Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
257. Deputy Seán Connick asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the powers, duties and responsibilities of the position of sheriff; the circumstances under which a sheriff may enter private property; the limitations on the sheriff’s ability to enter private property; the way in which the sheriff determines the private property which will be seized; the private property which cannot be seized by the sheriff; the recommendations made to change the law governing the activities of the sheriff by the Law Reform Commission in 1988; the recommendations which have been adopted into law in the intervening period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41891/09]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): It would not be appropriate for me as Minister to provide interpretation of the law on legal matters. However I can confirm, that the powers and responsibilities of a sheriff are as provided for in section 54 of the Court Officers Act 1926, as amended by section 12 of the Court Officers Act 1945 and section 2 of the Court Officers Act 1951. Execution of a court order by a sheriff is provided for in the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1926. Execution of Revenue warrants is provided for in section 962 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997.
Section 133 of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 implements a recommendation of the Law Reform Commission relating to the powers of sheriffs by abolishing, with effect from 1 December 2009, the power of the sheriff to seize leasehold property used for residential purposes. Apart from the immediate benefit to residents of such property, abolition of this power will simplify the conveyancing of residential property by removing the need to make searches in Sheriffs’ Offices. Copies of Law Reform Commission Reports are available in the Oireachtas library. The Reports can also be accessed on the Commission’s website at www.lawreform.ie.
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