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The Family Proceedings (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2002

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Declarations of parentage

7.  After rule 3.23 insert the following new rules—

Application under Article 31B of the Order of 1989(1) for a declaration of parentage

3.24.(1) An application under Article 31B of the Order of 1989 for a declaration of parentage shall be commenced by petition which, unless otherwise directed, shall state—

(a)the full name and the sex, date and place of birth and residential address of the petitioner (except where the petitioner is the Department);

(b)where the case is not an excepted case within Article 31B(4) of the Order of 1989, either the petitioner’s interest in the determination of the application or that Article 28(2) of the Order of 1991(2) applies;

(c)if they are known, the full name and the sex, date and place of birth and residential address of each of the following persons (unless that person is the petitioner)—

(i)the person whose parentage is in issue;

(ii)the person whose parenthood is in issue; and

(iii)any person who is acknowledged to be the father or mother of the person whose parentage is in issue;

(d)if the petitioner, the person whose parentage is in issue or the person whose parenthood is in issue, is known by a name other than that which appears in the certificate of his birth, that other name (which shall also be stated in any decree made thereon);

(e)if it is known, the full name of the mother, or alleged mother, of the person whose parentage is in issue, at the date of—

(i)her birth;

(ii)her first marriage;

(iii)the birth of the person whose parentage is in issue; and

(iv)her most recent marriage;

if it was at any of those times different from her full name at the date of the presentation of the petition;

(f)the grounds on which the petitioner relies and all other material facts alleged by him to justify the making of the declaration;

(g)whether there are or have been any other proceedings in any court, tribunal or authority in Northern Ireland or elsewhere relating to the parentage of the person whose parentage is in issue or to the parenthood of the person whose parenthood is in issue, and, if so—

(i)particulars of the proceedings, including the court, tribunal or authority before which they were begun, and their nature, outcome or present state;

(ii)the date they were begun;

(iii)the names of the parties; and

(iv)the date or expected date of any trial in the proceedings;

(h)that either the person whose parentage is in issue or the person whose parenthood is in issue—

(i)is domiciled in Northern Ireland on the date of the presentation of the petition; or

(ii)has been habitually resident in Northern Ireland throughout the period of one year ending with that date; or

(iii)died before that date and either was at death domiciled in Northern Ireland or had been habitually resident in Northern Ireland throughout the period of one year ending with the date of death; and

(i)the nationality, citizenship or immigration status of the person whose parentage is in issue and of the person whose parenthood is in issue, and the effect which the granting of a declaration of parentage would have upon the status of each of them as regards his nationality, citizenship or right to be in the United Kingdom.

(2) Unless otherwise directed, there shall be annexed to the petition a copy of the birth certificate of the person whose parentage is in issue.

(3) The respondents to the application shall be—

(i)the person whose parentage is in issue; and

(ii)any person who is, or who is alleged to be, the mother or father of the person whose parentage is in issue;

excluding the petitioner.

(4) The prescribed officer for the purposes of Article 31B(7) of the Order of 1989 shall be the chief clerk or proper officer, as the case may be.

Application under Article 32 of the Order of 1989 for a declaration of legitimacy or legitimation

3.25.(1) Unless otherwise directed, a petition by which proceedings are begun under Article 32 of the Order of 1989 for a declaration of legitimacy or legitimation shall state—

(a)the name of the petitioner and, if the petitioner is known by a name other than that which appears in the certificate of his birth, that other name (which shall be stated in any decree made on the petition);

(b)the date and place of birth of the petitioner;

(c)if it is known, the name of the petitioner’s father and the maiden name of the petitioner’s mother and, if it is different, her current name, and the residential address of each of them at the time of the presentation of the petition;

(d)the grounds on which the petitioner relies and all other material facts alleged by him to justify the making of the declaration; and

(e)either that the petitioner is domiciled in Northern Ireland on the date of the presentation of the petition or that he has been habitually resident in Northern Ireland throughout the period of one year ending with that date.

(2) Unless otherwise directed, there shall be annexed to the petition a copy of the petitioner’s birth certificate.

(3) The petitioner’s father and mother, or the survivor of them, shall be respondents to the application.

General provisions relating to applications under Article 31B or 32 of the 1989 Order

3.26.  Rules 3.27 to 3.35 shall apply to a petition issued under rule 3.24 or 3.25 as the case may be.

Affidavit in support of petition

3.27.(1) A petition shall be supported by an affidavit by the petitioner verifying the petition and giving particulars of every person whose interest may be affected by the proceedings and his relationship to the petitioner. Provided that if the petitioner is under the age of 18 the affidavit shall, unless otherwise directed, be made by his next friend.

(2) An affidavit for the purpose of paragraph (1) may contain statements of information and belief and the sources and grounds thereof.

Notice of petition to be given to the Attorney General

3.28.(1) A copy of the petition and every document accompanying it shall be given by the petitioner to the Crown Solicitor on behalf of the Attorney General at least one month before the petition is filed and it shall not be necessary thereafter to serve these documents on him.

(2) On filing the petition, notice of the petition shall be given by the petitioner to the Crown Solicitor on behalf of the Attorney General who may enter an appearance to the petition within 14 days from such notice.

(3) The Attorney General, in deciding whether it is necessary or expedient to intervene in the proceedings, may have a search made for, and may inspect and request a copy of, any document filed or lodged in the court offices which relates to any other matrimonial proceedings referred to in the proceedings.

Service of petition

3.29.  A copy of the petition endorsed with a notice to appear in Form M32 shall be served personally or by post on every respondent.

Appearance by respondent

3.30.  A respondent may, within 14 days of service of the petition, enter an appearance.

Answer by respondent

3.31.(1) A respondent who has entered an appearance may, within 14 days thereafter enter an answer to the petition.

(2) The respondent shall within 4 days of filing an answer deliver a copy of it to the petitioner and to the Crown Solicitor and any other party to the proceedings.

Application for directions

3.32.(1) After the expiration of the time limited for the filing of an answer under rule 3.31(1), the petitioner shall issue and serve on all respondents, and on the Crown Solicitor, an application for directions as to any other persons who should be made respondents to the petition or given notice of the proceedings.

(2) When giving directions in accordance with paragraph (1), the court shall consider whether it is necessary that the Attorney General should argue before it any question relating to the proceedings and, if it does so consider, the Attorney General need not file an answer and the court shall give directions requiring him to serve on all parties to the proceedings a summary of his argument.

Answer by the Attorney General

3.33.  Subject to paragraph (2) of rule 3.32, the Attorney General shall file an answer to the petition within 21 days after directions have been given under that rule and shall deliver a copy thereof to the petitioner and any other party to the proceedings.

Joining of parties

3.34.  Persons given notice of proceedings pursuant to directions given in accordance with rule 3.32 shall within 21 days of service of the notice upon them be entitled to apply to the Master to be joined as parties and the matter shall not be set down for hearing until that period and the period referred to in rule 3.33 have expired.

Setting down for hearing

3.35.(1) The petitioner shall request the Master to enter the cause for hearing by lodging in the county court office or the Matrimonial Office, as the case may be, a certificate of readiness in Form M33.

(2) At the same time as lodging the certificate of readiness, the petitioner shall deliver to the Office one bundle for the use of the judge consisting of one indexed copy of the following documents—

(a)the certificate of readiness;

(b)the petition;

(c)any other pleadings;

(d)affidavit of service;

(e)interlocutory orders;

(f)the requisite legal aid documents,

fastened together in the order shown and having endorsed thereon the names and addresses of the solicitors for the parties.

(3) Within 4 days of lodging the certificate of readiness the petitioner shall give notice of having done so to the Crown Solicitor on behalf of the Attorney General and to each party in the cause who has entered an appearance.

(4) The Master shall, subject to paragraph (5), fix a date for hearing and give notice thereof to every party in the cause.

(5) Save with the consent of all the parties or by leave of the judge, no cause shall be placed in the list for hearing until after the expiration of 10 days from the date on which the certificate of readiness was lodged.

Form of declaration

3.36.  A declaration made in accordance with Article 31B of the Order of 1989 shall be in Form M34 and a declaration made in accordance with Article 32 of the Order of 1989 shall be in Form M35.

Notice to Registrar General

3.37.  Within 21 days after a declaration of parentage has been made, the prescribed officer shall send to the Registrar General a copy of the declaration in Form M34 and the petition.

Transfer of proceedings under the Allocation Order of 2002

3.38.(1) Where proceedings are transferred to the High Court under Article 6 of the Allocation Order of 2002 any relevant documentation shall be sent by the chief clerk to the Matrimonial Office.

(2) The proper officer shall notify the parties of an order transferring proceedings from the High Court in accordance with Article 7 or 8 of the Allocation Order of 2002 and a copy of the order shall be sent to the court to which the proceedings are transferred.

(3) The chief clerk shall notify the parties of an order transferring proceedings in accordance with Article 6 or 7 of the Allocation Order of 2002 and a copy of the order shall be sent to the court to which the proceedings are transferred.

(4) An order under this rule transferring the proceedings in accordance with the Allocation Order of 2002 shall be in Form M36..

(1)

S.I. 1989/677 (N.I. 6) Article 31B was inserted by section 66 of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4)

(2)

S.I. 1991/2628 (N.I. 23) Article 28 was substituted by section 66(5) of, and paragraph 6 of Schedule 8 to, the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4)

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