Byrne v Hughes

CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
Judgment Date18 April 1925
Docket Number(1925. No. 1914.)
Date18 April 1925
Byrne v. Hughes.
ELLEN HUGHES, Defendant (1)
(1925. No. 1914.)

Supreme Court.

Practice - Transfer of action - Action commenced in High Court - Transfer to Circuit Court - Whether action could have been commenced in Circuit Court - Absence of Rules and Forms for procedure in Circuit Court - Equitable and Common Law claims combined - Part of claim exceeding jurisdiction of Circuit Court - Striking out part of claim - Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), sects. 25 and 48 (iii).

Plaintiffs commenced an action in the High Court which could not have been commenced in, or remitted to the former County Court, but which (except as to portion of the relief sought) was within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. They resisted an application to transfer the action under sect. 25 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, to the Circuit Court on the ground (inter alia) that the action could not have been commenced in the Circuit Court, as required by that section, since the existing procedure of that Court, being still that of the former County Court, was inadequate, no Rules or Forms having been made for procedure in the Circuit Court:

Held, reversing Meredith J., that though the absence of Rules of Forms is an obstacle in the way of litigants which may justify them in commencing in the High Court proceedings which might more properly be tried in the Circuit Court, this cannot deprive the High Court or the Supreme Court of the power to transfer, or the Circuit Court of the power and duty to hear a case which the Circuit Court has jurisdiction to entertain, and which is not fit to be prosecuted in the High Court.

If the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, has conferred jurisdiction upon either the Circuit Court or the District Court to entertain a case, the Court cannot be deprived of that jurisdiction by the non-existence of Rules of procedure or Forms.

Tevlin v. Lisnaskea Rural District Council [1914] 2 I.R. 15; Canning v.Farren [1907] 2 I.R. 486; and Attorney General for Ontario v. Daly[1924] A.C. 1011, followed.

As the portion of the plaintiffs' claim which exceeded the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court appeared to the Supreme Court to be wholly unsustainable, even upon the allegations of the plaintiffs themselves, and must have been inserted either through inadvertence or with the express object of defeating an application to transfer the action to the Circuit Court:

Held, following the former practice in similar cases under the Common Law Procedure Amendment Act (Ireland), 1870, that the portion of the claim which exceeded the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court should in part be struck out, and the action, subject to this amendment, should be transferred to the Circuit Court.

Courtenay v. M'Donnell, I.R. 6 C.L. 35; Cox v. Dalton, 12 L.R.Ir. 420; and Clarke v. Doherty, 32 Ir.L.T.R. 43, followed.

Appeal from an order of Meredith J., dated the 17th February, 1925, refusing to transfer the action for trial to the Circuit Judge of the City and County of Dublin.

Plaintiffs were the occupiers of the premises, No. 40 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin. Defendant was the owner of the premises, Nos. 38, 39, and 40 Lower Gardiner Street. Defendant had let No. 40 to the plaintiffs under a contract of tenancy whereby she was bound to execute necessary repairs. During the recent disturbances in Dublin all three houses were damaged, and the plaintiffs as a consequence had to expend the sum of £73 1s. upon necessary repairs to the house occupied by them (No. 40), and they alleged that a further sum of £48 10s. would have to be expended upon it for repairs. Defendant lodged a claim for compensation for the damage occasioned to her three houses, and was awarded a lump sum of £1,000 as compensation for the three.

Plaintiffs instituted proceedings in the High Court claiming (1) a declaration that the defendant was a trustee for the plaintiffs of the said sum of...

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5 cases
  • Re Jacks
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1953
    ...1 I. R. 90. (1) [1938] I. R. 818. (1) [1938] I. R. 818. (1) [1924] 1 I. R. 90. (1) [1907] 2 I. R. 486. (2) [1924] A. C. 1011. (3) [1925] 1 I.R. 126, at p. (1) 74 I. L. T. R. 259. ...
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    ...2 I. R. 158. (8) 43 I. L. T. R. 185. (9) 66 I. L. T. R. 51. (10) [1955] I. R. 39. (11) [1951] I. R. 172. (12) [1954] I. R. 128. (13) [1925] 1 I. R. 126. (14) 9 C. & P. 469. (15) 1 H. Blackstone 206. (16) [1935] I. R. 908. (17) [1954] I. R. 295. (18) [1951] I. R. 311. (19) [1924] I K. B. 171......
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