Maintenance Orders Act, 1974

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 16/1974
Year1974


Number 16 of 1974


MAINTENANCE ORDERS ACT, 1974


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title.

2.

Commencement.

3.

Interpretation.

4.

Scope of Act.

5.

Expenses.

PART II

Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Maintenance Orders

6.

Recognition and enforcement.

7.

Appeal against enforcement order.

8.

Appeal against refusal of enforcement order.

9.

Prohibition of recognition and enforcement.

10.

Jurisdiction, substance not to be examined.

11.

Partial enforcement.

12.

Restriction on security for costs.

13.

Documents required to accompany request for enforcement order.

14.

Enforcement by District Court.

15.

Service of certain documents.

16.

Saving.

17.

Jurisdiction where defendant resides in reciprocating jurisdiction and transmission of documents.

18.

Restriction on making, etc., of maintenance orders.

19.

Transmission of maintenance order to reciprocating jurisdiction for enforcement.

20.

Obtaining of evidence from reciprocating jurisdiction.

21.

Taking of evidence for court in reciprocating jurisdiction.

22.

Evidence in proceedings.


Acts Referred to

Courts Act, 1971

1971, No. 36

Married Women (Maintenance in case of Desertion) Act, 1886

1886, c. 52

Illegitimate Children (Affiliation Orders) Act, 1930

1930, No. 17

Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1940

1940, No. 23

Courts Act, 1964

1964, No. 11


Number 16 of 1974


MAINTENANCE ORDERS ACT, 1974


AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION IN RELATION TO THE RECIPROCAL RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS AS BETWEEN THE STATE AND NORTHERN IRELAND, ENGLAND AND WALES AND SCOTLAND. [9th July, 1974]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

PART I

Preliminary and General

Short title.

1.—This Act may be cited as the Maintenance Orders Act, 1974.

Commencement.

2.—This Act shall come into operation on such day as the Minister for Justice by order appoints.

Interpretation.

3.—(1) In this Act—

“appropriate authority” means the person who, in a reciprocating jurisdiction, has a function corresponding to that of the Master of the High Court under section 19 (3);

“enforcement order” has the meaning assigned to it in section 6;

“maintenance creditor”, in relation to a maintenance order, means the person entitled to the payments for which the order provides;

“maintenance debtor”, in relation to a maintenance order, means the person liable to make payments under the order;

“maintenance order” means—

(a) an order (including an affiliation order or an order consequent thereon) which provides for the periodical payment of sums of money towards the maintenance of any person, being a person whom the person liable to make payments under the order is, in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the order was made, liable to maintain, or

(b) an affiliation order or an order consequent thereon, being an order which provides for the payment by a person adjudged, found or declared to be a child's father of expenses incidental to the birth of the child or, where the child has died, of the funeral expenses,

and, in the case of a maintenance order which has been varied, means that order as varied;

“maintenance proceedings” means proceedings in relation to the making, variation or revocation of a maintenance order;

“notice of the institution of the proceedings”, in relation to maintenance proceedings, means—

(a) where the proceedings were instituted in the State, a copy of the summons or other originating document served in the State or a notice of the issue of the summons or other originating document,

(b) where the proceedings were instituted in Northern Ireland or in England and Wales, a copy of the summons or other originating document served in a reciprocating jurisdiction, a notice that a provisional maintenance order has been made or a notice of an application to a court for a maintenance order,

(c) where the proceedings were instituted in Scotland, a copy of the writ, summons or other originating document, together with a copy of the warrant for service and a copy of the citation;

“reciprocating jurisdiction” means Northern Ireland, England and Wales, or Scotland;

“revocation”, in relation to a maintenance order, includes the discharge of such order or the termination of a weekly sum payable thereunder and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt, a maintenance order includes—

(a) such an order which is incidental to a decision as to the status of natural persons,

(b) such an order obtained by or in favour of a public authority in connection with the provision of maintenance or other benefits in respect of a person whom the maintenance debtor is, in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the order was made, liable to maintain, and

(c) a provision in an agreement in writing between spouses for the making by one spouse of periodical payments towards the maintenance of the other or of any of their children or of any child to whom either is in loco parentis, being an agreement which has been embodied in or approved by a court order or made a rule of court.

(3) A reference in this Act to a section is to a section of this Act unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended.

(4) A reference in this Act to a subsection, paragraph or other division is to the subsection, paragraph or other division of the provision in which the reference occurs unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.

Scope of Act.

4.—This Act shall have effect in relation to maintenance orders whether made before or after the commencement of this Act but shall not have effect in relation to arrears accrued before such commencement.

Expenses.

5.—The expenses incurred in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

PART II

Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Maintenance Orders

Maintenance orders made in a reciprocating jurisdiction

Recognition and enforcement.

[C 31, 32.1, 33.3, 34.1 (part) and 35]

6.—(1) Subject to and in accordance with this Act, a maintenance order made in a reciprocating jurisdiction and enforceable therein shall be recognised and enforceable in the State when, on receipt by the Master of the High Court from an appropriate authority of a request for the enforcement of the order, an order is made under subsection (4).

(2) The documents referred to in section 13 (1) shall be attached to the request.

(3) The maintenance debtor shall not, at this stage, be entitled to make any submission on the request.

(4) The Master shall consider the request privately and shall make an order (in this Act referred to as an enforcement order) for the enforcement of the maintenance order to which the request relates, unless it appears to him from the documents before him or from his own knowledge that its recognition and enforcement is prohibited by section 9.

(5) The Master shall cause his decision on the request to be brought to the notice of the maintenance creditor and, if an enforcement order has been made, shall cause notice thereof to be served on the maintenance debtor.

(6) (a) The notice to be served on a maintenance debtor under subsection (5) shall include a statement of his right of appeal under section 7 (1), the restriction imposed by section 7 (3) on the taking of measures of execution against his property and the provisions of section 9.

(b) Service of the notice may be effected personally or in any manner in which service of a superior court document within the meaning of section 23 of the Courts Act, 1971 , may be effected.

Appeal against enforcement order.

[C 36.1, 37.1, 38.1, 39.1 and 37.2]

7.—(1) Where an enforcement order is made, the maintenance debtor may appeal to the High Court against the order within one month of service of notice thereof on him.

(2) The Court may, on the application of the appellant, stay the proceedings if either enforcement of the maintenance order has been suspended in the reciprocating jurisdiction in which it was made pending the determination of any form of appeal or the time for an appeal has not yet expired and enforcement has been suspended pending the making of an appeal; in the latter case, the Court may lay down the time for which it will stay the proceedings.

(3) During the time allowed for an appeal under subsection (1) and until the appeal is determined, no measures of execution may be taken against the property of the maintenance debtor other than measures ordered by a court and designed to protect the interests of the maintenance creditor.

(4) The judgment given on the appeal may be contested only on a point of law.

Appeal against refusal of enforcement order.

[C 40.1, 40.2 (part) and 41]

8.—(1) If a request to which section 6 (1) relates is refused, the maintenance creditor may appeal to the High Court against the refusal.

(2) Notice of the appeal shall be served on the maintenance debtor.

(3) The judgment given on the appeal may be contested only on a point of law.

Prohibition of recognition and enforcement.

[C 27 (part) and 34.2 (part)]

9.—A maintenance order made in a reciprocating jurisdiction shall not be recognised or enforceable if, but only if—

(a) recognition or enforcement would be contrary to public policy,

(b) where it was made in default of appearance, the person in default was not served with notice of the institution of the proceedings in sufficient time to...

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