Friday 17 November 2017

Judge who struck out 338 traffic offenses must reconsider cases

Judge Alan Mitchell
Judge Alan Mitchell

A JUDGE who struck out illegal parking and road traffic summonses against 338 motorists will have to re-consider the cases, the High Court ordered.

Last December at Galway District Court,  Judge Alan Mitchell ruled the 338 summonses brought by Galway City Council were defective.

They were not valid, he said, because they did not refer to Section 3 of the 1975 Traffic Wardens Act, which deals with the issue of fixed charge notices issued by traffic wardens for fixed charged offences such as illegal parking.

 Mr Justice Eamon deValera granted an application made by Stephen Dodd BL, on behalf of the city council, to quash Judge Mitchell's decision.  He ordered the matter be remitted back to the District Judge.

Mr Dodd argued the District Judge had erred in law because the offences the motorists faced were distinct from Section 3 of the 1975 Act.

Even if the summonses were defective, the judge erred in law in finding it was fundamental because he had failed to consider whether it caused any prejudice to the motorists concerned, Mr Dodd said.

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