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The Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

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Miscellaneous ordersN.I.

Misbehaviour in courtN.I.

160.—(1) A magistrates' court has jurisdiction under this Article to deal with any person who—

(a)wilfully insults a resident magistrate or[F1 lay magistrate], any witness before or officer of the court or any solicitor or counsel having business in the court, during his sitting or attendance in court or in going to or returning from the court; or

(b)wilfully interrupts the proceedings of the court or otherwise misbehaves in court.

(2) In any such case the court may order any officer of the court, or any constable, to take the offender into custody and detain him until the rising of the court; and the court may commit the offender to prison for a specified period not exceeding one month or impose on him a fine not exceeding[F2 £2,500] or both.

(3) A magistrates' court may at any time revoke an order of committal made under paragraph (2) and, if the offender is in prison, order his discharge.

(4) An order under paragraph (2) for the payment of a fine may be enforced as though the fine were a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction.

AdjournmentN.I.

161.—(1) A magistrates' court may at any time adjourn proceedings before it.

(2) Where a court of summary jurisdiction adjourns the hearing of a complaint any day on which a resident magistrate resumes the sitting to hear that complaint shall be deemed to be a day directed for the holding of petty sessions.

(3) The court may when adjourning either fix the time and place at which the proceedings are to be resumed or, unless it is remanding a person in custody or on bail, leave the time and place to be determined later by the court; but the proceedings shall not be resumed at that time and place unless the court is satisfied that the parties and witnesses had adequate notice thereof.

(4) Persons whose attendance has been required by summons shall, without the issue of further summons, attend on the day to which the hearing is adjourned.

(5) Where a magistrates' court is for any reason unable to sit at the time appointed for such sitting, the clerk of petty sessions may adjourn the sitting and any summons, process, notice or recognizance requiring or conditioned for the appearance of a person at such sitting shall be deemed to be varied so as to require the appearance of that person at the time and place to which the sitting is so adjourned.

Recovery and remission of feesN.I.

162.—(1) Where any person fails to pay any court fee, a court of summary jurisdiction may, on complaint of the clerk of petty sessions to whom such payment is due, make an order requiring the payment to be made and such order shall be enforceable in the same manner as an order for the payment of a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction.

(2) A magistrates' court may, if satisfied of the inability of a party in any proceedings or on whose behalf any proceedings are brought to pay any court fees, remit such fees wholly or in part.

CostsN.I.

163.—(1) Subject to magistrates' court rules, a magistrates' court may order that a successful complainant, plaintiff, applicant or appellant in any summary proceeding shall recover costs from a defendant or respondent.

(2) Where a complaint, debt or ejectment proceeding, application, appeal or other summary proceeding is dismissed, withdrawn or ordered to be struck out or where an order in any such proceeding is refused, the court may order that a defendant or respondent shall recover costs from the complainant, plaintiff, applicant or appellant.

(3) The court when making an order for adjournment may order that one party shall recover from another the costs of the adjournment.

(4) Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply to costs in criminal cases.

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