Hempenstall (The State) v Judge Shannon and District Justice Reddin

Judgment Date31 January 1936
Date31 January 1936
CourtHigh Court (Irish Free State)
The State (Hempenstall) v.
THE STATE (at the prosecution of James Hempenstall)
JUDGE SHANNON K.C. and DISTRICT JUSTICE REDDIN, and in the Matter of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (1)

High Court.

District Court - Jurisdiction - Power to award costs - Summons under Married Women (Maintenance in case of Desertion) Act, 1886 (49 & 50 Vict. c. 52), sect. 1 - No power conferred by the Act to award costs - Former jurisdiction inside Metropolitan Police District - Dublin Police Act,1842 (5 & 6 Vict. c, 24), sect. 59 - Former jurisdiction of Justices outside Dublin Metropolitan Police District - Petty Sessions (Ir.), Act, 1851 (14 & 15 Vict. c. 93), sect. 22, sub-sect. 9 - Jurisdictions transferred to District Court - Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), sect. 78 -Jurisdiction to award costs under Dublin Police Act, sect. 59, transferred to District Court.

Sect. 78 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, provides that there shall be transferred to the District Court (inter alia) all jurisdiction which at the commencement of the Act was vested in or capable of being exercised by the Divisional Justices of the Police District of Dublin Metropolis. That jurisdiction included that conferred by the Dublin Police Act, 1842, sect. 59 of which provided that it should be lawful for any Divisional Justice who should hear and determine any charge or complaint to award such costs as to him should seem meet to be paid to or by either of the parties to the said charge or complaint. Sect. 91 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, provides for the making of rules "for carrying into effect this Part of this Act" (the Part relating to the District Court), and in particular, rules might be made (inter alia) for "the practice and procedure of the District Court generally including questions of costs." Rule 37 (a) of the District Court Rules, which were made pursuant to sect. 91, provides that a District Justice who shall hear and determine any charge or complaint shall have power to order any party to the said charge or complaint (other than the Attorney-General or a member of the Civic Guard in his official capacity) to pay to the other party such costs as to him shall seem meet.

Held that Rule 37 (a) was validly made.

Accordingly, when a District Justice makes an order under sect. 1 of the Married Women (Maintenance in case of Desertion) Act, 1886, for a husband to pay to his wife a weekly sum for her maintenance, the District Justice has power to order the husband to pay a sum for costs although the Act itself contains no provision for the payment of costs.


Upon a complaint by one, Mabel Hempenstall, residing at Hill House, Kilmainham, Dublin, a summons under the Married Women (Maintenance in case of Desertion) Act, 1886, was issued against her husband, James Hempenstall, of Woodfield, Rathfarnham, County Dublin.

The summons came on for hearing on the 20th November, 1933, before District Justice Reddin, sitting as one of the Justices assigned to the District Court Area of Rathfarnham (District No. 12) at the Courthouse, Howth, County Dublin, and the District Justice, having adjudged that the...

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14 cases
  • Minister for Agriculture v Norgro Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1980
    ...follows. The first in point of time is The State at the Prosecution of James Hempenstall .v. Judge Shannan and District Justice Reddon (1936) I.R. 326. Whilst the point at issue in that application for certiorari was the power of the District Court to award costs in a Summons under the Rar......
  • DPP v District Judge Elizabeth McGrath
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 September 2021
    ...78 of the 1924 Act, and r. 37(a) of the 1926 District Court Rules were all considered in The State (Hempenstall) v. Shannon and Reddin [1936] I.R. 326 (“ Hempenstall”). The claim was for maintenance under the Married Women (Maintenance in case of Desertion) Act 1886. The Act, itself, made n......
  • Director of Public Prosecutions v Seán Douglas
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 16 July 2015
    ...costs even in the absence of an express power in the substantive statute, is found in The State (Hempenstall) v. Judge Shannon & Anor. [1936] IR 326 where the High Court held that in light of Rule 37(a) of the District Court Rules 1926, when a District justice ordered a husband to pay to h......
  • DPP v Logan
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 12 May 1994
    ...S11(3) CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 SCHED I PETTY SESSIONS (IRL) ACT 1851 S10 O'CONNOR JUSTICE OF THE PEACE 100 HEMPENSTALL, STATE V SHANNON 1936 IR 326 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S2 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S2(2) Synopsis: CRIMINAL LAW Proceedings Commencement - District Court - Summons - Iss......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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