Maintenance Act, 1994

Evidence in proceedings.

21.—(1) Subject to subsection (4), in any proceedings under Part II or III , unless the court sees good reason to the contrary, a document—

(a) purporting to be signed by a judge, magistrate or officer of a court in a reciprocating jurisdiction or designated jurisdiction and to be a statement of arrears under an order of that court for the recovery of maintenance, or

(b) purporting to be—

(i) a tax assessment or other statement or certificate relating to tax,

(ii) a statement or certificate of earnings,

(iii) a medical certificate,

(iv) a statement or certificate that a person was employed or was unemployed for a specified period,

(v) a letter written by a party to maintenance proceedings who is residing in a reciprocating jurisdiction or designated jurisdiction,

(vi) an affidavit or other document made or signed by such a party, or a witness, residing in such a jurisdiction,

(vii) a document establishing a marital relationship between parties to such proceedings or a relationship between the parties, or one of the parties, and a child for whom maintenance is sought in the proceedings, or

(viii) a document establishing that a person or body is entitled to exercise, under the law of the state in which that party resides, the rights of the party seeking maintenance,

may, unless the contrary is proved, be admitted as evidence that it is such a document and as evidence of any matter to which it relates subject to such authentication, if any, as the court may require.

(2) A document purporting to be—

(a) a translation of a document mentioned in subsection (1) or in section 8 or 16 , and

(b) certified as correct by a person competent to do so,

may be admitted as evidence of any matter to which it relates.

(3) (a) Where a document is admissible in evidence by virtue of subsection (1) or of section 8 or 16 , it may be given in evidence, whether or not the document is still in existence, by producing a copy of the document, or of the material part of it, authenticated in such manner as the court may approve.

(b) It is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (a) how many removes there are between the copy and the original or by what means (which may include facsimile transmission) the copy produced or any intermediate copy was made.

(4) In estimating in the weight (if any) to be attached to a statement in a document admitted in evidence by virtue of subsection (1) or of section 8 or 16 , regard shall be had to any other evidence available to the court and to any circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to the accuracy or otherwise of the statement, including (except in the case of a court order or a certificate or other document prepared by or on behalf of a court or public authority) the question whether the maker of the statement had any incentive to conceal or misrepresent facts and whether or not it was made on oath.