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Proceedings arising from trespass onto land should have been brought in Circuit Court

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court, in an application for legal costs, grants costs on the Circuit Court scale (with a certificate for senior counsel) to the successful plaintiff ,who sought and obtained injunctive relief and damages (€10,000) arising from a trespass onto his lands by virtue of the defendant having constructed a footpath on a small tract of land near his home, on the grounds that, despite the ordinary rule as to costs, the proceedings should have been brought before the Circuit Court despite a legitimate legal confusion at the time surrounding the jurisdiction of that Court to rule on such matters on the basis of rateable valuation.

Costs - application for legal costs following successful application for injunctive relief and damages - act of trespass on plaintiff's property by defendant having constructed a footpath on grass margin (small track of land near premises) - O.99 RSC - damages assessed at €10,000 - statutory provisions on the limitation of costs by court jurisdiction - conflicting legal authority on whether claim could be brought in Circuit Court based on rateable valuation - confusion later clarified by Supreme Court - claim initiated before High Court because of such uncertainty surrounding the appropriate jurisdiction - action ought to have been initiated before Circuit Court - costs to be awarded on Circuit Court scale with a certificate for senior counsel.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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