Search Legislation

The Child Support(Northern Ireland) Order 1991

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Commitment to prison

37.—(1) Where the Department has sought to recover an amount by virtue of Article 35 and that amount, or any portion of it, remains unpaid the Department may apply to a court of summary jurisdiction for the issue of a warrant committing the liable person to prison.

(2) On any such application the court shall (in the presence of the liable person) inquire as to—

(a)the liable person’s means; and

(b)whether there has been wilful refusal or culpable neglect on his part.

(3) If, but only if, the court is of the opinion that there has been wilful refusal or culpable neglect on the part of the liable person it may—

(a)issue a warrant of commitment against him; or

(b)fix a term of imprisonment and postpone the issue of the warrant until such time and on such conditions (if any) as it thinks just.

(4) Any such warrant—

(a)shall be made in respect of an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(i)the amount in respect of which the liability order was made or so much of that amount as remains outstanding; and

(ii)an amount (determined in accordance with regulations made by the Department) in respect of the costs of commitment; and

(b)shall state that amount.

(5) No warrant may be issued under this Article against a person who is under the age of 18.

(6) A warrant issued under this Article shall order the liable person—

(a)to be imprisoned for a specified period; but

(b)to be released (unless he is in custody for some other reason) on payment of the amount stated in the warrant.

(7) The maximum period of imprisonment which may be imposed by virtue of paragraph (6) shall be calculated in accordance with Schedule 3 to the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(1) (maximum periods of imprisonment in default of payment) but shall not exceed six weeks.

(8) The Department may by regulations make provision for the period of imprisonment specified in any warrant issued under this Article to be reduced where there is part payment of the amount in respect of which the warrant was issued.

(9) A warrant issued under this Article may be directed to such person or persons as the court issuing it thinks fit.

(10) Article 110 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (application of money found on defaulter) shall apply in relation to a warrant issued under this Article against a liable person as it applies in relation to the enforcement of a sum mentioned in paragraph (1) of that Article.

(11) The Department may by regulations make provision—

(a)as to the form of any warrant issued under this Article;

(b)allowing an application under this Article to be renewed where no warrant is issued or term of imprisonment is fixed;

(c)that a statement in writing to the effect that wages of any amount have been paid to the liable person during any period, purporting to be signed by or on behalf of his employer, shall be evidence of the facts stated;

(d)that, for the purposes of enabling an inquiry to be made as to the liable person’s conduct and means, a justice of the peace may issue a summons to him to appear before a court of summary jurisdiction and (if he does not obey) may issue a warrant for his arrest;

(e)that for the purpose of enabling such an inquiry, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant for the liable person’s arrest without issuing a summons;

(f)as to the execution of a warrant for arrest.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources