Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (239)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

239. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide statistics for the delays in family law proceedings in each of the District and Circuit Courts and in the High Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48791/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Courts Service Act 1998 provides that management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, including the provision of facilities for court users. The scheduling and hearing of court cases is a matter for the Presidents of the Courts and the presiding Judges.

The Presidents of the Courts, in consultation with the Courts Service, keep the distribution of business under regular review and where specific issues are identified appropriate action is taken bearing in mind any constraints imposed by the availability of judicial, administrative or structural resources. A key piece of data in this regard is the waiting times for hearings.

The Government is committed to significant reform of the courts, including the establishment of a family law court structure that is streamlined, more efficient, and less costly. My Department is working on the General Scheme of a Family Court Bill which will aim to streamline family law court processes, clarify jurisdictional issues and provide for a set of guiding principles to help ensure that the Family Court will operate in a user-friendly and efficient manner. The intention is to establish a dedicated Family Court within the existing court structures. The Family Court Bill will support the provisions of the Mediation Act 2017 by encouraging greater use of alternative dispute resolution to assist in more timely resolution of family law cases.

The waiting time for a Family Law hearing in the High Court is currently 2 months. The waiting times in the Circuit and District Family Courts are set out in the following tables.

District Court Waiting Times November 2019 (All waiting times shown in weeks)

Office

Family law domestic Violence Applications (1)

Family law Maintenance/Guardianship Applications (2)

Athlone

Next sitting

Next sitting

Ballina

Next sitting

Next sitting

Bray

Next sitting

3-6

Carlow

12

12

Carrick on Shannon

Next sitting

4-8 (Next sitting)

Castlebar

Next sitting

8 (6)

Cavan

Next sitting

16

Clonakilty

2-4

4-6 (2-4)

Clonmel

4-6

4-8

Cork

14

14

Donegal

Next sitting

Next sitting

Dublin

13 (14)

13 (14)

Dundalk

4-8 (Next sitting)

4-6

Ennis

Next sitting

6-8

Galway

4

4-8

Kilkenny

2-4

4-8

Letterkenny

Next sitting

13

Limerick

8

12

Longford

Next sitting

4

Loughrea

Next sitting

8

Mallow

Next sitting

Next sitting

Monaghan

Next sitting

Next sitting

Mullingar

Next sitting

8

Naas

Next sitting

12-24

Nenagh

2-4

8 (16)

Portlaoise

Next sitting

12-16

Roscommon

Next sitting

12

Sligo

Next sitting

Next sitting

Tralee

4

4

Trim

3-6 (10-12)

3-6 (12)

Tullamore

Next sitting

12

Waterford

6

6

Wexford

Next sitting

10-12

Youghal

Next sitting

Next sitting

* Urgent interim applications are dealt with immediately i.e. on next sitting day in every District (1) Time from receipt of application to listing for hearing in domestic violence matters

(2) As (1) but for other family law applications

Circuit Court

Waiting times in November 2019 (All waiting times shown in months)

Office

Family Law

Family Law

Family Law

Contested

Non-contested

Appeals

(1)

(2)

(3)

Carlow

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Carrick on Shannon

6

Next sitting

Next sitting

Castlebar

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Cavan

9

Next sitting

Next sitting

Clonmel

3-6 (Next sitting)

Next sitting

Next sitting

Cork

6-9

Next sitting

Next sitting

Dublin

0.5 - 4 (0.5 -3) **

1 (1-2)

1

Dundalk

6-12

Next sitting

6-12

Ennis

6

Next sitting

6

Galway

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Kilkenny

6-9

Next sitting

Next sitting

Letterkenny

6-9

Next sitting

6-9

Limerick

Next sitting

Next sitting

3-6

Longford

6-9

Next sitting

Next sitting

Monaghan

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Mullingar

3-6

Next sitting

3-6

Naas

6

Next sitting

Next sitting

Portlaoise

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Roscommon

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Sligo

9-12 (6-12)

Next sitting

Next sitting

Tralee

Next sitting

Next sitting

Next sitting

Trim

6-9

Next sitting

6-9

Tullamore

6

Next sitting

Next sitting

Waterford

3-6

Next sitting

Next sitting

Wexford

6-10

Next sitting

3-6

Wicklow

6-9

3-6

3-6

** 3 months for a guaranteed priority hearing, 2 weeks as a backup to a priority hearing (if priority case settles or does not proceed)

(2) Time from receipt of notice of trial/notice of motion to listening for hearing in contested matter

(3) As (2) but for uncontested matters.