Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 28 May 2017

Judge dismisses farmer's case against repossession and warns on quality of legal advice

Judge questions sources and quality of legal advice of people representing themselves

The Judge said the man had brought an action based on grounds not suitable for judicial review. 
The Judge said the man had brought an action based on grounds not suitable for judicial review. 

Tim Healy

A High Court judge has repeated his warnings about legal advice being given to people over repossession orders.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said that a number of applications contesting repossession orders have come before the High Court recently.

These applications are misguided, he said. 

The judge, noting that these actions are being brought on similar grounds by people representing themselves has questioned the sources and the quality of legal advice contained in the applications.  

The Judge made the comments while dismissing a farmer's application to challenge a decision by a Circuit Court judge to grant a repossession order in favour of a bank over the farmer's family home. 

Earlier this month the Judge, in dismissing several similar applications based on similar grounds, warned about certain legal advice being offered to those seeking to challenge repossession orders made by the Circuit Court.  

At the High Court on Monday, the farmer said his home was worth €250,000, and that the bank was owed €31k. He also said that he had made attempts to pay off what he was owed. 

Mr Justice Noonan said he had "every sympathy" with the situation the farmer found himself in, but that the man had brought an action based on grounds not suitable for judicial review. 

Judicial reviews were about the legality and the lawfulness of decision and not the merits of decisions, the Judge said. 

They can only come before the High Court by way of direct appeal against the Circuit Court decision, not as judicial reviews.  

The Judge also warned that by bringing judicial review applications, persons were damaging their prospects of being able to bring appeals against the Circuit Court's orders within the prescribed time allowed. 

The farmer said he had not been assisted by anyone and he had based his application on research he had done himself.   


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