PTSB -v- David Langan –Court of Appeal, Record No 2016/131

Judgment Thursday 28 July

The Court of Appeal delivered its awaited Judgment in the above case on 28 July 2016. It originated as a Circuit Court appeal to the High Court which was in turn referred to the Court of Appeal. The central issue in the case was rateable valuation and in particular on the Plaintiff Banks reliance on same to constitute proceedings in the Circuit Court jurisdiction.

The Defendant in this case argued before the High Court that the case should be stated to the Court of Appeal as there were two contradictory High Court decisions on this issue; namely the decision of Judge Murphy in Bank Of Ireland -v- Finnegan1 and Justice Noonan in Bank Of Ireland -v-Hanley2.Justice Baker in the High Court considered the matter and stated that as the High Court hearing Circuit Court appeals does not have the same authoritative precedence when it comes to stare decisis and in light of the fact that this issue needed to be resolved definitively once and for all she was going to state a question to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Baker stated 5 questions to the Court of Appeal³ which centred around the circumstances where the Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear cases relating to land (including possession cases).

In considering the cases before it the Court of Appeal referred to the recent conflicting decisions of the High Court regarding rateable valuation and jurisdiction. Having considered both decisions the Court of Appeal preferred the reasoning adopted by Justice Murphy in BOI –v- Finnegan, namely that if a property does not have a rateable valuation then the Plaintiff cannot claim rateable valuation as a basis of jurisdiction in the Circuit Court.

I have summarised below the questions posed by the High Court along with the response given by the Court of Appeal:

Click here to view table.

What are the implications of this Judgment?

  1. Cases involving Principal place of residence are unaffected by this decision and can be brought/continued in the Circuit Court;4
  2. Cases involving housing loan mortgages created post 1 December 2009 are unaffected by this decision and can be brought/continued in the Circuit Court;5
  3. For properties built after the enactment of the Valuation Act 2001 where the mortgage was created prior to 1 December 2009 the Circuit Court does not have jurisdiction.
  4. For any property which is not rateable and/or for which no rateable valuation certificate is available (other than principal private residence/housing loan mortgage created post 1 December 2009), the Circuit Court does not have jurisdiction.