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The Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. PART I INTRODUCTORY

    1. 1.Title, citation and commencement

    2. 2.Interpretation

  3. PART II FUNCTIONS OF RESIDENT MAGISTRATES AND JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

    1. Functions of resident magistrates and justices of the peace other than resident magistrates

      1. 3.Functions of resident magistrates and justices of the peace other than resident magistrates

      2. 4.Local jurisdiction of justices of the peace

    2. Protection from legal proceedings

      1. 5.Immunity of resident magistrates etc. for acts within jurisdiction.

      2. 6.Immunity for certain acts beyond jurisdiction.

      3. 6A.Costs in legal proceedings

      4. 7.Where warrant on conviction is issued by clerk or another justice

      5. 8.Acts performed pursuant to decision of High Court or on appeal

      6. 9.Where action is prohibited proceedings may be set aside

      7. 10.Defrayal by Lord Chancellor of expenses in connection with proceedings

  4. PART III THE HOLDING OF PETTY SESSIONS FOR A COUNTY COURT DIVISION

    1. 11.Petty sessions and petty sessions districts

    2. 12.Holding of petty sessions in courthouse

  5. PART IV MAGISTRATES' COURTS RULES

    1. 13.Magistrates' courts rules

    2. 14.Rules Committee may make recommendations to Lord Chancellor

    3. 15.Rules under or for the purpose of particular enactments

  6. PART V CRIMINAL JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE

    1. Jurisdiction to deal with offences

      1. 16.General jurisdiction to deal with charges

      2. 17.Offences committed on boundaries or on journeys: offences begun in one jurisdiction and completed in another

      3. 17A.Offences committed on ships and abroad

      4. 18.Summary trial of charges in and out of petty sessions

      5. 19.Time within which complaint charging offence must be made to give jurisdiction

    2. Summary trial

      1. 20.Issue of summons to accused or warrant for his arrest

      2. 21.Signing of summons by clerks of petty sessions

      3. 22.Summary trial

      4. 23.Non appearance of accused: general provisions

      5. 24.Non-appearance of accused: plea of guilty

      6. 25.Non-appearance of accused: issue of warrant

      7. 25A.Proceedings invalid where accused did not know of them

      8. 26.Non-appearance of complainant

      9. 27.Non-appearance of both parties

      10. 28.Power of court of summary jurisdiction to authorise taking deposition of person sick or unable to attend

    3. Right to claim trial by jury for certain summary offences

      1. 29.Right to claim trial by jury for certain summary offences

    4. Preliminary investigation of indictable offences

      1. 30.Preliminary investigation

    5. Preliminary inquiry into indictable offences

      1. 31.Power to conduct preliminary inquiry

      2. 32.Documents to be furnished to court and served on accused

      3. 33.Requirements as to written statements

      4. 34.Preliminary inquiry

    6. Provisions applying to preliminary investigations and preliminary inquiries

      1. 35.Committal proceedings to be in open court

      2. 36.Adjournment of committal proceedings to another petty sessions district

      3. 37.Discharge or committal for trial

      4. 38.Bail in treason, etc.

      5. 39.Binding over complainant and witnesses to attend trial

      6. 40.Committal after non-appearance of accused

      7. 41.Power to take deposition of dying person

      8. 42.Reading at court of trial deposition or statements taken at preliminary investigation or inquiry of a dying person

      9. 43.Facts to be stated on open court on plea of guilty

      10. 44.Reports of preliminary proceedings

    7. Summary trial of indictable offences

      1. 45.Summary trial of certain indictable offences

      2. 46.Powers of court in dealing summarily with an indictable offence

    8. Remands

      1. 47.Period of remand in custody or in bail

      2. 48.Continuous bail

      3. 49.Remand in case of illness or accident

      4. 50.Remand to enable inquiries to be made after conviction

      5. 51.Remand for inquiry into physical or mental condition

      6. 52.Power of court to sentence person convicted by another court in same county court division

    9. Sums adjudged to be paid by a conviction

      1. 53.Fixing sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction with regard to means of offender

      2. 54.Power to impose fine in lieu of imprisonment

      3. 55.Power to reduce fine or pecuniary penalty under certain enactments

    10. Imprisonment

      1. 56.Consecutive terms of imprisonment

      2. 57.Power to order detention for one day in precincts of the court in lieu of imprisonment

    11. Supplemental matters in connection with criminal procedure

      1. 58.Disposal of non-pecuniary forfeitures

      2. 59.Aiders and abettors

      3. 60.Attempt or incitement, etc., to commit summary offences

      4. Art. 61 rep. by 1989 NI 12

  7. PART VI DEBT AND EJECTMENT PROCEEDINGS

    1. Debt proceedings

      1. 62.Debt proceedings

      2. 63.Time within which debt proceedings may be commenced

      3. 64.Abandonment of so much of claim as is in excess of jurisdiction

      4. 65.Counterclaims

      5. 66.Decree for recovery of sum claimed to be full discharge

    2. Ejectment proceedings

      1. 67.Ejectment proceedings

      2. 68.Time within which ejectment proceedings may be commenced

      3. 69.Liability of overholding tenant or occupier

      4. 70.Recognizance upon appeal against order for possession of premises

      5. 71.References to landlord or owner

    3. Procedure in debt and ejectment proceedings

      1. 72.Issue of process

      2. 73.Hearing, etc., of proceedings commenced by process

    4. Powers exercisable by court in debt or ejectment proceedings

      1. 74.Order that decree shall issue either absolutely or conditionally

      2. 75.Transfer of proceedings to county court

  8. PART VII APPEALS AND APPLICATIONS TO COURTS OF SUMMARY JURISDICTION

    1. 76.Proceedings to be commenced by notice

  9. PART VIII CIVIL PROCEEDINGS UPON COMPLAINT

    1. Jurisdiction exercisable upon civil complaint

      1. 77.Nature of jurisdiction upon civil complaint

      2. 78.Time within which civil complaint must be made to give jurisdiction

    2. Procedure upon complaint

      1. 79.Issue of summons upon civil complaint

      2. 80.Hearing of proceedings upon civil complaint

      3. 81.Non-appearance of defendant

      4. 82.Non-appearance of complainant

      5. 83.Non-appearance of both parties

      6. 84.Dismissal without prejudice to further complaint as to same matter

    3. Powers exercisable upon civil complaint

      1. 85.Orders for periodical payment: means of payment

      2. 85A.Orders for periodical payment: proceedings by collecting officer

      3. 85B.Maintenance orders: penalty for breach

      4. 86.Revocation, variation, etc., of orders for periodical payment

      5. 86A.Interest on arrears

      6. 87.Remission of arrears and manner in which arrears to be paid

    4. Domestic proceedings

      1. 88.Nature of domestic proceedings

      2. 89.Sitting of court for domestic proceedings

      3. 90.Newspaper reports of domestic proceedings

  10. PART IX SATISFACTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS

    1. Sums adjudged to be paid by a conviction

      1. 91.Payment of sums adjudged to be paid by a conviction

      2. 92.Enforcing payment of a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction

      3. 92A.Fines imposed on companies

      4. 93.Restrictions on power to order immediate committal in default of payment of a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction

      5. 94.Supervision of person under twenty-one until payment of sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction

      6. 95.Power to order transfer of fines

      7. 96.Transfer of fines elsewhere in United Kingdom

    2. Orders for the payment of sums made in proceedings upon complaint otherwise than on conviction

      1. 97.Payment of sums recovered upon complaint

      2. 98.Enforcement of orders for periodical payment of money

      3. 99.Enforcement of orders for payment of money other than periodical payments

    3. Attachment of earnings for enforcement of orders for the periodical payment of money

      1. 100.Power of court to make attachment of earnings order

      2. 101.Making of attachment of earnings order

      3. 102.Compliance with order by employer

      4. 103.Persons employed under the Crown

      5. 104.Variation, lapse, discharge and termination of orders

      6. 105.Statement of earnings, etc.

      7. 106.Obligation of debtor and his employers to notify changes of employment and earnings

      8. 107.Power of court to determine whether particular payments are earnings

      9. 108.Offences in relation to attachment of earnings orders

    4. Orders made in proceedings commenced by notice

      1. 109.Recovery of sums awarded in proceedings commenced by notice

    5. Other matters in relation to enforcement of orders

      1. 110.Application of sums found upon defaulter

      2. 111.Release from custody and reduction of period of imprisonment on payment

      3. 112.Enforcement of orders other than for the payment of money

      4. 113.Review of commitment under Article 112

      5. 114.Issue, postponement and stay of execution of warrants

      6. 115.Duties of Constabulary and others with respect to warrants

      7. 116.Issue, postponement or stay of execution of decrees in debt and ejectment proceedings

      8. 117.Postponement of issue of warrants or decrees until appeal determined

  11. PART X WITNESSES AND EVIDENCE

    1. Witnesses

      1. 118.Summons to witness or warrant for his arrest

      2. 119.Penalty for witness failing to appear or obey direction of court excluding him

      3. 120.Refusal of witness to testify

    2. Evidence

      1. 121.Evidence on oath

      2. 122.Statement of wages to be evidence

      3. 123.Proof of non-payment of sum adjudged

      4. 124.Onus of proving exceptions in proceedings upon complaint

      5. 125.Proof of previous convictions

      6. 126.Proof by affidavit of service of summons, handwriting, etc.

  12. PART XI RECOGNIZANCES AND BAIL

    1. Recognizances to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour

      1. 127.Power to bind over

      2. 128.Discharge of recognizances to be of good behaviour, etc., on application by surety

    2. Bail on arrest

      1. 129.Endorsement on warrant as to release on bail

      2. Arts. 130, 131 rep. by 1989 NI 12

      3. 132.Powers of resident magistrate or other justice in relation to persons not released on bail

      4. 132A.Power to grant bail where police bail has been granted

      5. 133.Conditions on admission to bail

      6. 133A.Reconsideration of decisions granting bail

    3. Discharge of recognizance of surety where person committed for trial

      1. 134.Provision where person committed for trial about to abscond

    4. General provisions with regard to recognizances

      1. 135.Amount of recognizance

      2. 136.General power to order sureties to any recognizance

      3. 137.Acceptance of deposit of money or valuable security in lieu of sureties to a recognizance

      4. 138.Estreating of recognizances

      5. 139.Disposal of deposits in lieu of sureties in certain cases

  13. PART XII APPEAL AND CASE STATED

    1. Appeals to county court

      1. 140.Appeals against conviction or sentence, etc.

      2. 141.Appeals from orders as to recognizances

      3. 142.Appeals against imprisonment or fine for misbehaviour in court or against an order under Article 112(6)

      4. 143.Appeals in other cases

      5. 144.Procedure on appeal

      6. 145.Powers exercisable by county court on appeal

      7. 145A.Immunity of county court judges hearing appeals under this Part.

    2. Case stated

      1. 146.Cases stated by magistrates' courts

      2. 147.Powers of Court of Appeal

    3. Supplemental provisions as to appeal to the county court by way of case stated.

      1. 148.Bail on appeal to county court or by way of case stated

      2. 149.Recognizance to prosecute appeal and fees on case stated

      3. 150.Abandonment of appeal to county court or by way of case stated

      4. 151.Estreat of recognizances and making of orders as to costs in connection with appeals

      5. 152.Enforcement of orders made, affirmed or varied on appeal or of original order where appeal abandoned

      6. 153.Computation of sentence on appeal

  14. PART XIII GENERAL

    1. Forms

      1. 154.Objections as to want of form or variance between complaint, etc., and evidence adduced

      2. 155.Amendment of complaint or other documents

      3. 156.Validity of documents issued in proceedings

    2. Service of summons and execution of warrants

      1. 157.Summons or process lawfully issued may be served anywhere in Northern Ireland

      2. 158.Execution of warrants

    3. Power to rectify mistakes etc.

      1. 158A.Power of magistrates' court to re-open cases to rectify mistakes etc.

    4. Power of High Court to ament summary orders, etc.

      1. 159.Amendment of order of magistrates' court on application to quash it

    5. Miscellaneous orders

      1. 160.Misbehaviour in court

      2. 161.Adjournment

      3. 162.Recovery and remission of fees

      4. 163.Costs

    6. Representation

      1. 164.Appearance by counsel or solicitor

      2. 165.Conduct of proceedings by police officer

      3. 166.Corporations

    7. Supplemental

      1. 167.Expenses

      2. 168.Directions

      3. 169.Application to the Crown

      4. 170.Transitional provisions, construction of references, savings, amendments and repeals

  15. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      MATTERS WHICH MAY BE DEALT WITH BY A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE OUT OF PETTY SESSIONS

      1. PART I Enactments passed before 1st January 1936, under which functions may be exercised by a justice of the peace

        1. 1.The Justices of the Peace Act 1361 in so far...

        2. 2.Any enactment authorising a lay magistrate to sign summonses warrants,...

        3. 3.Section 5(1) of the General Dealers (Ireland) Act 1903.

        4. 4.Section 2. . . of the Game Preservation Act (Northern...

        5. Para. 5 rep. by 1985 NI 2

        6. Part. 2 rep. by 2002 c. 26

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      INDICTABLE OFFENCES WHICH MAY BE DEALT WITH SUMMARILY UPON CONSENT OF THE ACCUSED

      1. 1.Offences at common law of public nuisance.

      2. Para. 2 rep. by 1996 NI 24

      3. 3.Offences consisting in contravention of section 13 of the Statutory...

      4. 4.Offences under section 36 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861...

      5. 5.The following offences under the Offences against the Person Act...

      6. 6.Offences under section 20 of the Telegraph Act 1868 (disclosing...

      7. 7.Offences under Part II of the Debtors Act (Ireland) 1872...

      8. 8.Offences under section 5 of the Public Stores Act 1875...

      9. 9.Offences under section 3 of the Submarine Telegraph Act 1885...

      10. 10.Offences under the following provisions of the Criminal Law Amendment...

      11. 11.Offences under section 13 of the Stamp Duties Management Act...

      12. Para. 12 rep. by 1988 NI 7

      13. 13.Offences under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Amendment Act (Northern...

      14. Para. 14 rep. by SI 2001/1149

      15. 15.Any offence which under section 105(1) and (2) (corrupt practice...

      16. 16.Offences under section 3(1) of the Shipping Contracts and Commercial...

      17. 17.Offences of publishing, exhibiting or selling any indecent or obscene...

      18. 18.Offences under the following provisions of the Criminal Law Act...

      19. 19.Offences to which section 9 of the Criminal Law Act...

      20. 20.Any indictable offence under the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969...

      21. 21.Offences under Article 10 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order...

      22. Para. 22 rep. by 2003 c. 42

      23. 23.Offences under Article 21 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland)...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      MINIMUM PERIODS OF IMPRISONMENT IN DEFAULT OF PAYMENT OF SUM OR PART OF SUM ADJUDGED TO BE PAID BY A CONVICTION

      1. 1.Subject to the following provisions of this Schedule, the periods...

      2. 2.Where the amount of the sum due at the time...

      3. 3.In calculating the reduction required under paragraph 2 any fraction...

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      CORPORATIONS

      1. 1.Where a corporation is charged, whether alone or jointly with...

      2. 2.If the corporation appears before a magistrates' court by a...

      3. 3.Subject to paragraph 4, where the preliminary investigation or the...

      4. 4.Where any person is charged jointly with a corporation with...

      5. 5.In this Schedule— (a) “representative” in relation to a corporation...

      6. 6.A representative for the purposes of this Schedule need not...

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS, ETC.

      1. PART I TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

        1. 1.Where any enactment provides that proceedings may be taken, offences...

      2. PART II CONSTRUCTION OF REFERENCES

        1. 2.References in any enactment relating to proceedings before a magistrates'...

        2. 3.References in any enactment to the preliminary investigation of an...

        3. 4.References in any enactment in force on 30th November 1965...

        4. 5.References in any enactment to the Summary Jurisdiction Rules Committee...

      3. PART III SAVINGS

        1. Juvenile courts

          1. 6.Nothing in this Order shall affect the constitution of juvenile...

        2. Existing rules

          1. 7.All rules (including summary jurisdiction rules) or orders relating to...

        3. Rights in ejectment proceedings

          1. 8.(1) Nothing in the provisions of this Order relating to...

        4. Rights of, and restrictions upon, appeals

          1. 9.(1) Nothing in Part XII shall operate—

        5. Para. 10 rep. by 1988 NI 17

        6. Other savings

          1. 11.Where a default to which the provisions of Article 99...

          2. 12.The repeal of paragraphs 10 and 12 of Schedule 3...

          3. 13.Nothing in this Schedule prejudices the operation of sections 28...

      1. Schedule 6‐Amendments

      1. Schedule 7‐Repeals

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