PTSB v. David Langon -High Court, Record Nos. 2015/39CA; 2015/40CA Thursday 4th February 2016.

The above cases were listed before Ms Justice Baker on Monday 1 February.  They were Circuit Court appeals to the High Court on the issue of rateable valuation and in particular on the Plaintiff Banks reliance on same to constitute proceedings in the Circuit Court  jurisdiction. 

In considering the cases before her Ms Baker referred to the recent conflicting decisions of the High Court regarding rateable valuation and jurisdiction, the Finnegan  and Hanley  Judgments.

The Defendant in this case argued that the case should be stated to the Court of Appeal.  Ms Baker considered the matter and delivered a decision, yesterday wherein she noted that because the High Court hearing Circuit Court appeals does not have the same authoritative precedence when it comes to stare decisis and the fact that this issue needs to be resolved definitively once and for all she was going to state a question to the Court of Appeal.

Ms Baker has now put the case back in for mention on 25 February to allow her sufficient time to formulate questions to be submitted to the Court of Appeal.  She also noted this would give all sides a chance to consider a Judgment of Mr Justice White, currently due on 19 February which also relates to rateable valuation and jurisdiction of the Courts.

In light of the approach taken by Ms Justice Baker we think that it is likely that Justice White may also follow suit and state a case to the Court of Appeal for determination. In the event that this does occur it is unlikely that this matter will be determined this side of the summer break as the Court of Appeal is currently fixing cases for October or afterwards unless there is specific urgency.

Consequently as matters stand we are left with ambiguity and contradictory decisions in respect of the issue of rateable valuation and jurisdiction of the Courts and this may remain the case for a number of months to come.