Murray v McArdle (No. 2)

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date01 January 2000
Date01 January 2000
Docket Number[1999 No. 93 J.R.]
Murray v. McArdle (No. 2)
Joseph Murray
Applicant
and
District Judge McArdle and The Director of Public Prosecutions, Respondents (No. 2)
[1999 No. 93 J.R.]

High Court

Criminal law - Procedure - Issue of summons - Jurisdiction - Time limit for making complaint - Request for issue of summons - Whether six month time limit applied - Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851 (14 & 15 Vict., c. 93), s. 10 - Courts (No. 3) Act, 1986 (No. 33), s. 1.

The applicant was alleged to have committed road traffic offences. An application was made to the appropriate District Court Clerk for the issue of a summons against the applicant pursuant to the provisions of the Courts (No. 3) Act, 1986, within six months of the alleged offences. The summonses were struck out by virtue of the High Court judgment in Devanney v. Shields, which was subsequently reversed by the Supreme Court [1998] 1 I.R. 230. Application was made to the District Court to obtain fresh summonses more than six months after the alleged offences and reliance was placed upon the original date of application for the issue of the said summonses. The applicant was subsequently convicted of a number of road traffic offences.

The applicant sought an order ofcertiorari quashing the convictions on the grounds that the first respondent acted in excess of jurisdiction in making the said orders as no good or valid complaint had been made in respect of those offences within six months of the alleged offences as required by the provisions of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851.

Held by the High Court (Kelly J.), in refusing the relief sought, 1, that a complaint was not made at the time of a request for the issue of a summons under the Act of 1986. A complaint was made to the District Court when the summons was listed for hearing before the District Judge.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Nolan [1990] 2 I.R. 526 and The National Authority for Safety and Health v. O'Brien[1997] 1 I.R. 543 approved.

2. That the application for the summons under the Act of 1986 must be made within six months of the alleged offence and there was no bar to the prosecution if the date upon which the summons was returned was more than six months from the date of the alleged offence.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Nolan [1990] 2 I.R. 526 followed.

3. That, even where the time limit imposed in s.10 of the Act of 1851 had not been complied with, the District Judge was not deprived of jurisdiction on that account. Rather it was a matter which was open to a defendant to raise in defence.

Minister for Agriculture v. Norgro Limited [1980] I.R. 155 approved.

Cases mentioned in this report:-

Devanney v. Shields [1998] 1 I.R. 230; [1998] I.L.R.M. 81.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Nolan [1990] 2 I.R. 526; [1989] I.L.R.M. 39.

Minister for Agriculture v. Norgro Ltd. [1980] I.R. 155.

Murray v. McArdle [1999] 2 I.L.R.M. 283.

The National Authority for Safety and Health v. O'Brien [1997] 1 I.R. 543.

The State (Clarke) v. Roche [1986] I.R. 619; [1986] I.L.R.M. 565.

Judicial review.

The facts are summarised in the headnote and are fully set out in the judgment of Kelly J., infra.

The applicant was convicted of a number of offences under the Road Traffic Acts on the 28th April, 1998.

The High Court (Morris P.) granted leave to seek an order ofcertiorari of the convictions by way of judicial review on the 25th March, 1999. The notice of motion and grounding affidavit were filed on the 11th March, 1999. The statement of opposition was filed by the respondent on the 18th June, 1999.

The matter was heard by the High Court (Kelly J.) on the 15th October, 1999.

Cur. adv. vult.

Kelly J.

5th November, 1999

Background

The applicant was convicted of a number of offences under the Road Traffic Acts, 1961 to 1994, at Bailieboro District Court on the 20th April, 1998.

He applied to this Court by way of an application for judicial review seeking to quash those convictions. His application was heard by the High Court (Morris P.), reported at [1999] 2 I.L.R.M. 283, who in a reserved judgment dismissed the application.

Following the delivery of the reserved judgment to which I have just referred, the applicant sought fresh leave from the same judge to commence a second set of judicial review proceedings seeking once again to quash the convictions. He was granted that leave by order dated the 25th March, 1999. Permission was given to challenge the convictions on a single ground namely, that the first respondent"acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction in making the aforesaid orders in that no good valid or lawful complaint had been made in respect of those offences within six months of the alleged offences as required by the provisions of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act...

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4 cases
  • Lee v District Judge Leo Malone
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 6 October 2017
    ...that stands adjourned to Midleton District Court on grounds of abuse of process. As held by Kelly J. in Murray v. McArdle (No. 2) [1999] 4 I.R. 383, a complaint in relation to a summons initiated under the Court's (No. 3) Act, 1986 only arises when such a complaint is made before the Distr......
  • DPP v District Judge O'Neill
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 11 November 2015
    ...J. in DPP v. Howard (Unreported, High Court, 27th November 1989) in that regard. Whilst the decision in Murray v. McArdle (No. 2) [1999] 4 I.R. 383 suggests that a complaint for the purpose of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851 is made at the point when the summons comes before the Dist......
  • G.B. v DPP
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 8 February 2023
    ...matter of defence, which should be raised at the court of trial and was not a matter going to jurisdiction: see Murray v. McArdle (No.2) [1999] 4 IR 383. Conclusions. 44 . In relation to the point taken that the time bar issue is a matter of defence, rather than one of jurisdiction, and sho......
  • Director of Public Prosecutions -v- Talbot
    • Ireland
    • District Court (Ireland)
    • 26 April 2018
    ...is triggered by the application and the making of a separate complaint is not necessary (confirmed in Murray v McArdle (No. 2) [1999] 4 IR 383 and in DPP v Nolan [1990] 2 IR 526). 13. Before turning to the charge sheet procedure it is noteworthy that, having reviewed all of the relevant cas......

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