Maintenance Court Rules

Publication Date: 
20 November 2005



Date of commencement: 20th November, 1970.


1.          These rules may be cited as the Maintenance Court Rules, 1970.


2.          In these rules, unless the context otherwise indicates —

“party” means a person whose legal liability to maintain any other person or being, or has been, determined under section 6 and includes, for the purposes of rules 5 and 6, a person in respect of whose maintenance such liability is being, or has been determined as aforesaid;

“section” means a section of the Maintenance Act, No. 35 of 1970.

Notice of variation of maintenance order.

3.          Upon the variation of a maintenance order under section 6(4), the maintenance officer shall inform the person required to make any payment in terms of such order of the variation thereof by serving upon his by registered post addressed to him at his last known address a notice setting out the particulars of any such variation, or by causing such notice to be delivered or tendered to him by any police officer.

Admissibility of record of evidence of proceedings.

4.          The record of any evidence or finding of fact in any proceedings referred to in sec-tion 6(7) or any copy or transcript thereof or extract therefrom purporting to be signed and certified as a true copy, transcript or extract by any public officer having the custody or control of such record shall, on its mere production at any inquiry by such officer in the case of such record, or by the maintenance officer or any party in the case of such copy, transcript or extract, be admissible for the purpose referred to in the said subsection.

Record of proceedings.

5.          (1)    The proceedings at any inquiry shall be recorded by keeping minutes of —

                       (a)   any maintenance order, including any provisional maintenance order as referred to in the Maintenance Orders Act, No.77 of 1921, made at any inquiry, and of any refusal to make such maintenance order;

                       (b)   any variation of any maintenance order;

                       (c)    any evidence given at the inquiry and of any objection to any evidence given or tendered at the inquiry and of any ruling by the Court;

                       (d)   any mark identifying any document produced at the inquiry; and

                       (e)    the proceedings generally.

(2)    The proceedings at any inquiry shall be recorded by the judicial officer presiding at the inquiry.

(3)    No person other than a public officer specifically authorized thereto, a party, or the legal representative of a party, shall have access to any record referred to in this rule except with the leave of the court and upon payment of the fees prescribed for the inspection of records of civil proceedings in subordinate courts.

(4)    The statement referred to in rule 6(3) shall become part of the record.


6.          (1)    Any appeal under section 8 shall be noted within twenty-one days of the date of the order appealed against, and a cross-appeal shall be noted within seven days of the noting of the first-mentioned appeal.

(2)    Any appeal or cross-appeal shall be noted by delivery, within the period pre-scribed in paragraph (1), to the clerk of the Court concerned and to any other party of a notice stating —

                       (a)   whether the whole or part only of the order is appealed against, and if part only, then what part; and

                       (b)   the grounds of appeal, specifying the findings of fact or rulings of law appealed against.

(3)    The judicial officer who presided at an inquiry shall, within fourteen days of the noting of an appeal, transmit to such clerk a statement in writing setting out —

                       (a)   the facts he found to be proved;

                       (b)   his reasons for any finding of fact specified in the notice of appeal as appealed against;

                       (c)    his reasons for any ruling on any question of law or for the admission or rejection of any evidence so specified as appealed against.

(4)    Any appeal under section 8 shall be prosecuted as if it were an appeal against the decision of a subordinate court in a civil matter and the rules of the High Court, insofar as they relate to civil appeals from subordinate courts, shall mutatis mutandis apply to any such appeal.

(5)    The said clerk shall transmit the record of the proceedings at the inquiry, certified by the presiding judicial officer as a true record of such proceedings, to the registrar of the High Court within seven days of the receipt by him of a notice that the appeal has been set down for hearing.

Execution of maintenance order.

7.          Any order granted on the application of the public prosecutor in terms of section 11(1) shall be executed as if it were a civil judgment of a subordinate court.

Service of notice under section 12.

8.          The notice referred to in section 12(1) shall be served on the employer referred to therein by a police officer by delivering or tendering such notice to him.

Summonsing of witnesses.

9.          The court may at any stage of an inquiry summon, cause to be summoned any person as a witness or examine any person in attendance, though not summoned as a witness, and may recall and re-examine any person already examined.

Rules of evidence.

10.       Save as provided in any law, the laws, including the common law, relating to evidence, including the competency, compellability, examination or cross-examination of witnesses, in civil actions in subordinate courts shall, insofar as they are appropriate and can be applied, mutatis mutandis apply to inquiries by a Court.

Nomination of Judicial Officer.

11.       The Chief Justice may whenever he deems it necessary, by notice in the Gazette nominate a judicial officer to preside over any maintenance court referred to in the Principal Act. (Amended L.N.96/1976.)