Summons backlog down more than a fifth to 95,000 applications

Summons backlog down more than a fifth to 95,000 applications

A major Covid-related backlog in the summons scheduling waiting list has been reduced to 95,000 from around 122,000 in mid-October, the Courts Service of Ireland has said.

The backlog arose from the need to reduce the numbers in court following the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions in March. The backlog had reached 101,000 by the time listings restarted in late July.

The backlog increased to 122,000 by mid-October despite 40,000 summonses having been scheduled, because more applications were being received than could be scheduled.

This was the case until the District Court worked its way through other non-urgent adjourned cases, freeing capacity within the system and allowing court offices to increase the scheduling of summons applications. Extra court sittings were also agreed with the president of the District Court to target backlogs in Dublin.

In a statement, the Courts Service said it has been working closely with An Garda Síochána to prevent the delays becoming “an immovable backlog heading into 2021”.

The backlog has been reduced to 95,000 applications, with over 97,000 applications having been scheduled since July, including 55,000 since mid-October.

A spokesperson for the Courts Service said: “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.

“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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