Purchasers Information Pack

Purchasing a new property is an often daunting experience. It is important that you, the purchaser, are made aware from the outset, of the common steps you are to take, in this process.

At John Gaynor Solicitors we have prepared an information pack to explain the jargon and make the process clear and easy to understand.  Whilst each purchase is unique, we hope that this free pdf will give you a good idea of the steps involved.

To download, just click on the image below:

Purchasers information pack

DEFAMATION IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

The right to a good name and reputation is a long-established legal principle and is protected by Article 40.3.2 of the Irish Constitution. However, with the advent of social media, we discuss what your rights are and the issues that such technology poses.

 

WHAT IS DEFAMATION?

The Defamation Act 2009 provides the bulk of defamation law in Ireland. The Act defines a defamatory statement as one which injures a person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable people. The Act also stipulates that to successfully prove defamation, one must be shown that the defamatory statement:

  1. was published;
  2. referred to the person alleging defamation; and
  3. was false.

 

Defamation applies to all forms of communication – be it in print or verbal. It also covers all forms of online communication, including Facebook posts or comments, tweets, Snapchat posts, blog posts or comments, or reviews on platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. Defamatory statements made in Whatsapp groups can also be considered publication for the purposes of Defamation.

 

ISSUES WITH ONLINE DEFAMATION

Despite these strong defamation laws, there remains significant issues in relation to defamatory statements made online. Unlike taking a defamation case against a newspaper – who often budget for this very eventuality – the recovery of costs and damages from defamatory statements made online can be more difficult, if not impossible. This difficulty is a direct result of the anonymous nature of the internet and from the fact that individuals are usually not in a position to pay for any award of damages and costs made against them. Practically-speaking, this means that taking such cases can be risky and can rarely be done in a cost-effective way.

 

The main issue stems from current European Union law. These laws protect internet service providers and social media sites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter from the defamatory statements made by their users. These laws consider such companies as not having ‘actual knowledge’ of the activity of their users and therefore can’t be pursued under defamation laws. This has the effect of limiting the legal remedies open to those who have been defamed on their platforms and can often cause serious harm and distress for those involved.

 

RECENT CASELAW

Despite these laws, recent cases have shown that these companies can indeed be found liable if they don’t take action when an individual alleging defamation brings it to their attention.

 

England

In the English case of Tamiz v Google,[1] anonymous defamatory comments were made on a site owned and hosted by Google. The plaintiff sent Google a letter, bringing these defamatory comments to their attention. In response, Google took five weeks to forward the complaint to the individual who had made them. This person then took a further three days to remove them. The courts considered this response time as being unreasonably long and, for this reason, considered them to be a secondary publisher of the material. This has opened the doors for Internet Service Providers to be held liable if they fail to act within a reasonable time once an individual informs them of a defamatory statement hosted on their platform.

 

Australia

Following the decision in Tamiz, in Google v Duffy[2] the Supreme Court of Southern Australia held that once Google had received notification of false and defamatory statements, they may be held liable as a secondary publisher if they fail to act in an ‘expedient timeframe’.

 

Ireland

The courts in Ireland had an opportunity to introduce the same principle into Irish law in the case of Muwema v Facebook Ireland.[3] Despite the trends in other common law jurisdictions, the High Court held that internet service providers are not obliged to remove the defamatory posts of an anonymous third party. It opted instead to force Facebook to reveal the identity of the user in question so that proceedings can be issued against them.

 

It is this author’s view the decision made in Muwema is not only impractical in today’s society, but it fails to provide an adequate legal remedy for those whose good name has been besmirched by anonymous, scurrilous and reckless online comments – often shared hundreds, thousands or even millions of times. This very issue was highlighted during the recent Ana Kriegel murder trial in which an innocent boy, unrelated to the case, was wrongly identified as one of the teenager’s killers. Do we really expect him to take defamation cases against thousands of people who shared his picture and personal details online? Although Irish courts are not bound to follow the decisions of the UK and Australian courts, it would have been preferable and more practical to do so and would better vindicate the rights of those whose reputation has been unjustly attacked.

 

JOHN GAYNOR & CO

John Gaynor & Co Solicitors recognise that defamation, be it offline or online, can serious harm and distress for those involved and can have significant emotional consequences for you and your family. That’s why obtaining the advice of a professional and experienced solicitor is in your best interests. For a free, no obligation consultation, call John Gaynor & Co Solicitors on (01) 454 0068.

Maximilien McKenna

John Gaynor & Co Solicitors

[1] [2013] EWCA Civ 68.
[2] [2015] SASC 170.
[3] [2016] IEHC 519.

john gaynor solicitors ward of court

Ward of Court

What is Wardship?

Wardship is a type of application that can be made to the High Court if a person becomes mentally incapacitated, meaning that they can no longer make decisions for themselves because they have lost the ability to do so by illness or otherwise, and the only option open to the family is to apply to the High Court to make the person a Ward of Court. Making someone a Ward of Court is usually the last resort and therefore we would like to answer all of your questions so you can make an informed legal decision to help your loved ones.

The Wardship procedure is complex but the end result is that a ‘Committee’, usually made up of family members, is appointed to deal with a person’s affairs and the person is declared to be a ‘Ward of Court’. The purpose of Wardship is to protect the person and their financial affairs and ensure they are properly looked after.

The Legal Test

For the purpose of an application for Wardship the legal test is that the person is of ‘unsound mind and incapable of managing their own affairs’. The legal test dates from the 1800’s and is a purely medical one.  

When is Wardship needed?

An application is needed when the person is no longer able to manage their own affairs and there are assets to be dealt with such as a house, bank accounts, investments or other assets. These assets cannot be accessed by anyone if the owner has no mental capacity to deal with them.

When is Wardship not needed?

An application is not needed if the person that has lost their capacity has previously made an Enduring Power of Attorney that can be registered by the appointed Attorneys and used to avoid the wardship process. This process allows authority to be transferred to the Attorneys. It is important to note that a Power of Attorney does not have the same legal effect as an Enduring Power of Attorney and all authority transferred under a Power of Attorney ceases once the person loses their capacity.

Who can be made a Ward of Court?

Any person who has lost their capacity, has no Enduring Power of Attorney in place and has assets that require protection can be made a Ward of Court.

The Application process:

Applications for Wardship are generally made to the High Court and dealt with by the President of the High Court with the assistance of the Registrar of Wards of Court who deals with the day to day administration of the applications. In certain circumstances, involving limited assets under €50,000 without property, an application can be made to the local Circuit Court.

Who can apply?

Generally, a family member of the person who has lost their capacity will bring an application to have them made a Ward of Court. However, it is not a requirement that a family member brings the application – a solicitor, doctor or hospital authority can bring the application.

How is the application made?

Applications are determined by the President of the High Court and the administration of the applications is completed by the Registrar of the Wards of Court Office. Upon completion of a successful application, a caseworker will be assigned to the file and will act as the point of contact for the Committee.

The court recommends that a person instruct a solicitor when proceeding with an application to the High Court.  A Solicitor will best be able to furnish the court with all the relevant details needed to make the application by way of a formal application called a Petition and medical condition by way of two medical reports, details of income and assets and next of kin among other details.

How does the application process work?

  1. Petition and Medical Reports:

The application is formally known as a ‘Petition’. Once the Petition and medical evidence are lodged with the Court, the Registrar of Wards of Court will review the papers and raise any queries that may arise directly with the solicitor of the person who submitted the application.

  1. High Court Review of Application:

Once the papers are in order the President of the High Court will review the papers and, in the event that the President is of the view that it is appropriate for the person to be made a Ward of Court an Inquiry Order will be granted by the Court. The Inquiry Order will direct that an investigation is carried out by a medical attendant instructed by the Court to report on the capacity of the person to be made a Ward of Court. The President will also direct that the Wardship papers be served on the person to be made a Ward of Court and proof of service of the papers lodged with the Court.

  1. Court Case and Management of the Assets:

After these requirements are met the case will be listed before the High Court for an Order to be made declaring the person a Ward of Court and making directions for dealings with their assets.

Wardship Timeframe

The process to make someone a Ward of Court is reliant on a number of parties, such as doctors and consultants who must furnish medical evidence. Therefore, the timeframe for completion of a Wardship application is dependent on these factors. In general, applications can take between 9-12 months.

For further information please visit our website at https://www.jgs.ie/ or call our office at 01-4540068

Author: Michelle Collier

John Gaynor & Co.

Solicitors

42-46 Thomas Street

Dublin 8.

selling houses

Sellers Guide

Whether you are considering selling a property in the coming weeks, months or years, at John Gaynor & Co we want to speak to you. We are happy to provide a free, no obligation consultation where one of our Solicitors will meet you in person and answer every question you might have about the process as well as openly providing you with the benefit of our 45 years’ experience dealing with property transactions; from apartments to large family homes, new build houses and commercial property.

 

We understand that we are all time poor and with our busy lives it can be difficult to find the time to visit at a Solicitors’ Office during standard working hours, for this reason we offer early morning appointments from 07.30am Monday to Friday as well as Saturday mornings, by appointment.

 

Of course, should you prefer we are happy to discuss the sale of your property over the telephone or via email and would be delighted to send you a full quotation within 1 hour of your enquiry.

 

The Sale Process – 5 Steps

Below we have split the sale process into 5 manageable steps, at John Gaynor & Co we are happy to provide you with as much or as little information about the process as you require. The transaction usually takes approximately 8 weeks from the receipt of Title Deeds to you receiving your Sale funds.

 

  1. Collection of Title Deeds

Once you have instructed your Estate Agent (or ideally before) we would be delighted to hear from you in order that we can request your Title Deeds from your mortgage bank; this can take 2 to 3 weeks to receive and as such the request needs to be made prior to accepting an offer on your property. If you do not have a Mortgage on your property you can deliver your Deeds directly to our office in person ensuring that you receive a full receipt confirming each document received in a Schedule of Documents. At this stage we shall also send you a seller’s questionnaire in order to learn everything required from a legal stand point about your property, thereby allowing our firm to deal with anything required at the outset, avoiding delays later into the process.

 

  1. Sale Agreed

Hopefully the Title Deeds will have been received prior to this point and any architects/local authority certs, Maps, redemption figures etc. have been requested and received. The Estate Agent will let your solicitor know the contact details for the purchaser’s solicitor and Contracts can be drafted and sent out to their office immediately.

 

  1. Replying to Pre-Contract Enquiries

The purchaser’s solicitor will review the Contracts and raise standard pre-contact enquiries. At John Gaynor & Co we gather all requisite information prior to this point, ensuring that nothing further needs to be requested at this stage avoiding any possible delays in the transaction. We may need some information from you regarding parking, property taxes etc. and this can be dealt with via email or over the telephone.

 

  1. Execution of Contracts

The purchaser will execute the Contracts first and once received we shall arrange an appointment for you to call into our office and counter-sign the Contracts, at this stage we shall also insert a closing date (usually 4 weeks from this point) and the transaction will reach the binding stage.

 

  1. Closing

We will advise you of the closing date and ensure you have plenty of time to remove your furniture and belongings from the property. On closing we shall receive the balance of funds and release the keys to the purchasers. Having already received your redemption figures from your mortgage bank we shall immediately furnish the bank with the sum owing in order to ensure you do not pay any additional interest on your Mortgage, the bank will then send us evidence that your mortgage has been cancelled and removed from the property. We shall then furnish the balance of sale proceeds to you in a manner of your choosing adhering to our strict cyber security protocols.

 

We hope the above breakdown has been helpful however we fully appreciate a lot of the language used and the transaction itself can be alien to anyone who may not have sold property in Ireland before, we would be delighted to explain each element of the transaction in person, over the telephone or via email and we look forward to hearing from you in the future.

For further information please call our office at 01-4540068

 

Author: John Gaynor
John Gaynor & Co.
Solicitors
42-46 Thomas Street
Dublin 8.

purchase a house

Purchasers Guide

Whether you are considering purchasing a property in the coming weeks, months or years, at John Gaynor & Co we want to speak to you. We are happy to provide a free, no obligation consultation where one of our Solicitors will meet you in person and answer every question you might have about the process as well as openly providing you with the benefit of our 45 years’ experience dealing with property transactions; from apartments to large family homes, new build houses and commercial property.

 

We understand that we are all time poor and with our busy lives it can be difficult to find the time to visit at a Solicitors’ Office during standard working hours, for this reason we offer early morning appointments from 07.30am Monday to Friday as well as Saturday mornings, by appointment.

 

Of course, should you prefer we are happy to discuss the purchase of your property over the telephone or via email and would be delighted to send you a full quotation within 1 hour of your enquiry. This quotation will also include post completion matters such as Stamp Duty (https://www.revenue.ie/en/property/stamp-duty/what-is-stamp-duty/index.aspx) and Property Registration Fees (https://www.prai.ie/fees/).

 

 

The Purchase Process – 5 Steps

Below we have split the purchase process into 5 manageable steps, at John Gaynor & Co we are happy to provide you with as much or as little information about the process as you require. The transaction usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks from the receipt of Contracts to you receiving the keys to your new home or investment property.

 

1.Sale Agreed

At this stage you will have paid your Booking Deposit to the Estate Agent (a non-binding statement of intent) and hopefully received confirmation from your Mortgage Bank regarding your Loan Offer. Although we encourage buyers to make contact with our firm prior to reaching this stage, this is generally when the majority of our clients contact our office and instruct our firm to handle their transaction.

 

2.Receipt of Contracts/Solicitors’ Loan Pack

The Sellers’ Solicitor will prepare the Contracts and upon receipt you will be provided with a copy of our pre-contract enquiries (list of queries raised based upon our review of the documentation) as well as a breakdown of the figures and when each portion of funds is required. At this stage we would also receive a standard set of documents from your Mortgage Bank (The Solicitors’ Pack).

 

  1. Execution of Contracts & Banking Documents

Once satisfactory replies to our above-mentioned pre-contract enquiries have been received from the Sellers’ Solicitor, we shall then arrange an appointment for you to call to our office and sign the Contracts and Banking Documentation. At this stage we shall give you a detailed synopsis on the Legal Title to your property and fully inform you of any possible risks or items to be aware of. We always ensure that a “Subject to Loan Clause” has been inserted into the Special Conditions of the Contracts affording you as the Purchaser crucial protection from penalties should your banking fall through – Please see our David O’Dowd’s Letter to the Irish Times discussing same – (https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/subject-to-loan-and-buying-a-house-1.3397620).

 

  1. Banking/Closing Date

At this stage you are committed to the transaction and as such we shall confirm the closing date which usually occurs about 4 weeks from the signing of Contracts as well as liaise directly with your Mortgage Bank/Broker to ensure any required documentation has been submitted.

 

  1. Closing

We draw down your mortgage funds, carry out closing searches and review the closing documentation furnished from the Sellers’ Solicitor. Once both sides are satisfied funds will be authorised to be released to the Sellers and your keys will be available for collection from the Estate Agent. We will discharge the Stamp Duty and carry out Registration on your behalf with no additional charge. Once registration is complete, we shall send you confirmation of ownership and send the Title Deeds to your Mortgage Bank.

 

We hope the above breakdown has been helpful however we fully appreciate a lot of the language used and the transaction itself can be alien to anyone who may not have purchased property in Ireland before, we would be delighted to explain each element of the transaction in person, over the telephone or via email and we look forward to hearing from you in the future.

For further information please call our office at 01-4540068

Author: John Gaynor
John Gaynor & Co.
Solicitors
42-46 Thomas Street
Dublin 8.

 

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