Minister for Agriculture v Norgro Ltd

JudgeMr. Justice Finlay
Judgment Date01 January 1980
Neutral Citation1978 WJSC-HC 3453
Docket NumberNo. 120 SS/1978,[1978 No. 120 SS.]
CourtHigh Court
Date01 January 1980

1978 WJSC-HC 3453

No. 120 SS/1978



Judgment of Mr. Justice Finlaydelivered the 23rd day of July 1979 Mary P.O'Donoghue


This is a case stated by District Justice Joseph Plunkett pursuant to Section 52 of the Courts Supplemental Provisions Act 1961at the request of the Complainant the Minister for Agriculture.


It arises out of a complaint made by the Complainant against the Defendant Norgro Limited that the Defendant Company on the 30th of May 1977 at Dublin Corporation fruit market, East Arran Street in the City of Dublin and Dublin Metropolitan District did contravene Article 3(1) of Regulation (E.E.C.)No. 1035/72 in that they displayed for sale twenty-six two stone bags of carrots which failed to conform to the common quality standard for carrots prescribed by Annex 15 of Regulation No. 58 of the Commission of the European Economic Community dated the 15th of June 1970 as amended by Annex 111 of Regulation E.E.C. No. 51/65 contrary to Article 3 of the European Communities' Fruit and Vegetables Regulations 1973.


This complaint came before the learned District Justice by summons issued by the District Court Clerk for return on the 1st of February 1978. Upon the commencement of the hearing of the summons, Counsel on behalf of the Defendant company submitted that the learned District Justice had no jurisdiction to embark upon the hearing of the complaint upon the grounds that whereas the return date of the summons the 1st of February 1978 was more than six months later than the date of the alleged offence namely the 30th of May 1977 the summons did not bear on its face any note or record of the date upon which it had been issued by the District Court Clerk and that there was therefore no proof before the learned District Justice that the proceedings had been commenced within the time limited by paragraph 4 of Section 10 of the Petty Sessions Ireland Act 1851.


Counsel on behalf of the Complainant sought to adduce evidence that the Summons had in fact been issued within six months of the date of the alleged offence and relied upon an endorsement of service on the summons which indicated that it had been served upon the Defendant on the 4th of November 1977 and therefore within the period of six months.


Having heard argument the learned District Justice was oftheopinion that he lacked jurisdiction to enter upon the hearing of the summons and indicated that he proposed to strike it out. Counsel for the Complainant thereupon requested him to state a case for the opinion of the High Court and he agreed to do so. The question of law submitted to the High Court for determination by the learned District Justice is asfollows:

"Am I correct in law in holding that I have no jurisdiction to embark upon the hearing of a complaint brought before me by Summons issued in the first instance where the Summons does not disclose on its fact the fact that the complaint was made within the period of six months specified by paragraph 4 of Section 10 of the Petty Sessions Ireland Act...

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28 cases
  • Murray v McArdle (No. 2)
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 2000
    ...on that account. Rather it was a matter which was open to a defendant to raise in defence. Minister for Agriculture v. Norgro LimitedIR [1980] I.R. 155 approved. ( H.C.) Murray and McArdle (No. 2) - Summons - Time limit for making complaint - Request for issue of summons - Whether six month......
  • McGrail v District Justice Ruane
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1990
    ...ACT 1851 S44 OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1861 S42 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S11 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S7 MIN AGRICULTURE V NORGRO 1980 IR 155 Synopsis: CRIMINAL LAW Summons Issue — Validity — Application for issue — Time limit — Relevance — Common assault — Indictable offence — Exc......
  • O'Byrne v DPP, Neville v DPP
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 30 October 2019
    ...a s.35 fixed charge notice as a precondition to prosecution, it seems to me that the decision in Minister for Agriculture v. Norgro Ltd [1980] 1 IR 155 is then of considerable importance to the analysis of the provisions, albeit that the decision in Norgro concerned a different type of stat......
  • State (at the prosecution of John Clarke) v Maura Roche
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1987
    ...was made to the person signing the summons, or to any person lawfully entitled to receive it. Minister for Agriculture v. Norgro [1980] I.R. 155 considered. 3. That the question whether delay in the issue of a summons would prejudice the defendant in the presentation of his defence is one t......
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