Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act, 2003

Interlocutory Orders:

In December 2003 we reported here on the draft scheme of this Act by which court proceedings are excluded in assessment-only injury claims. An important exception was introduced on the scheme becoming law on 28/12/03 by the provision in s. 12(3) of the right of a claimant or respondent to apply to the court without having to commence court proceedings for:

any order of an interlocutory kind or power to make which is provided for by rules of court or otherwise inherent in the court’s general jurisdiction in civil proceedings and, in particular, an order restraining the transfer of assets to a place outside the State for the purpose of defeating the rights of another arising out of the relevant claim or the dissipation of assets for that purpose and an order requiring evidence to be preserved“.

Such Interlocutory Orders, whether to injunct the transfer of assets outside of the State, the dissipation of assets or to preserve evidence are made by Motion on notice or by ex parte Motion.

These provisions are particularly essential, given the other provision at s. 12(1) that no court proceedings may be brought in respect of any civil action for damages for personal injuries or personal injuries and damage to property until such time as an application for an assessment of the value of the damages claimed has been made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and it has issued an authorisation to bring such proceedings. Only if either party does not accept or is deemed not to have accepted the assessment will the Board authorise a determination of the claim through court proceedings. Such Interlocutory Orders will only be made by the court if it is satisfied that the sole purpose of the application is to ensure the fair and just disposition of any proceedings that could be brought in the event of the issue of an authorisation by the Board to commence court proceedings. An applicant for such Order shall be subject to the same duties to which he would be subject if the application were made in the course of proceedings brought in respect of the relevant claim and may be required to give such undertakings as the court may specify in addition to any undertaking he or she may be regarded as having given by operation of law.