Key Post High Court rules that if the Ombudsman dismisses a case, one can't take legal action

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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According to today's Irish Times, the High Court ruled yesterday that if the Ombudsman rejects a complaint, the complainant cannot start separate legal proceedings.


Mr Justice Charleton yesterday dealt with Joseph O’Hara, a solicitor,


The issue in Mr O’Hara’s case was whether the fact his complaint had been dismissed by the Financial Services Ombudsman precluded him pursuing High Court proceedings.


Mr Justice Charleton ruled that the ombudsman’s finding barred proceedings before the High Court on the same subject, save in circumstances of unconstitutionality.
It would be interesting to know what Mr O'Hara's case was as the legislation is very simple. A complainant can't have two bites at the cherry.

Of course, this ruling does not stop a complainant appealing the Ombudsman's decision to the High Court.
 

ClubMan

Registered User
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Not sure if you are implying that this may be a surprise to some people but it's clearly stated on the Ombudsman's website although I don't know offhand what the underpinning legislation is/states even if it's presumably available online somewhere (e.g. irishstatutebook.ie):

http://www.financialombudsman.ie/complaints-procedure/how-complaints-are-dealt-with.asp

Finding

The Finding of the Financial Services Ombudsman is legally binding on both parties, subject only to appeal by either party to the High Court. A party has 21 calendar days from the date of the Financial Services Ombudsman’s Finding in which to appeal to the High Court.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
Hi Clubman

I am surprised that it was not clear to the complainant, a solicitor, that he could not start a legal claim after the Ombudsman rejected his complaint.

Brendan
 
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