District Court Rules

ORDER 7

MINORS AND OTHER PERSONS UNDER DISABILITY

Construction

1. In this Order—

‘minor’ shall be construed in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Age of Majority Act, 1985 (No 2 of 1985).

Minors — next friend/guardian ad litem

2. A minor may sue by his or her next friend, and may defend any proceeding by his or her guardian ad litem. In any such case, before the name of any person shall be used in proceedings as next friend or guardian ad litem of the minor, such person shall sign an authorisation in the Form 7.1, Schedule C for that purpose, which shall be lodged with the Clerk together with the civil summons or other originating document or, as the case may be, with a notice of intention to defend.

Appointment by the court

3. Where any proceedings are brought before the court on behalf of or against a minor the court may, if it thinks it expedient so to do, at any stage of the proceedings by an order in writing in the Form 7.2, Schedule C, appoint a next friend or a guardian ad litem to act for and on behalf of such minor, and may at any time replace a person so appointed.

Court approval required for acceptance of lodgments, etc.

4. (1) Where a sum of money has been lodged in court by the defendant in an action for a wrong in which the plaintiff is a minor, an application made to the Judge pursuant to section 63(1) of the Civil Liability Act, 1961 (No 41 of 1961) by the plaintiff to decide whether that sum of money should be accepted or the action should go to trial may, upon notice to the defendant and the Clerk in the Form 7.3, Schedule C, be made at any sitting of the court for the court area wherein the action is listed for hearing.

(2) The provisions of Order 41, rule 2(4) of these Rules shall apply to proceedings brought by or on behalf of a minor, where a settlement, compromise, payment or acceptance of money paid into court therein is proposed.

Orders for investment, etc.

5. (1) The court may, subject to the provisions of Order 12A, direct that any sum of money or other personal property to which the minor may be declared entitled in such proceedings be secured or invested for the benefit of the minor in such manner as the court may consider advisable. A copy of any order made under rule 4, 5 or 6 of this Order shall, where appropriate, be sent by the Clerk to the Accountant.

[SI 258/05]

Interim payments

(2) Unless the court shall otherwise decide, no interim payment out of any money so secured or invested shall be made save in pursuance of an order of the court made upon the application of the minor’s next friend or guardian ad litem. Such application may be made at any sitting of the court for the court district wherein the proceedings were heard and determined, upon lodging with the Clerk a notice in the Form 7.4, Schedule C.

On attaining full age

6. (1) Where the minor attains full age while proceedings to which the foregoing rules of this Order relate are still before the court, application may be made by the former minor’s solicitor, next friend or, as the case may be, guardian ad litem at any sitting of the court for the court area wherein the proceedings are being heard for an order that the plaintiff or defendant, formerly a minor, may proceed or defend in his or her own name.

Payment out of sums invested

(2) A person who, on attaining full age, seeks the payment of any sum of money which was secured or invested for his or her benefit under rule 5(1) hereof or any balance of such sum remaining due, may apply at any sitting of the court for the court area wherein the proceedings were heard and determined for an order authorising such payment. Notice of the application in the Form 7.5, Schedule C shall be lodged with the Clerk at least two days prior to the date of hearing. The applicant shall, if required at the hearing, produce proof of age in the manner prescribed in rule 7 hereof.

Order for payment

(3) On hearing the application the court may by order direct the payment out to the applicant of any sum of money which the court is satisfied is due to the applicant, together with accrued interest or dividend thereon (if any), or may make any other order on such application as to the court shall seem just.

6A. (1) An application by the next friend, committee or other person referred to in subsection (1) of section 35 of the Act shall be made to a Judge of the District Court assigned to the district within which the claimant ordinarily resides.

(2) Such application shall be by notice of application in the Form 7.6, Schedule C and shall be addressed to the respondent by name and shall be served by the applicant on the respondent not later than seven days before the date of the sitting for which the application is returnable. Such notice shall be served—

(a) by delivering it to the respondent;

(b) by leaving it at the address at which the respondent ordinarily resides or, in a case in which an address for service has been furnished by the respondent, at that address, or

(c) by sending it by post in a prepaid registered letter to the address at which the respondent ordinarily resides or, in a case in which an address for service has been furnished, to that address.

(3) The original notice, together with a statutory declaration as to service thereof shall be lodged with the Clerk at least two days before the said date of hearing.

(4) Where the court approves an assessment in accordance with this rule it may give directions as to how the amount recoverable by the minor or person of unsound mind is to be dealt with, including a direction for lodgment in court and investment of the amount concerned.

(5) The Clerk shall send by ordinary prepaid post or by e-mail to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board a certified copy of any order made pursuant to this rule.

(6) In the event of an order to pay issuing in accordance with section 38 of the 2003 Act, a copy thereof shall be sent forthwith by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board to the Clerk by ordinary prepaid post or by e-mail.

[SI 526/04]

Proof of age

7. A certified extract from the Register of Births showing the date of the minor’s birth shall, if required, be produced and proved on behalf of the minor at the hearing of proceedings involving such minor, on an application to have a proposed settlement approved by the court or on any other application relating to a minor or a person who has lately been a minor. The said date of birth shall be noted in any order of the court made in any such proceeding or application.

Persons of unsound mind

8. A person of unsound mind may sue by his or her committee or next friend and may defend any proceedings by his or her committee or guardian ad litem and the provisions of this Order, with any necessary modifications, shall apply in appropriate cases and those provisions shall be construed accordingly.

Service of documents

9. Save where the court otherwise orders, service of documents upon a minor shall be effected in accordance with the provisions (including rule 9) of Order 10 of these Rules, and upon a person of unsound mind in accordance with the provisions (including rule 10) of that Order.

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