New Appeal: Does the Circuit Court have jurisdiction in possession proceedings for un-rateable properties?

In this determination (Permanent TSB v Langan), the Supreme Court granted Permanent leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision (here) that the Circuit Court did not have jurisdiction to hear Permanent’s repossession proceedings for properties mortgaged by Langan, as s 22 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 (here) limits Circuit Court jurisdiction to properties below a defined rateable charge (currently €235.95), and the properties in question are un-rateable.

 

Background

The Circuit Court’s jurisdiction to deal with matters relating to land is restricted to properties with a rateable value below €235. Subject to the Valuation Act 2001, private dwellings are no longer rateable.

In May 2015, the High Court delivered judgment in Bank of Ireland v Finnegan (here). Murphy J held that the Circuit Court does not have jurisdiction to determine cases relating to un-rateable properties. However, in November 2015, Noonan J, in the High Court, held that the Circuit Court does have jurisdiction in such cases, Bank of Ireland v Hanley (here).

Langan fell into arrears in his mortgage to Permanent over six properties. Permanent issued Circuit Court proceedings seeking possession of the six properties. The civil bills stated that the annual rateable value for each of the properties is below €235,95. In February 2015, the Circuit Court granted orders for possession for all six properties. Lanigan appealed to the High Court, where he argued that the Circuit Court did not have jurisdiction in his case.

As there were conflicting High Court authorities, Baker J stated a case to the Court of Appeal asking whether the Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear possession cases for un-rateable properties. The CoA held that it does not. Permanent sought leave appeal to that decision to the Supreme Court. The Court determined that Permanent had raised an issue of general public importance and granted leave.

 

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  1. Supreme Court to deliver judgment in five cases on Tuesday, 12th December | SCOIRLBLOG

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