Maintenance Orders Act 1958

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1958 c. 39


Maintenance Orders Act, 1958

(6 & 7 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 39

An Act to make provision for the registration in the High Court or a magistrates' court of certain maintenance orders made by the order of those courts or a county court and with respect to the enforcement and variation of registered orders; to make provision for the attachment of sums falling to be paid by way of wages, salary or other earnings or by way of pension for the purpose of enforcing certain maintenance orders; to amend section seventy-four of the Magistrates' Courts Act, 1952; to make provision for the review of committals to prison by magistrates' courts for failure to comply with maintenance orders; to enable Orders in Council under section twelve of the Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act, 1920, to be revoked or varied; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Registration, enforcement and variation of certain maintenance orders

Part I

maintenance ordersRegistration, enforcement and variation of certain

S-1 Application of Part I.

1 Application of Part I.

(1) The provisions of this Part of this Act shall have effect for the purpose of enabling maintenance orders to which this Part of this Act applies to be registered—

(a ) in the case of an order made by the High Court or a county court, in a magistrates' court; and

(b ) in the case of an order made by a magistrates' court, in the High Court,

and, subject to those provisions, while so registered—

(i) to be enforced in like manner as an order made by the court of registration; and

(ii) in the case of an order registered in a magistrates' court, to be varied by a magistrates' court.

(2) This Part of this Act applies to maintenance orders made by the High Court, a county court or a magistrates' court, other than orders registered under Part II of the Maintenance Orders Act, 1950.

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of section twenty-one of this Act, in this Part of this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the following meanings—

‘High Court order’, ‘county court order’ and ‘magistrates' court order’ mean an order made by the High Court, a county court or a magistrates' court, as the case may be;

‘order’ means a maintenance order to which this Part of this Act applies;

‘original court’ and ‘court of registration’, in relation to an order, mean the court by which the order was made or, as the ease may be, the court in which the order is registered;

‘registered’ means registered in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act, and ‘registration’ shall be construed accordingly;

and for the purposes of this Part of this Act an order for the payment by the defendant of any costs incurred in proceedings relating to a maintenance order, being an order for the payment of costs made while the maintenance order is not registered, shall be deemed to form part of that maintenance order.

S-2 Registration of orders.

2 Registration of orders.

(1) A person entitled to receive payments under a High Court or county court order may apply for the registration of the order to the original court, and the court may, if it thinks fit, grant the application.

(2) Where an application for the registration of such an order is granted—

(a ) no proceedings shall be begun, and no writ, warrant or other process shall be issued, for the enforcement of the order before the registration of the order or the expiration of the prescribed period from the grant of the application, whichever first occurs; and

(b ) the original court shall, on being satisfied within the period aforesaid by the person who made the application that no such proceedings or process begun or issued before the grant of the application remain pending or in force, cause a certified copy of the order to be sent to the clerk of the magistrates' court acting for the petty sessions area in which the defendant appears to be;

but if at the expiration of the period aforesaid the original court has not been so satisfied, the grant of the application shall become void.

(3) A person entitled to receive payments under a magistrates' court order who considers that the order could be more effectively enforced if it were registered may apply for the registration of the order to the original court, and the court shall grant the application on being satisfied in the prescribed manner that, at the time when the application was made, an amount equal to not less, in the case of an order for weekly payments, than four or, in any other case, than two of the payments required by the order was due thereunder and unpaid.

(4) Where an application for the registration of a magistrates' court order is granted—

(a ) no proceedings for the enforcement of the order shall be begun before the registration takes place and no warrant or other process for the enforcement thereof shall be issued in consequence of any such proceedings begun before the grant of the application;

(b ) any warrant of commitment issued for the enforcement of the order shall cease to have effect when the person in possession of the warrant is informed of the grant of the application, unless the defendant has then already been detained in pursuance of the warrant; and

(c ) the original court shall, on being satisfied in the prescribed manner that no process for the enforcement of the order issued before the grant of the application remains in force, cause a certified copy of the order to be sent to the prescribed officer of the High Court.

(5) The officer or clerk of a court who receives a certified copy of an order sent to him under this section shall cause the order to be registered in that court.

(6) Subsections (1) to (4) of section nineteen of the Maintenance Orders Act, 1950 (which provide for the suspension, while a magistrates' court order is registered under Part II of that Act, of any provision of the order requiring payments to be made through a third party, for ordering payments under an order so registered in a magistrates' court to be paid through a collecting officer, and for authorising a person to make payments otherwise than in accordance with the requirements of that section until he has notice of those requirements) shall have effect for the purposes of this Part of this Act as if for any reference in that section to the said Part II and a maintenance order there were substituted a reference to this Part of this Act and a maintenance order to which this Part of this Act applies.

(7) In this section ‘certified copy’ in relation to an order of a court means a copy certified by the proper officer of the court to be a true copy of the order or of the official record thereof.

S-3 Enforcement of registered orders.

3 Enforcement of registered orders.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a registered order shall be enforceable in all respects as if it had been made by the court of registration and as if that court had had jurisdiction to make it; and proceedings for or with respect to the enforcement of a registered order may be taken accordingly.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the next following subsection, an order registered in a magistrates' court shall be enforceable as if it were an affiliation order; and the provisions of any enactment with respect to the enforcement of affiliation orders (including enactments relating to the accrual of arrears and the remission of sums due) shall apply accordingly.

In this subsection ‘enactment’ includes any order, rule or regulation made in pursuance of any Act.

(3) Where an order remains or becomes registered after the discharge of the order, no proceedings shall be taken by virtue of that registration except in respect of arrears which were due under the order at the time of the discharge and have not been remitted.

(4) Except as provided by this section, no proceedings shall be taken for or with respect to the enforcement of a registered order.

S-4 Variation of orders registered in magistrates' courts.

4 Variation of orders registered in magistrates' courts.

(1) The provisions of this section shall have effect with respect...

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