Maintenance Act 1994

Taking of evidence for proceedings in designated jurisdiction.

19

19. (1) Where a request is made to the Central Authority by or on behalf of a court in a designated jurisdiction (“ the requesting authority”) to obtain the evidence of a person residing in the State for the purposes of any proceedings in that jurisdiction for the recovery of maintenance the provisions of this section shall have effect.

(2) If the request is in order the Central Authority shall refer the request to the Master of the High Court, who shall request a judge of the District Court to take the evidence.

(3) The judge shall cause notice of the time and place at which evidence is to be taken to be given to the person concerned, to the Central Authority for communication to the requesting authority, to the Master of the High Court and to such other persons as the judge thinks fit.

(4) The judge shall take the evidence and cause a record thereof to be sent to the Central Authority for transmission to the requesting authority.

(5) If it is not possible to take the evidence within four months of the receipt of the request by the Central Authority, the judge shall cause the reasons for the non-execution of the request or for the delay in executing it to be sent to the Central Authority for transmission to the requesting authority.

(6) The judge shall have the same powers in relation to compelling the attendance of persons and the production of documents and in relation to the taking of evidence as the District Court has on the hearing of an action.

(7) Where any person, not being a party to proceedings referred to in subsection (1), attends pursuant to a request under that subsection, the judge may order that there shall be paid to that person out of public funds such sum by way of expenses as the District Court may order to be paid in respect of a witness on the hearing of an action.

(8) If the Central Authority or the judge is of the view that the authenticity of the request is not established or that the execution of the request would compromise the sovereignty or safety of the State the execution of the request shall not be proceeded with.

(9) Where the requesting authority makes a request for the taking of evidence directly to a court in the State—

( a) if that court is the District Court, the evidence shall be taken by a judge of that Court, and

( b) in any other case, the court addressed may refer the request to the Master of the High Court,

and this section shall apply in relation to such a request with the necessary modifications.