Monday, September 19, 2016

Know Your Rights: Small Claims Court



Question
I am not happy with work that I had done in my house by a builder and will have to pay for someone else to finish the job properly. What can I do to recoup the additional expense?

Answer 
If your original builder is unwilling to compensate you, you may be able to pursue a claim against the builder through the Small Claims procedure. The aim of this procedure is to provide an inexpensive, fast and easy way for consumers to resolve disputes without needing to employ a solicitor. The maximum amount you can claim is €2,000. The Small Claims service is provided through local District Court offices.
Anyone who has purchased goods or services for private use from someone selling them in the course of business may submit a claim using the Small Claims procedure. You can make claims for faulty goods or bad workmanship, minor damage to property and for the non-return of rent deposits for certain kinds of rented properties. Businesses involved in disputes with other businesses can also use the Small Claims procedure.
To make a claim, you complete an application form, which you can get from the Small Claims Registrar at your local District Court office. You can also get help in completing the form from the Registrar. Make sure you use the correct name and address of the person or company against whom you want to make the claim. The completed form with a fee of €25 should be lodged with the Small Claims Registrar. You can also apply online at the Courts Service Online website, csol.ie.

The Registrar sends a copy of your application to the person against whom you are making the claim. If the other party does not reply within 15 days of receiving your application, your claim will be automatically treated as undisputed and you can apply for a court order in your favour.  But, if your claim is disputed, the Registrar will contact you and let you have a copy of the reasons why the other party is disputing your claim. The Registrar will try to negotiate a settlement to the dispute. If no settlement can be reached, the matter is then set down for a court hearing in the District Court. 
You can get more information on your options from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330 
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Update 7th September - The National Flag

Question

What are the rules around using the national flag. Is it true that you can’t write on it?

 

Answer

The National Flag of Ireland is often referred to as the tricolour and consists of three colours – green, white and orange. It was adopted as the flag of the Irish Free State in 1922. It was formally confirmed as the National Flag in the 1937 Constitution:

“The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange.”
Article 7: Bunreacht na h√Čireann.

As part of the 1916 commemorations, the national flag was presented to every primary and post-primary school in the State. Along with the flag, schools received a copy of the 1916 Proclamation as Gaeilge and in English, and a booklet detailing the guidelines for respecting the flag.

These guidelines are issued by the Department of the Taoiseach and give extensive information about when the flag can be flown and how it should be used. For example, no other flag or pennant should be flown above it when it is being flown in Ireland. Care must also be taken not to let the flag touch the ground or become entangled with trees.

The flag should never be defaced by placing slogans, logos, lettering or pictures of any kind on it, for example, at sporting events and it should not be draped on cars, trains, boats or other modes of transport. It should not be carried flat, except when used to drape a coffin. The rules also say the national flag should be replaced if it has become worn or frayed, as it is no longer fit for display in a respectful manner. The same principles apply if the flag is reproduced in printed or electronic format.

However, these guidelines are not statutory guidelines. In other words, there are no laws setting out the rules around use of the flag. This means that there are no penalties for anyone who does not follow the guidelines.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Know Your Rights: GP services with medical card

Question: I have a medical card but my doctor has recently charged me for a medical certificate and for a blood test? Should I have to pay for these or should they be covered by the medical card?

Answer
Doctors provide services to medical card holders under the General Medical Scheme (GMS). This means that they have a contract for these services with the Health Service Executive (HSE). The services provided include consultations with patients and necessary treatments that would normally be provided by a general practitioner (GP). GPs also provide prescriptions for drugs, medicines and appliances as required.

Not all GP services are covered under the agreement. For example, if you need a medical report for a driving licence application you may be charged. You may also be charged for medical certificates for absence from work. If you need a medical report to apply for a social welfare payment, the Department of Social Protection may cover the fee.

If you have a medical card or a GP visit card and you need a blood test to diagnose or monitor a condition, this should be provided free of charge. If you have been charged for a blood test by your doctor, you can complain to the HSE. The HSE deals with these complaints on a case by case basis and will arrange for a refund, where appropriate. You make a complaint by contacting your Local Health Office.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000