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Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

3Power of magistrates' court to make provisional maintenance order against person residing in reciprocating country

(1)Where a complaint is made to a magistrates' court against a person residing in a reciprocating country and the complaint is one on which the court would have jurisdiction by virtue of any enactment to make a maintenance order if—

(a)that person were residing in England and Wales; and

(b)a summons to appear before the court to answer to the complaint had been duly served on him,

the court shall have jurisdiction to hear the complaint and may, subject to subsection (2) below, make a maintenance order on the complaint.

(2)A maintenance order made by virtue of this section shall be a provisional order.

(3)If the court hearing a complaint to which subsection (1) above applies is satisfied—

(a)that there are grounds on which a maintenance order containing a provision requiring the making of payments for the maintenance of a child may be made on that complaint, but

(b)that it has no jurisdiction to make that order unless it also makes an order providing for the legal custody of that child,

then, for the purpose of enabling the court to make the maintenance order, the complainant shall be deemed to be the person to whom the legal custody of that child has been committed by an order of the court which is for the time being in force.

(4)No enactment empowering a magistrates' court to refuse to make an order on a complaint on the ground that the matter in question is one which would be more conveniently dealt with by the High Court shall apply in relation to a complaint to which subsection (1) above applies.

(5)Where a court makes a maintenance order which is by virtue of this section a provisional order, the following documents, that is to say—

(a)a certified copy of the maintenance order;

(b)a document, authenticated in the prescribed manner, setting out or summarising the evidence given in the proceedings;

(c)a certificate signed by the prescribed officer of the court certifying that the grounds stated in the certificate are the grounds on which the making of the order might have been opposed by the payer under the order;

(d)a statement giving such information as was available to the court as to the whereabouts of the payer;

(e)a statement giving such information as the officer possesses for facilitating the identification of the payer; and

(f)where available, a photograph of the payer ;

shall be sent by that officer to the Secretary of State with a view to their being transmitted by the Secretary of State to the responsible authority in the reciprocating country in which the payer is residing if he is satisfied that the statement relating to the whereabouts of the payer gives sufficient information to justify that being done.

(6)A maintenance order made by virtue of this section which has been confirmed by a competent court in a reciprocating country shall be treated for all purposes as if the magistrates' court which made the order had made it in the form in which it was confirmed and as if the order had never been a provisional order, and subject to section 5 of this Act, any such order may be enforced, varied or revoked accordingly.

(7)In the application of this section to Northern Ireland, in subsection (1), for the reference to England and Wales there shall be substituted a reference to Northern Ireland and in subsection (4), for the reference to the High Court there shall be substituted a reference to the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland.

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