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Almost 100,000 courts summonses delayed in Irish system following Covid-19 restrictions

95,000 summonses are currently backlogged in the system.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

ALMOST 100,000 COURTS summonses are currently backlogged in the Irish court system as a result of delays caused by Covid-19 restrictions.

Figures released by the Courts Service show that 95,000 summonses – documents issued by a court which make it a legal requirement for a person to attend – are backlogged in the system.

Delays in scheduling the summonses began after courts were required to reduce the numbers attending when Covid-19 restrictions began on 16 March.

The introduction of restrictions meant large numbers of non-urgent cases were adjourned to allow the courts to operate safely.

The service only began processing summonses again in the last week of July, when approximately 101,000 were waiting to be scheduled and an average of 4,600 new applications were received by the Courts Service each week.

Although processing re-commenced in late July, District Courts continued to focus on dealing with criminal and family law cases which required urgent attention, as well as cases where a waiting time had built up during the preceding months.

By mid-October, the backlog of summons applications grew to almost 122,000.

Over 97,000 summons applications have been scheduled since July, with 55,000 of these being processed since mid-October.

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“The summons scheduling waiting list is now being steadily reduced and we are working to eliminate it completely despite the Covid environment meaning it is not business are usual,” a Courts Service spokesperson said.

“We will continue to monitor this area closely in the coming months and work with the Judiciary and An Garda Síochána to maintain the good progress that is been made.”

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