Solicitor

Man wins Supreme Court appeal for more detail in debt judgment.

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Man wins Supreme Court appeal for more detail in debt judgment. The defendant in summary proceedings won a Supreme Court appeal entitling him to more detail about how a €221,000 mortgage debt was calculated before a bank obtained judgment for the money against him. The defendant appealed claiming, among other things, there was confusion and uncertainty on his part as to his liability over the calculation including in relation to the principal amount due and interest computation. A three-judge Supreme Court sent the matter back to the High Court for reconsideration. The Chief Justice said the bank should amend its claim to include such details as it may think appropriate and further evidence to “fill the evidential gap” which had been identified before the High Court reconsiders it. The Chief Justice considered the special indorsement of claim and formed the view it contained “insufficient detail” as to how the sum was calculated in accordance with the rules of the Superior Courts. A plaintiff must establish the debt is due on its face before it is necessary for a defendant to establish a defence which meets the threshold for a plenary hearing over the judgment application, he said. While the basis for there being a claim was fully set out by the bank in general terms, it did not seem to him that the evidence as to why the precise sum claimed was said to be owed “amounted to anything more than mere assertion.” It was not clear what calculation led to the assertion that the sum claimed was the precise amount due, nor as to the amount of capital and interest or whether it included surcharges and/or penalties, he said.