Payment into Court
The defendant may at any time after he has entered an appearance and before the case is set down for trial, or at any later time by leave of the Court, on notice to the claimant, pay into Court a sum of money in satisfaction of the claim.
A defendant may once, without leave, and upon notice to the claimant, pay into Court an additional sum as an increase in the lodgement. Notice must be given and payment made at least three months before the date on which the action is first listed for hearing. The increased lodgement shall thereupon become the sum paid into Court.
In actions for libel or slander, or where the defence raises questions of title to land, money may not be paid into Court unless liability is admitted in the defence.
Where money is paid into Court in satisfaction of one or more of several claims, the notice shall specify the claims in respect of which payment is made, and the sum paid in respect of each, unless the Court otherwise orders.
Notice is to be in the prescribed form and shall state whether liability is admitted or denied.
It is lawful for a defendant to an action for the recovery of land for non-payment of rent, before or after delivering defence or of filing affidavit or any later time by leave of the Court, upon notice to the claimant pay into Court a sum of money for rent, with an undertaking to pay the costs when taxed and ascertained and in case of non-payment to suffer judgment to be marked.
The claimant may, in answer to a counterclaim, pay into Court in satisfaction, subject to the like conditions as to cost in respect of a counterclaim.
Options for Claimant
The claimant, if he shall not accept the sum in discharge of the action, will proceed in the action at his peril; and if it appears at the trial that no greater sum was due for rent than the amount paid into Court, the verdict will be awarded for the defendant. With a defence or affidavit setting up a tender before action, the sum of money to be tendered must be brought into Court.
Where money is paid into court as above, the claimant may, within 14 days of the receipt of the notice or within such further time as may be agreed, accept the whole sum or any one or more of the specified sums in satisfaction of the claim or claims to which the sums relate, by giving notice to the defendant in the prescribed form. He shall thereupon be entitled to receive payment of the accepted sum in satisfaction. Payment shall be made to the claimant or on his written authority to his solicitor and proceedings shall be thereupon stayed.
If the claimant accepts money in court in satisfaction of a claim, or if he accepts a sum paid in respect of one or more claims and gives notice that he abandons the other claims, he may within four days from payment out, unless the Court otherwise awards, he may after four days from payment out, unless the Court otherwise orders, tax his costs incurred to the date of giving notice to the defendant, and forty-eight hours after taxation may sign judgement for his taxed costs.
If the whole of moneys in Court are not taken out above, the moneys remaining shall not be paid out except in satisfaction of a claim in respect of which it was paid in, in pursuance of an order of the Court, which may be made at any time before, at, or after trial.
No Acceptance and Awarded Less
If the claimant does not accept the sum so paid in, but proceeds with the action in respect of such claim or part thereof, and is not awarded more than the amount paid into Court, then, unless the Judge shall otherwise for special cause shown and mentioned in the order direct
- if the amount paid into court exceeds the amount awarded to the claimant, the excess shall be repaid to the defendant and the balance shall be retained in court.;
- the claimant shall be entitled to the costs of the action up to the time when payment was made and of the issues, if any, upon which he has succeeded;
- the defendant shall be entitled to the costs of the action from the time a payment was made, other than in respect of such issues;
- the costs above may be set off against each other; and the balance paid.
The amount awarded to the claimant shall be deemed to be satisfied by application in manner above. Amounts remaining in Court after satisfying any balance due to the defendant for costs shall be paid to the claimant.If in any case, the Court is of opinion that for the purpose of the above rules, it is not necessary to retain in Court the whole of the balance, it may order payment out such amount as it deems proper.
Money paid into Court under a Court order shall not be paid out except by order of the Court. Where however before delivery of defence, money has been paid into Court pursuant to an order in a case brought by summary summons, the defendant may by a notice in writing, appropriate the whole or any part thereof by a notice in writing to the claimant’s claim.
Particular Cases and Directions I
If the defendant pleads a tender (where permitted), he may by his pleading appropriate the whole or any part of the money in Court as payment of the money alleged to be tendered. The money shall be deemed to be paid into Court pursuant to the above rules relating to payment in the Court, or money paid into Court with a plea of tender, as the case may be.
In any case in which money or damages are claimed by or on behalf of a person of unsound mind or a minor, no settlement or compromise or acceptance of money shall be valid without approval of Court in so far as relates to the minor or person of unsound mind.
No money recovered, ordered or awarded or agreed to be paid in any matter in respect of claims of an infant or person of unsound mind, whether by settlement, award, compromise, payment into Court or otherwise, shall be paid to the claimant or to the next friend of the claimant or to the claimant’s solicitor, unless the Court shall so direct.
All money so recovered, awarded or agreed to be paid shall be dealt with as the Court shall direct. The money may be directed to be paid into the High Court and be invested or otherwise dealt with or be paid or transferred into the Circuit Court of the district for which the claimant resides, or such other Circuit Court as the Court may think fit. Prescribed forms may be used.
Money paid into Court or investments made and dividends or interest thereon, may be sold, transferred or paid out to the party entitled, pursuant to order of the Court.
In any case in which damages are claimed under the Civil Liability Act, Part IV, money paid into Court shall not be paid out without a Court order.
Particular Cases and Directions II
Directions given may include general or special directions as Court think fit to give, including directions as to how the money is to be applied or dealt with or payment is to be made, either directly or out of the amount paid into Court, to the claimant or the next friend in respect of monies and expenses incurred for maintenance or otherwise for and on behalf of the infant or person of unsound mind.
The certificate of birth of every such infant claimant shall be produced to the Court, and the date shall be recited in the certificate or order of the Court.
Monies paid into or transferred to the Circuit Court under the rule and shall be invested, applied or otherwise dealt with for the benefit of the claimant in such manner as the Circuit Court shall think fit.
Subject to any order which may be made by the court whether by consent or otherwise as to costs of the claimant in such matter, the costs of the claimant or claimants, in such cause or matter shall, as regards costs ordered to be paid to such claimant by the defendant or other party, be taxed by the Taxing Master on a party and party basis.
The costs of the claimant or claimants not ordered to be paid or recovered from any party shall be taxed as between solicitor and client on notice to the General Solicitor for Wards of Court. If any part of such costs are payable by an adult, who is of full capacity, the Taxing Master shall certify the amount or such proportions payable by the infant or person of unsound mind. No costs other than those certified shall be payable to the solicitor for any claimant in the matter.
The above rule applies mutatis mutandis to counterclaims; action settled on behalf of infants before trial and moneys recovered by a person of unsound mind whether or not formerly so found.
Personal Injury; Additional Lodgements without Leave
On the abolition of juries in most civil cases, the provisions on lodgements were amended in respect of the following types of claim
- damages in respect of personal injuries to a person caused by negligence, nuisance or breach of duty (whether the duty exists by virtue of a contract or a provision made by or under a statute or independently of any such contract or any such provision);
- fatal injuries claims under section 48 of the Civil Liability Act,
- an action in which damages are claimed both in respect of personal injuries to a person or the death of a person, and in respect of another matter
A defendant may once, without leave, pay into Court, a sum in satisfaction of claims in the above categories. The pleadings shall not disclose the fact that money has been paid into court, the amount thereof. No communication of such facts may be made to the Judge. The judge may before or at the trial of the action, enquire for good and sufficient reason as to whether and to what and what amount the payment has been made into Court under the preceding rule.
In any case in which the claimant has served a notice in reply to particulars or additional particulars after the expiry of the time within which a defendant could make payment into Court without leave, the defendant may thereupon without leave make a payment or increase the payment within 21 days from the date thereof upon notice to the claimant.
In the case where a period in excess of 18 months have elapsed since the date of the notice for trial, the defendant may without leave make a payment into Court within 21 days upon notice to the claimant. The said payment, if not accepted by the Claimant, shall not take effect until the expiry of two months from the date upon which it is made or increased, as the case may be.
Offer by Certain Bodies
Certain entities may make an offer of payment in lieu of lodgement. They are
- Governmental Ministers, Attorney General, the Government, the State,
- A party indemnified by the State
- an insurance company, Motor Insurance Bureau or visiting Motor Insurance Bureau.
These entities need not make actual payment in Court. A tender or offer of payment made in accordance with the rules is deemed equivalent to a lodgement.
Several Parties and Apportionment
Money may be paid into Court by one or more of several defendants sued jointly or in the alternative upon notice to the other defendant(s). If the claimant elects within the time limit to accept the money paid, he shall give notice to each defendant. Thereupon all further proceedings shall be stayed and the money shall not be paid out except in pursuance of an order of Court dealing with the whole costs of the action.
Where an issue arises in the proceedings, as between apportionment of liabilities between defendants and one or more such defendants is a qualified party, such defendant or such defendants acting together, may having served a notice, make to the other defendants at any time prior to trial of the issue of apportionment of liability between them, an offer in writing (described as a tender between defendants) to pay a specified amount of the total damages for which he may be liable to the claimant. An offer made by one or more defendants shall operate as an offer made jointly by those defendants.
Where a tender between defendants is accepted, the judgment to proceedings is entered against the offeror and offeree. The offeror shall become liable at the end of proceedings to account to the offeree for the payment of the specified sum of the total damages.
Where a judgment is entered against the offeror and offeree and the offeree has not accepted the tender between defendants and the total damages awarded to the claimant, which the offeror is liable to pay, does not exceed the amount specified in the tender, then the Judge shall unless at the trial of the issue of apportionment of liability, for special cause shown and mentioned in the order otherwise direct, the offeree shall be liable to the offeror in respect of costs of the issue of apportionment incurred after the date of a tender between the party.
A party or qualified party shall have liberty to apply to Court in relation to any tender between the defendants or any matter relating to it and the Court may make such order or give such directions as appear just and proper.
Lodgement Not Disclosed
The fact that money has been paid into Court under the above rules shall be stated in the defence, where the defendant is not required to deliver a defence, in the affidavit in answer to the claim. However, except in an action to which a defence of tender before action is pleaded, no communication of the amount so paid in the Court shall at any trial at the action be made to the Judge until all questions of liability and the amount of damages have been decided.
No communication of the fact that money has been paid or the amount shall be made to a jury in most classes of civil actions for damages
The fact that the money has been paid into Court under any of the preceding rules is not to be stated in the defence. Where the defendant is not required to deliver a defence, it is not to be stated in the affidavit filed in answer to the claim.
Except in an action to which a defence of tender before action is pleaded, no communication shall be made either of the fact that the money has been paid into Court or the amount so paid into Court to the judge at the trial of the action, until all questions of liability and the amount of debt or damages have been decided.
Notwithstanding the above, the Judge may before or at the trial of the action inquire for good and sufficient reason as to whether and if so in what amount a payment has been made under the preceding order.