District Court Rules

ORDER 54A

CIVIL PARTNERSHIP AND CERTAIN RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF COHABITANTS ACT, 2010

Definitions

1. In this Order—

“the Act” means the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010 (No 24 of 2010).

Venue

2. (1) Proceedings under the Act may be brought, heard and determined at any sitting of the Court for the court area where either party to the proceedings ordinarily resides or carries on any profession, business or occupation.

(2) Where the Clerk, having consulted the Judge for the time being assigned to the district within which such area is situate, certifies on a summons or a notice of application that the proceedings are urgent, the summons or notice may be issued for, and the proceedings may be heard and determined at, any sitting of the Court in that district.

Hearing to be otherwise than in public

3. Proceedings under the Act shall be heard otherwise than in public and only officers of the Court, the parties and their legal representatives, witnesses (subject to the provisions of Order 8, rule 2) and such other persons as the Judge in his or her discretion shall allow, shall be permitted to be present at the hearing.

Civil partnership or cohabitation proceedings

Necessary modifications to forms used in civil partnership or cohabitation proceedings

4. Where provided in this Order or where otherwise appropriate, a Form prescribed for use in proceedings under the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976 or, as the case may be, the Family Home Protection Act, 1976, is prescribed for use in proceedings under the Act, such modifications shall include that:

(a) there shall be substituted for the reference to a provision of the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976 or, as the case may be, the Family Home Protection Act, 1976 and the reference to that Act references respectively to the corresponding provision of the Act and to the Act, and

(b) there shall be substituted for references to a spouse reference to a civil partner or, as the case may be, a qualified cohabitant.

Applications for maintenance and related orders

5. (1) An application:

(a) by a civil partner for a maintenance order under section 45(1) of the Act, or

(b) by a qualified cohabitant for an order under section 175 of the Act,

shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the respondent of a summons in the Form 54.1, Schedule C.

(2) An application by a qualified cohabitant for an order under section 194 of the Act shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the legal personal representative of the cohabitant of a summons in the Form 54A.1, Schedule C.

(3) The order of the Court granting an application mentioned in sub-rule (1) shall be in the Form 54.5, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting an application mentioned in sub-rule (2) shall be in the Form 54A.2, Schedule C.

Application to discharge maintenance

6. An application by a maintenance debtor for the discharge of a maintenance order after one year from the time it is made under section 46(1) of the Act shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the maintenance creditor of a summons in the Form 54.9, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 54.10, Schedule C.

Application to discharge or vary order

7. An application at any time by either party to the proceedings under section 46(2) of the Act or, as the case may be, under section 173(6) of the Act, to discharge or vary a maintenance order made by the District Court shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the other party of a summons in the Form 54.11, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 54.12, Schedule C.

Interim order

8. An interim order made by the Court under section 47 of the Act shall be in the Form 54.13, Schedule C.

Application for lump sum order for birth/funeral expenses

8A. An application by a civil partner under section 67A(1) of the Act (inserted by section 147 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015) for a lump sum order in respect of the expenses incidental to the birth or funeral of a dependent child shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the other civil partner of a summons in the Form 54.14, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 54.15, Schedule C.

Clerk to send copy of order

9. (1) Where the Court makes an order under section 45, section 46, section 47, section 175 or section 173(6)(so far as it relates to an antecedent order made under section 175) of the Act, the Clerk shall give to, or send by registered prepaid post to the maintenance debtor or to the respondent party (as the case may be) a copy of the order so made.

(2) A copy of an order mentioned in sub-rule (1) given or sent to a maintenance debtor shall, where maintenance payments continue to be due by the maintenance debtor, have endorsed on it, or be accompanied by a notice containing the following statement:

“This order is made by the District Court. If you the maintenance debtor fail to make a payment due under this order, you may be liable to imprisonment for contempt of court.

In certain limited circumstances (including a material change of circumstances since the order was made or last varied), the District Court can vary the terms of this order. If you believe that such circumstances arise and are concerned that you may not be able to comply with the terms of this order and would like to apply for a variation, you should consult a solicitor or contact the District Court Clerk at...”.

Application for direction that payments be made to Clerk

10. An application by a maintenance creditor under section 50(1)(b) of the Act for a direction that payments under a maintenance order, a variation order or an interim order be made to the Clerk shall be made ex parte. Notice of such application in the Form 54.16, Schedule C, signed by the maintenance creditor or by his or her solicitor, shall be lodged with the Clerk at least 48 hours prior to the date of the intended application. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 54.17, Schedule C.

Payments to the Clerk

11. (1) Where the Court makes a maintenance order, variation order or interim order pursuant to section 45, section 46, section 47, section 175 or section 173(6)(so far as it relates to an antecedent order made under section 175) of the Act and directs that payments under such order shall be made to the Clerk, such Clerk shall send a notice in the Form 54.18, Schedule C by prepaid ordinary post to the maintenance debtor indicating the place at which and the days and hours during which payments under the order should be made.

(2) The Clerk shall give a receipt to the maintenance debtor for each payment made by him or her and shall transmit such payment to the maintenance creditor or, if authorised in writing by the maintenance creditor so to do, the Clerk may transmit the payment to the competent authority.

Application to discharge direction

12. An application under section 9(3) of the Act by a maintenance debtor to have a direction under section 9(1) of the Act discharged shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the maintenance creditor of a summons in the Form 54.19, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 54.20, Schedule C.

Recovery of arrears by Clerk

13. (1) Where payments to the Clerk under a maintenance order, a variation order or an interim order pursuant to section 45, section 46, section 47, section 175 or section 173(6)(so far as it relates to an antecedent order made under section 175) of the Act are in arrears, and such Clerk receives a request in writing in the Form 54.21, Schedule C from the maintenance creditor to take such steps as he or she considers reasonable to recover such arrears, such Clerk may make application under section 53 or, as the case may be, section 176, of the Act (in accordance with the provisions of rule 14) for an attachment of earnings order or under section 8 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1940 (in accordance with the provisions of Order 57).

(2) Where payments referred to in sub-rule (1) are in arrears and the Clerk has received no request to recover the arrears, such Clerk may in his or her discretion, having considered the extent of the arrears and any other relevant matter, notify the maintenance creditor of the means of enforcement available in respect of the order.

Attachment of earnings order

14. (1) An application for an attachment of earnings order under section 53 or, as the case may be, section 176 of the Act shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the maintenance debtor of a summons in the Form 56.1, Schedule C. Where the Court grants the application or, where the Court, having made an antecedent order, makes, in accordance with section 53(3) or, as the case may be, section 176(3) of the Act, an attachment of earnings order in the same proceedings in order to secure payments under the antecedent order, the order of the Court shall be in accordance with the Form 56.3 or 56.4, Schedule C as the case may be, with the necessary modifications.

(2) An application to the Court to order a statement of earnings under section 56(1)(b) or, as the case may be, section 179(1)(b) of the Act may be made without notice on any occasion on which the proceedings are before the Court. A statement as to earnings given by the maintenance debtor for the purposes of section 56(1)(a) or, as the case may be, section 179(1)(a) of the Act in the form appended to Form 56.1, Schedule C shall be verified on affidavit or on oath at the hearing of the application. A statement as to earnings for the purposes of section 56(1)(b) or, as the case may be, section 179(1)(b) of the Act shall be in the form appended to Form 56.5, Schedule C.

(3) Where an attachment of earnings order is made under section 53 or, as the case may be, section 176 of the Act, the Clerk, parties and employer shall proceed as nearly as may be in accordance with the provisions of rules 4 to 14 inclusive of Order 56.

Rules to apply to orders for maintenance pending suit etc.

15. Where the Clerk receives a copy of an order for maintenance pending suit, of a periodical payments order or of a secured periodical payments order made under the Act from the Registrar of the Court which made that order, and payments under the order are directed to be made to the District Court Clerk (as provided for in section 50, or section 50 as applied by section 134 of the Act), such Clerk shall register particulars of the order and shall proceed in relation thereto as if it were a maintenance order made at a sitting of the District Court for the district court area to which that Clerk is assigned.

Orders to secure payments

16. Where the Court has made an order providing for periodical payments by way of support or maintenance by a maintenance debtor to a maintenance creditor, an application may be made to the Court on a date subsequent to the date on which such order is made pursuant to the provisions of section 52 of the Act or, as the case may be, section 175(1)(b) of the Act, by any person having an interest in the proceedings to secure the said payments to the maintenance creditor. Such application shall be preceded by the issue and service of a notice in the Form 54.22, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting such application shall be in the Form 54.23, Schedule C.

Lump sum orders

17. Where, under the powers conferred by section 51 of the Act or, as the case may be, section 175(1)(c) of the Act, an order is made in the District Court providing for the making of a lump sum payment or lump sum payments the order of the Court shall be in the Form 54.24, Schedule C.

Shared Home Protection

Application under section 34(1) of the Act

18. An application by a civil partner under section 34(1) of the Act for an order prohibiting the other civil partner from disposing of or removing household chattels shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the respondent civil partner of a notice in the Form 60.1, Schedule C, with the necessary modifications. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 60.2, Schedule C, a copy of which shall be served upon the respondent civil partner.

Summons under section 34(3) of the Act

19. Where complaint is made by a civil partner to a Judge under section 34(3) of the Act that the other civil partner has contravened the provisions of section 34(2) of the Act, the summons which may be issued and served upon the other civil partner shall be in the Form 60.5, Schedule C. The relevant provisions of Order 15 shall apply in such case.

Application under section 34(4) of the Act

20. An application by a civil partner under section 34(4) of the Act for an order that the respondent civil partner provide household chattels for the applicant civil partner or a sum of money in lieu thereof shall be preceded by the issue and service upon the respondent civil partner of a notice in the Form 60.6, Schedule C. The order of the Court granting the application shall be in the Form 60.7, Schedule C, a copy of which shall be served upon the respondent civil partner.

Summons under section 39 of the Act

21. Where complaint is made to a Judge under section 39 of the Act that a person knowingly gave information which was false or misleading in any material particular, the summons which may be issued and served upon that person shall be in the Form 60.8, Schedule C. The relevant provisions of Order 15 shall apply in such case.

Joinder of parties

22. The provisions of Order 42A (Third Party Procedure) shall, with necessary modifications, apply to the proceedings mentioned in section 34(5) of the Act.

Declaring a conveyance void

23. (1) An application to the Court under section 28(1) of the Act to have a conveyance declared void shall be in the Form 60.9, Schedule C.

(2) The order of the Court thereon shall be in the Form 60.10, Schedule C.

Lis Pendens

(3) A person who instituted proceedings to have a conveyance declared void by reason of section 28(1) of the Act shall, as soon as may be, cause relevant particulars of the proceedings to be entered as a lis pendens under and in accordance with the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009.

Order dispensing with consent or giving consent

24. (1) An application for an order under section 29(1), section 29(3) or section 29(4) of the Act to dispense with, or as the case may be, to give, the consent required under section 28 of the Act, of a civil partner to the conveyance of the shared home shall be in the Form 54A.3, Schedule C.

(2) Where it is alleged that the civil partner whose consent is required under section 28 of the Act is incapable of consenting, the original certificate in writing by a consultant psychiatrist, within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 2001, shall be annexed to the notice of application lodged with the Clerk. The Court may accept affidavit evidence of the certification, subject to the right of any party contesting the certification to cross-examine.

(3) The order of the Court on such an application shall be in the Form 54A.4, Schedlue C.

(4) On granting an application under section 29 of the Act to dispense with or, as the case may be, to give, the consent required under section 28 of the Act, the Court may order pursuant to section 33 of the Trustee Act 1893 that a person be appointed to execute the conveyance of the interest in question and the order of the Court thereon shall be in the Form 60.13, Schedule C.

Protection of Shared Home

25. (1) An application to the Court for an order under section 30(1) of the Act for the protection of the shared home in the interest of the applicant civil partner or a dependant child of the civil partners shall be in the Form 60.16, Schedule C.

(2) The order of the Court thereon shall be in the Form 60.17, Schedule C.

Conduct leading to loss of Shared Home

26. (1) An application to the Court for an order under section 30(2) of the Act to compensate the applicant civil partner or a dependant child of the civil partners for loss of interest in the shared home occasioned by the conduct of the other civil partner shall be in the Form 60.18, Schedule C.

(2) The order of the Court thereon shall be in the Form 60.19, Schedule C.

General

Service and lodgment of documents

27. (1) A notice or summons required by this Order to be served may be served in accordance with the provisions of Order 41 and every such notice shall be served at least 14 days or, in the case of proceedings certified as urgent under rule 2(2), at least two days before the date of the sitting of the Court to which it is returnable.

(2) Save where service has been effected by the Clerk, the original of every such notice or summons served shall, together with a statutory declaration as to service thereof, be lodged with the Clerk at least two days before the date of the said sitting.

Stay on certain orders the subject of appeal

28. (1) In accordance with section 133 of the Act, notwithstanding the provisions of Order 25, rule 9(4) and Order 101, and that an appellant has entered into a recognisance of appeal, an appeal from an order under section 45 or 47 of the Act shall, if the Court or the Circuit Court to which the appeal is brought so determines (but not otherwise), stay the operation of the order.

(2) An application to the District Court to stay the operation of an order such as is mentioned in sub-rule (1), may be made following the service and lodgment of a notice of appeal and lodgment of the recognisance for appeal and when made otherwise than upon the occasion of the making of those orders shall be preceded by the issue of a notice in the Form 54.28 which shall be served upon the respondent to the application two days before the hearing of the application. The order of the Court granting the stay shall be in the Form 54.29.

[SI 17/16]

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