Criminal Justice Act 2007


Estreatment of recognisance and forfeiture of moneys paid into court.

15.— The Act of 1997 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 9:

“9.— (1) This section applies where—

(a) an accused person or a person who is appealing against a sentence of imprisonment imposed by the District Court (in either case referred to in this section as ‘the person’) is admitted to bail on entering into a recognisance conditioned for his or her appearance before a specified court on a specified date at a specified time and place, and

(b) the person—

(i) fails to appear in accordance with the recognisance and the court issues a warrant for his or her arrest, or

(ii) is brought before the court in accordance with subsection (7) and the court is satisfied that the person has contravened a condition of the recognisance.

(2) Where subsection (1) applies, the court may order—

(a) that any moneys conditioned to be paid under the recognisance by the person or any surety be estreated in such amount and within such period as the court thinks fit,

(b) that any sums paid into court by the person or any surety be forfeited in such amount or amounts as the court thinks fit,

(c) where a bank, building society, credit union or An Post deposit book has been accepted as security for the amount of the recognisance, that the entity concerned pay into court that amount, or such lesser amount as the court thinks fit, from the moneys held by the person or any surety on deposit therein, and

(d) where necessary for estreatment, that a receiver be appointed to take possession or control of the property of the person or any surety and to manage or otherwise deal with it in accordance with the directions of the court.

(3) Where a receiver—

(a) appointed under subsection (2)(d) takes any action under this section in relation to property, and

(b) believes, and has reasonable grounds for believing, that he or she is entitled to take that action in relation to the property,

he or she shall not be liable to any person in respect of any loss or damage resulting from the action, except in so far as the loss or damage is caused by his or her negligence.

(4) Money recovered by the receiver may, to the extent necessary, be applied to meet expenses incurred in the performance of his or her functions and the remuneration of any person employed in that connection.

(5) The court may, on the application of a member of the Garda Síochána and on information being made in writing and on oath by or on behalf of the member that the person has contravened a condition of the recognisance (other than the condition referred to in subsection (1)(a)), issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused person.

(6) A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest the person under subsection (5) notwithstanding that the member does not have the warrant concerned in his or her possession at the time of the arrest.

(7) Where subsection (6) applies, the member shall serve the warrant on the arrested person as soon as practicable.

(8) The arrested person shall be brought as soon as practicable before the court.

(9) Where a warrant has been issued under subsection (5), the person and any surety remain bound by their recognisances, and any money paid into court in connection therewith shall not be released before the conclusion of any proceedings under this section.

(10) Where the court makes an order under subsection (2), notice shall be given to the person and any surety stating that an application to vary or discharge the order may be made to the court within 21 days from the date of the issue of the notice.

(11) On such an application, the court may vary or discharge the order if satisfied that compliance with it would cause undue hardship to the person or any surety.

(12) The prosecutor shall be given notice of, and be entitled to be heard in, any proceedings under subsection (11).

(13) If an order under subsection (2)(a) or any variation of it under subsection (11) is not complied with, a warrant of committal of the person for such non-compliance shall be issued by the court and, for the purpose of determining the term of imprisonment to be served by the person, the warrant shall be treated as if it were a warrant for imprisonment for non-payment of a fine equivalent to the amount estreated under the said subsection (2)(a).”.