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Liveline - gets people out of jail


Old Mr Grouser

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Aug 29, 2009
Messages
6,490
I say to my shame that I was just listening to Liveline.

They were discussing the ridiculous situation of a man being imprisoned in Mountjoy for debt; and it was said that the man would be let out in a few days because of the pressure on prison space.

Anyhow Duffy then announces that they've had a message from Mountjoy; the man will be out in 45 minutes.

Is government by phone-in any way to run a country?
 
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danger here

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Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
2,586
I say to my shame that I was just listening to Lifeline.

They were discussing the ridiculous situation of a man being imprisoned in Mountjoy for debt; and it was said that the man would be let out in a few days because of the pressure on prison space.

Anyhow Duffy then announces that they've had a message from Mountjoy; the man will be out in 45 minutes.

Is government by phone-in any way to run a country?
Is Lifeline not a hangover cure?!
 

Newsy

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Aug 23, 2009
Messages
910
I say to my shame that I was just listening to Lifeline.

They were discussing the ridiculous situation of a man being imprisoned in Mountjoy for debt; and it was said that the man would be let out in a few days because of the pressure on prison space.

Anyhow Duffy then announces that they've had a message from Mountjoy; the man will be out in 45 minutes.

Is government by phone-in any way to run a country?
'government' isn't by 'phone-in'.

Just goes to show that the imprisoning of Pat, was totally over the top and is the wrong policy with regard to non-payment of fines.

ABTW, nothing 'ridiculous' about being in jail for non-payment of fines.
 

slx

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Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
883
It just makes absolutely no economic or social sense at all!

1. Tying up prison spaces which should be for dangerous criminals!
2. Costs an absolute fortune to the tax payer (circa €100k / year I've heard)
3. Damages the convicted person's ability to continue work / get future work
4. Potentially introduces people to dangerous criminals and even drugs while in prison.
5. The fine STILL remains unpaid!

So, basically the state has ended up spending a lot of money instead of collecting a simple fine! Maddening stuff when you think about it.

Wouldn't a community service order make more sense?!

In the case of a road traffic offense involving speeding etc, perhaps a community service order and a required course on safe driving?

For unpaid tax / no insurance etc - community service.
 

Libero

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Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
3,000
Yeah, I heard that. The man in question is 30 years old and failed to pay a fine for driving a van without tax. His construction-related business has collapsed, and he's since handed the van back to the leasing company. As a self-employed taxpayer, he's entitled to very little by way of welfare support, is destitute and has been living off handouts from his parents and the community welfare officer.

The system is a mess right now. Judges often don't have the time or inclination to conduct an examination into claims that the person admitting to a minor offence is stoney broke. So the judge, not wanting to allow people walk away regardless of their guilt, issues a relatively small fine. The courts system and Gardai then follow up on this, and it puts the genuinely destitute in a desperate position and facing imprisonment.

Clearly, fines are a useful tool for punishing people without sending them to jail, but there's something rotten about a republic issuing a €250 fine to someone destitute, leading to his or her imprisonment, and issuing a similar fine to someone in employment, who writes it off as a couple of week's worth of disposable income.
 

typical

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Jul 8, 2010
Messages
575
Governance by liveline can hardly be worse than governance by Fianna Fail. It seems to be the bastion of justice in this case. Owe the country a billion, get a healthy pension, owe us a ton, get a healthy jail sentence. Sickening.

Not that governance by liveline would be very representative, apparently, many people are to cool to listen to the show. "I thought it was lifeline" yeah. :lol:
 

Clanrickard

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Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
33,034
The system is a mess right now. Judges often don't have the time or inclination to conduct an examination into claims that the person admitting to a minor offence is stoney broke. So the judge, not wanting to allow people walk away regardless of their guilt, issues a relatively small fine. The courts system and Gardai then follow up on this, and it puts the genuinely destitute in a desperate position and facing imprisonment.
A debt court would solve this in jig time or better still some form of arbitration. If its the state the accused and the guard or a civil case the person owed and the person owing. The judge could request so much is docked every week from the persons salary or dole taking circumstances into account. The problem as I see it, as someone who regularly uses the court to pursue debts, the person fined doesn't turn up completely p***ing the judge off. Also if you are a business pursuing a debt the judge will nearly be always gung ho to help the person you are persuing.
 

orourkeda

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Jun 22, 2009
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'government' isn't by 'phone-in'.

Just goes to show that the imprisoning of Pat, was totally over the top and is the wrong policy with regard to non-payment of fines.

ABTW, nothing 'ridiculous' about being in jail for non-payment of fines.
Perhaps his imprisonment was a touch OTT. However, how many other people are in prison at present who haven't paid their bills or fines on time and why has this guy been singled out for special treatment?

Is there an alternative solution?
 

Socratus O' Pericles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
33,553
It just makes absolutely no economic or social sense at all!

1. Tying up prison spaces which should be for dangerous criminals!
2. Costs an absolute fortune to the tax payer (circa €100k / year I've heard)
3. Damages the convicted person's ability to continue work / get future work
4. Potentially introduces people to dangerous criminals and even drugs while in prison.
5. The fine STILL remains unpaid!

So, basically the state has ended up spending a lot of money instead of collecting a simple fine! Maddening stuff when you think about it.

Wouldn't a community service order make more sense?!

In the case of a road traffic offense involving speeding etc, perhaps a community service order and a required course on safe driving?


Hard cases make bad law. If someone owed you, say, €2,000 and he/she refused to pay because of anyone of a myriad of excuses (blew the money on consumer goods, addiction, vindictiveness, etc.) would you not want them imprisoned until they paid up?

For unpaid tax / no insurance etc - community service.
 

Newsy

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Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
910
there's something rotten about a republic issuing a €250 fine to someone destitute, leading to his or her imprisonment, and issuing a similar fine to someone in employment, who writes it off as a couple of week's worth of disposable income.
+10
 

Newsy

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Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
910
Perhaps his imprisonment was a touch OTT. However, how many other people are in prison at present who haven't paid their bills or fines on time and why has this guy been singled out for special treatment?

Is there an alternative solution?
I'm afraid, no 'perhaps' about it.

It was a fine, for God's sake'!!!!

In this current climate or indeed any climate, sending a person to jail for NON-PAYMENT OF A FINE is a pure waste of money. Jail could be used in more of a productive manner than having people who have fallen down on their luck being sent to jail.

It is TIME to have a better solution, because this is going to happen more and more. Community service would be a much better alternative, but until such cases are highlighted more and more, nothing with change.

This guy was 'singled out' as you put it, because his father rang up to tell his story. He was prepared to go public. I congradulate him and his son.

There used to be a time when proverty was a shameful thing and therefore 'silence' surrounded it. More and more, proverty will be an issue and the stigma around it needs to be smashed.

There is no shame in being poor. There are so many 'Pats' out there and more and more their plight needs to be highlighted, so pressure can be brought about to CHANGE the system.
 

captainwillard

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Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
2,897
The man should not have been driving a vehicle without tax. Why should I subsidise his car? But jail costs a lot of money too. No solution to this issue.
 

Mena

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
25
I don't buy this.

The only time you're going to jail for a debt in Ireland is for contempt of a court order.

Once you've appeared in Court for debt and a judgement is granted against you, the Court has 3 options.

1. Send in the Sheriff. This hardly ever works as they're very unlikely to take anything from a personal home. Items such as cars on HP cannot be taken.

2. Judgement mortgage. This is where they can essentially sell your house to recover the debts.

3. Instalment order. This is the option chosen in the vast majority of cases. Essentially the Judge will order you to pay a sum of X per month/week. In most cases if you're in court (and it seems a lot of people just throw away the summons etc so do not appear before the Judge) you can show the Judge your income/expenses and they will make a realistic instalment order that you can afford.

If the Judge however goes on and makes an unrealistic order, you can have it reviewed, where a variation summons is issued.

The problem comes in where people don't actually attend court, and order is granted against you (where the Judge does not have access to your current financial status) and then you end up not paying or unable to pay.

That's when you can be sentenced to 90 days.

In effect, you've brought it upon yourself by not attending the court/disclosing your current status and not giving the Judge anything to work with.

At least, this is my understanding of the process as it stands.
 
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