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Closing Courts...does it make sense...


NewGoldDream

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...I think most counties have received news of impending closures of Courts and the allocation of those hearings to larger towns. Does this actually make sense?

If the reasoning is finance, it surely costs a lot more to send Gardai from all over the county to Courts that may be in excess of a 100 mile round trip for some of them, presumably they will have travel and subsistence expenses. It will also surely cost clients a lot more, say a woman who can't drive and who wants to make an application under Domestic Violence legislation will now have to get taxi fares together, and probably for repeated visits, as there is little or no public transport in such areas. If the reasoning is to free up the buildings themselves to sell, or the costs of maintenance, again, there is no reason why Courts cannot simply be moved into public halls and community centres but remain within the communities. There is also the whole symbolism of access to the Courts and punishment being meted out in the communities in which the wrong took place, but I guess that's another argument. I'm just not sure how, on the costings, it makes any sense.
 


potholedogger

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...I think most counties have received news of impending closures of Courts and the allocation of those hearings to larger towns. Does this actually make sense?

If the reasoning is finance, it surely costs a lot more to send Gardai from all over the county to Courts that may be in excess of a 100 mile round trip for some of them, presumably they will have travel and subsistence expenses. It will also surely cost clients a lot more, say a woman who can't drive and who wants to make an application under Domestic Violence legislation will now have to get taxi fares together, and probably for repeated visits, as there is little or no public transport in such areas. If the reasoning is to free up the buildings themselves to sell, or the costs of maintenance, again, there is no reason why Courts cannot simply be moved into public halls and community centres but remain within the communities. There is also the whole symbolism of access to the Courts and punishment being meted out in the communities in which the wrong took place, but I guess that's another argument. I'm just not sure how, on the costings, it makes any sense.


Yes it makes a lot of sense. More business can be done in a day in a larger centre!
 

NewGoldDream

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Yes it makes a lot of sense. More business can be done in a day in a larger centre!
On the contrary, the amalgamation of Court hearings may mean longer Court lists, more waiting around for those involved and a larger number of cases not being reached and deferred to later sittings. The Judges won't be working through the nights!
 

Franzoni

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On the contrary, the amalgamation of Court hearings may mean longer Court lists, more waiting around for those involved and a larger number of cases not being reached and deferred to later sittings. The Judges won't be working through the nights!
They have 24 hour courts in other juristicions....

If the present judges won't do it we should find some who will....whats wrong with a L plate judge starting out in such a regime..let them do a few graveyard shifts to see what their made of.....
 

NewGoldDream

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They have 24 hour courts in other juristicions....

If the present judges won't do it we should find some who will....whats wrong with a L plate judge starting out in such a regime..let them do a few graveyard shifts to see what their made of.....
By that logic we could close every Court in the country, have Judges working around the clock in Dublin, centralise the whole thing, and to hell with the people who have to look to the Courts for a remedy, they can wait around morning noon and through the night and for days on end. If that led to a significant reduction in costs, such as the centralisation of health services, one could say fine, so be it. But again I am just not sure where the saving is to be made, any any saving in terms of heating such buildings or paying someone to hold the keys will be dwarfed by the costs to pay Solicitors (private, or the taxpayer for free legal aid which covers travel and subsistence), Gardai (the taxpayer), witnesses etc. to travel.
 

Franzoni

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By that logic we could close every Court in the country, have Judges working around the clock in Dublin, centralise the whole thing, and to hell with the people who have to look to the Courts for a remedy, they can wait around morning noon and through the night and for days on end. If that led to a significant reduction in costs, such as the centralisation of health services, one could say fine, so be it. But again I am just not sure where the saving is to be made, any any saving in terms of heating such buildings or paying someone to hold the keys will be dwarfed by the costs to pay Solicitors (private, or the taxpayer for free legal aid which covers travel and subsistence), Gardai (the taxpayer), witnesses etc. to travel.
I wouldn't go that far as your premise but for the minor stuff as i said it should be looked at....the stuff the clogs up the courts on a day to day basis...

Personally if i had a case to answer about something minor i wouldn't mind if i was told it was happening at 4am or so if i knew i was going to get in and over and the thing done and dusted......

I don't see why the whole circus regarding lawyers and judges should be a sacred cow especially on costs.......everyone else is being told to tighten the belt.....
 

NewGoldDream

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I don't see why the whole circus regarding lawyers and judges should be a sacred cow especially on costs.......everyone else is being told to tighten the belt.....
Again though, think of the woman who lives in some town losing its Court, and who now has to travel 60 miles. Suppose she wants to make an application for a safety order. She will now be obliged to travel 120 miles each time, and they can take 2 or 3 visits to the Court. She will also now have to pay her Solicitor to travel too, granted that might not be as much as her taxi bill but they are not Mother Theresas. And the Gardai will also have to travel that distance now, again that won't be free. As far as I can see there is no belt tightening at all, if anything it may place a substantaial burden on the States coffers and indeed the vulnerable.
 

Franzoni

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Again though, think of the woman who lives in some town losing its Court, and who now has to travel 60 miles. Suppose she wants to make an application for a safety order. She will now be obliged to travel 120 miles each time, and they can take 2 or 3 visits to the Court. She will also now have to pay her Solicitor to travel too, granted that might not be as much as her taxi bill but they are not Mother Theresas. And the Gardai will also have to travel that distance now, again that won't be free. As far as I can see there is no belt tightening at all, if anything it may place a substantaial burden on the States coffers and indeed the vulnerable.
How often do the courts open in rural towns..?....i seem to remember the courts close for a hefty period during the summer or at least they used to...?
 

FrankSpeaks

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It makes total sense, there is no need to have a courthouse in every village in the land just as there is no need to have a Garda Station in every village. If NewGoldDream was or is a politician then he would be a parish pumper.
 

NewGoldDream

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How often do the courts open in rural towns..?....
Some of the Courts that are rumoured to be for the chop in the sw open at least once a month, maybe twice.

It makes total sense, there is no need to have a courthouse in every village in the land just as there is no need to have a Garda Station in every village. If NewGoldDream was or is a politician then he would be a parish pumper.
To observe that maintaining the status quo would be better for the vulnerable and cheaper all round for every taxpayer in the country is parish pump mentality? Hmmmm.

You are incorrect about having to have a Courthouse. As I said above, if they want to free up the buildings they could stage them in nearby hotels, golf clubhouses, community centres, parish halls etc. Members of the public should be able to access justice, particularly where there are no savings evident from the proposals (which is of course the reason that hospitals or schools or other services must be rationalised)
 

artfoley56

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On the contrary, the amalgamation of Court hearings may mean longer Court lists, more waiting around for those involved and a larger number of cases not being reached and deferred to later sittings. The Judges won't be working through the nights!
disagree, i'd say the 3 ring circus that is phoenix house burns through a lot more case than any other 3 combined courts in the country. same would apply to dolphin house versus any combination of districts
 

Dame_Enda

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I think they should be teleconferenced. Would save a fortune. Bin the administrative-idolatory.
 

NewGoldDream

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disagree, i'd say the 3 ring circus that is phoenix house burns through a lot more case than any other 3 combined courts in the country. same would apply to dolphin house versus any combination of districts
Oh I don't doubt that, and that it might be perfect for cities.

But I presume that's not one Judge in charge of criminal, civil, family, special sittings etc.

Plus, even if all the Courts in an area are rolled up and the Judge works around the clock so say Court takes 3 days a week, not 4...where is the benefit? Is it worth ripping the Court out of communities, the extra expense to the State and the extra cost to those involved? As long as cases are not actually delayed in the current system, I don't see any reason for change.
 

NewGoldDream

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Why not? Judges are useless fekkers anyway.
I have said because it costs the State more, it costs the litigants more, alternatives within the community are easily available, and there is no benefit. That's 4 why nots, I would like to hear a few whys.
 

Rocky

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You are incorrect about having to have a Courthouse. As I said above, if they want to free up the buildings they could stage them in nearby hotels, golf clubhouses, community centres, parish halls etc. Members of the public should be able to access justice, particularly where there are no savings evident from the proposals (which is of course the reason that hospitals or schools or other services must be rationalised)
There are still going to be courts everywhere and no one (unless they live a million miles away from everything in the back end of Donegal or West Galway or something) is going to be that far from a court.

Some of the places that currently have Court Houses are essentailly villages. It's madness and there is no need for it.
 

NewGoldDream

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There are still going to be courts everywhere and no one (unless they live a million miles away from everything in the back end of Donegal or West Galway or something) is going to be that far from a court.
It would easily be 50 miles, or 100 miles round trip, for a number of places in Kerry, which at the moment is looking like pulling all Courts back to Killarney, and then inevitably Tralee. That would not be "Courts everywhere", it would mean 1 court.
 

Rocky

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It would easily be 50 miles, or 100 miles round trip, for a number of places in Kerry, which at the moment is looking like pulling all Courts back to Killarney, and then inevitably Tralee. That would not be "Courts everywhere", it would mean 1 court.
There's currently a District Court in Kilorglin for example. I don't know Kilorglin, but I'm fairly sure it's not exactly huge and I can't see the District Court being that busy and it doesn't sit very much as it is and already all documents have to be lodged in Tralee District Court Office.

Like with hospitals, Garda Stations and everything else, if you live in remote rural areas, you have to accept that you will have to travel long distances for services. Like with Garda Stations and Hospitals, it costs too much to have one in every town and it's a waste of resources.
 

ergo2

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I have had many years experience of Courts in the West of Ireland.

I agree fully with the points made by New Gold Dream.

the proposals may have some minimum savings for Court Services budget, but willl impose extra costs on Gardai, on litigants, and witnesses.

Savings do have to be made everywhere by everybody. Court services should look at their own back office procedures.

While there had been some computerisation in District Courts admininstration, there are still too many superflous bits of paper in the Circuit Court. ( both DC and CC back offices are now being amalgamated ). Circuit Court Offices have to deal with extra paper should as "backing sheets" " ex parte dockets" etc. Still a long way from electronic filing of documents.

Court fees still have to be paid by stamping individual documents. Waste of time. As most documents in Civil Matters are filed thru solicitors' offices, there should be a way of paying these electronically.
 

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