Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 22 February, 2007
Written Answers. - Courts Service.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
Mr. Callely asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has satisfied himself that the Gardaí are in a position to enforce orders by the Family Law Courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6759/07]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: I am informed by the Garda authorities that Section 8 of the Enforcement of Courts Orders Act 1940 as amended by the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 provides that where the maintenance debtor is in arrears on payments, a District Judge may, if he thinks proper, direct that the sums payable be levied by distress, i.e. seizure and sale of his goods. Also a maintenance debtor can be imprisoned for up to three months for default in making maintenance payments.
I am further informed that with regard to breaches of Safety Orders, Barring Orders, Interim Barring Orders and Protection Orders, section 18 of the Domestic Violence Acts 1996 and 2002 provide that, where a member of the Garda Síochána suspects that there has been a contravention of the terms of an Order under the Act by the respondent, on a complaint being made to him / her in that regard by, or on behalf of the applicant, the member may arrest the respondent without warrant. For that purpose, the member may enter, if need be by force, and search any place where he suspects the respondent to be.
Section 23 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1926 provides that all orders of any Court for the arrest, attachment or committal of any person shall be executed by members of the Garda Síochána, and no such order shall henceforth be executed by an under-sheriff and no person shall  be arrested or taken into custody under any such order otherwise than by a member of the Garda Síochána.
Where orders are made by the Courts directing a course of action by An Garda Síochána they are complied with, where it is possible to do so. In the event that the order cannot be executed the matter is returned to the Court for direction.
Dáil Éireann 632 Written Answers. Courts Service.