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The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act

REPEALED
Date: February 1, 2003

C.C.S.M. c. M20

THE RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS ACT

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1           In this Act

"certified copy" means, in relation to a document of a court, the original or a copy of the document certified by the original or facsimile signature of a proper officer of the court to be a true copy; (« copie certifiée conforme »)

"claimant" means a person who has or is alleged to have a right to maintenance; (« requérant »)

"confirmation order" means a confirmation order made under this Act or under the corresponding enactment of a reciprocating state; (« ordonnance d'homologation »)

"court" means an authority having jurisdiction to make an order; (« tribunal »)

"final order" means an order made in a proceeding of which the claimant and respondent had proper notice and in which they had an opportunity to be present or represented and includes

(a) the maintenance provisions in a written agreement between a claimant and a respondent where those provisions are enforceable in the state in which the agreement was made as if contained in an order of a court of that state, and

(b) a confirmation order made in a reciprocating state; (« ordonnance définitive »)

"maintenance" includes support or alimony; (« pension alimentaire »)

"minister" means the Minister of Justice and includes a person authorized in writing by the Minister of Justice to act for him or her in the performance of a power or duty under this Act; (« ministre »)

"order" means an order or determination of a court providing for the payment of money as maintenance by the respondent named in the order for the benefit of the claimant named in the order, and includes the maintenance provisions of a filiation order; (« ordonnance »)

"provisional order" means an order of a court in Manitoba that has no force or effect in Manitoba until confirmed by a court in a reciprocating state or a corresponding order made in a reciprocating state for confirmation in Manitoba; (« ordonnance provisoire »)

"reciprocating state" means a state declared under subsection 18(2) to be a reciprocating state and includes a province; (« État d'exécution réciproque »)

"registered order" means

(a) a final order made in a reciprocating state and filed under this Act or under an enactment repealed by this Act with a court in Manitoba;

(b) a final order deemed under subsection 2(3) to be a registered order, or

(c) a confirmation order that is filed under subsection 5(8); (« ordonnance enregistrée »)

"registration court" means the court in Manitoba

(a) in which the registered order is filed under this Act, or

(b) that deemed a final order to be a registered order under this Act or under an enactment repealed by this Act; (« tribunal d'enregistrement »)

"respondent" means a person in Manitoba or in a reciprocating state who has or is alleged to have an obligation to pay maintenance for the benefit of a claimant, or against whom a proceeding under this Act, or a corresponding enactment of a reciprocating state, is commenced; (« intimé »)

"state" includes a political subdivision of a state and an official agency of a state. (« État »)

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Final orders of reciprocating state

2(1)        Where the minister receives a certified copy of a final order made in a reciprocating state before, on or after the day on which this Act comes into force with information that the respondent is in Manitoba, the minister shall designate a court in Manitoba for the purposes of the registration and enforcement and forward the order and supporting material to that court.

Filing for registration

2(2)        On receipt of a final order transmitted to a court under subsection (1) or under a provision in a reciprocating state corresponding to clause 5(8)(a), the proper officer of the court shall file the order with the court and give notice of the registration of the order to the respondent.

Claimant leaving province after final order made in province

2(3)        Where a final order is made in Manitoba before, on or after the day on which this Act comes into force and the claimant subsequently leaves Manitoba and is apparently resident in a reciprocating state, the court that made the order shall, on the written request of the claimant, the respondent or the minister, deem the order to be a registered order.

Variation of registered order

2(4)        A registered order varied in a manner consistent with this Act, continues to be a registered order.

Setting aside a registered order

2(5)        A respondent may, within one month after receiving notice of the registration of a registered order, apply to the registration court to set the registration aside.

Grounds

2(6)        On application under subsection (5) the registration court shall set aside the registration if it determines that the order was obtained by fraud or error or was not a final order.

Disposition

2(7)        An order determined not to be a final order and set aside under subsection (6) may be dealt with by the registration court under section 5 as a provisional order.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Making of provisional orders

3(1)        On application by a claimant before, on or after the day on which this Act comes into force, a court may, without notice to and in the absence of a respondent, make a provisional order against the respondent.

Maintenance provisions in provisional orders

3(2)        An order under subsection (1) may only include the maintenance provisions the court could have included in a final order in a proceeding of which the respondent had notice in Manitoba but in which he failed to appear.

Transmission of provisional orders

3(3)        Where a provisional order is made, a proper officer of the court shall send to the minister for transmission to a reciprocating state

(a) three certified copies of the provisional order;

(b) a certified or sworn document setting out or summarizing the evidence given in the proceeding;

(c) a copy of the enactments under which the respondent is alleged to have an obligation to maintain the claimant; and

(d) a statement giving available information respecting identification, location, income and assets of the respondent.

Further evidence

3(4)        Where, during a proceeding for a confirmation order, a court in a reciprocating state remits the matter back for further evidence to the court in Manitoba that made the provisional order, the court in Manitoba shall, after giving notice to the claimant, receive further evidence.

Evidence and recommendations

3(5)        Where evidence is received under subsection (4), the minister shall forward to the court in the reciprocating state a certified or sworn document setting out or summarizing the evidence with such recommendations as the court in Manitoba considers appropriate.

New provisional orders

3(6)        Where a provisional order made under this section comes before a court in a reciprocating state and confirmation is denied in respect of one or more claimants, the court in Manitoba that made the provisional order may, on application within six months from the denial of confirmation, reopen the matter and receive further evidence and make a new provisional order for a claimant in respect of whom confirmation was denied.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Filiation

4(1)        Where the filiation of a child is in issue and has not previously been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, the filiation may be determined as part of a maintenance proceeding under this Act.

Determination of filiation in confirmation proceedings

4(2)        If the respondent disputes filiation in the course of a proceeding to confirm a provisional order for maintenance, the matter of filiation may be determined even though the provisional order makes no reference to filiation.

Limited effect of determination

4(3)        A determination of filiation under this section has effect only for the purpose of maintenance proceedings under this Act.

Making of confirmation orders

5(1)        Where the minister receives from a reciprocating state documents corresponding to those described in subsection 3(3) with information that the respondent is in Manitoba, the minister shall designate a court in Manitoba for the purpose of proceedings under this section and forward the documents to that court.

Procedure

5(2)        On receipt of the documents referred to in subsection (1), the court shall, whether the provisional order was made before, on or after the day on which this Act came into force, serve or cause to be served upon the respondent a copy of the documents together with a Notice of Confirmation Hearing requiring the respondent to appear at a time and place stated in the Notice, and to prepare and file a sworn financial statement with the court, and the court shall proceed with the hearing, taking into consideration the certified or sworn document setting out or summarizing the evidence given in the proceeding in the reciprocating state.

Report to minister

5(3)        Where the respondent apparently is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court and will not return, a proper officer of the court, on receipt of documents under subsection (1), shall return the documents to the minister with available information respecting the whereabouts and circumstances of the respondent.

Orders of confirmation or refusal

5(4)        At the conclusion of a proceeding under this section, the court may make a confirmation order in the amount it considers appropriate or make an order refusing maintenance to any claimant.

Commencement of payments

5(5)        Where the court makes a confirmation order for periodic maintenance payments, the court may direct that the payments begin from a date not earlier than the date of the provisional order.

Further evidence

5(6)        Where the court, in the course of a proceeding under this section, is satisfied that it is necessary to remit the matter back to the court that made the provisional order for further evidence, the court may remit the matter and adjourn the proceedings for this purpose.

Interim order

5(7)        Where a court remits a matter under subsection (6), it may make an interim order for maintenance against the respondent.

Report and filing

5(8)        At the conclusion of a proceeding under this section, the court, or a proper officer of the court, shall

(a) forward a certified copy of the order to the court that made the provisional order and to the minister;

(b) file the confirmation order, where one is made;

where an order is made refusing or reducing maintenance, the minister shall, in writing, advise the court that made the provisional order of the reasons given for this order.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Choice of law

6(1)        Where the law of the reciprocating state is pleaded to establish the obligation of the respondent to maintain a claimant resident in that state, the court in Manitoba shall take judicial notice of that law and apply it.

Proof of foreign enactment

6(2)        An enactment of a reciprocating state may be pleaded and proved for the purposes of this section by producing a copy of the enactment received from the reciprocating state.

Adjournment

6(3)        Where the law of the reciprocating state is not pleaded under subsection (1), the court in Manitoba shall

(a) make an interim order for maintenance against the respondent where appropriate;

(b) adjourn the proceeding for a period not exceeding 90 days; and

(c) request the minister to notify the appropriate officer of the reciprocating state of the requirement to plead and prove the applicable law of that state if that law is to be applied.

Application of local law

6(4)        Where the law of the reciprocating state is not pleaded after an adjournment under subsection (3), the court shall apply the law of Manitoba.

Statement of local law

6(5)        Where the law of a reciprocating state requires the court in Manitoba to provide the court in the reciprocating state with a statement of the grounds on which the making of the confirmation order might have been opposed if the respondent were served with process and had appeared at the hearing of the court in Manitoba, the minister shall be deemed to be the proper officer of the court for the purpose of making and providing the statement of the grounds.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Variation or rescission of registered orders

7(1)        The provisions of this Act respecting the procedure for making provisional orders and confirmation orders apply with the necessary changes to proceedings, except under subsection (5), for the variation or rescission of registered orders.

Restricted jurisdiction

7(2)        This section does not

(a) authorize a provincially appointed judge to vary or rescind a registered order made in Canada by a Federally appointed judge; or

(b) allow a registered order originally made under a Federal enactment to be varied or rescinded except as authorized by Federal enactment.

Powers of provincially appointed judge

7(3)        Notwithstanding subsection (2), a provincially appointed judge may make a provisional order to vary or rescind a registered order made in Canada under a provincial enactment by a Federally appointed judge.

Acceptance of jurisdiction

7(4)        Subject to subsections (2) and (3) a registration court has jurisdiction to vary or rescind a registered order where both claimant and respondent accept its jurisdiction.

Variation and rescission where respondent resides in the Province

7(5)        Where the respondent is ordinarily resident in Manitoba a registration court may, on application by the claimant, vary or rescind a registered order.

Confirmation of provisional orders

7(6)        A registration court may make an order confirming a provisional order which varies or rescinds a registered order where

(a) the respondent is ordinarily resident in Manitoba;

(b) the claimant is ordinarily resident in a reciprocating state;

(c) a certified copy of a provisional order of variation or rescission made by a court in a reciprocating state is received by the registration court through the minister; and

(d) the respondent is given notice of the proceeding and an opportunity to appear.

Application by respondent resident in Manitoba

7(7)        A registration court may, on application by the respondent, make a provisional order varying or rescinding a registered order where,

(a) the respondent is ordinarily resident in Manitoba; and

(b) the claimant is ordinarily resident in the reciprocating state in which the order was first made;

and section 3 applies with such modifications as the circumstances require to the proceeding.

Application by respondent

7(8)        A registration court may, on application by the respondent, vary or rescind a registered order where,

(a) the respondent is ordinarily resident in Manitoba;

(b) the claimant is ordinarily resident in a reciprocating state other than the state in which the order was first made; and

(c) the registration court, in the course of the proceeding, remits the matter to the court nearest to the place where the claimant lives or works for the purpose of obtaining evidence on behalf of the claimant;

or where,

(d) the respondent is ordinarily resident in Manitoba;

(e) the claimant is not ordinarily resident in a reciprocating state; and

(f) the claimant is given notice of the proceeding.

Application by claimant resident in Manitoba

7(9)        Where a claimant ordinarily resident in Manitoba applies for a variation or rescission of a final order and the respondent appears to be ordinarily resident in a reciprocating state, the court may make a provisional order of variation or rescission and section 3 applies with necessary modifications to the proceeding.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Effect of variation or rescission in reciprocating states

8           Where an order originally made in Manitoba is varied or rescinded in a reciprocating state under the law in that state corresponding to section 7, the order shall be deemed to be so varied or rescinded in Manitoba.

Enforcement

9(1)        The registration court has jurisdiction to enforce a registered order notwithstanding that the order

(a) was made in a proceeding in respect of which the registration court would have had no jurisdiction; or

(b) is of a kind that the registration court has no jurisdiction to make.

Provisions of Family Maintenance Act apply

9(2)        The provisions of The Family Maintenance Act for the enforcement of maintenance orders apply with such modifications as the circumstances require to registered orders and interim orders made under this Act.

Effect of registered order

9(3)        A registered order has, from the date it is filed or deemed to be registered, the same effect as if it had been a final order originally made by the registration court and may, both with respect to arrears accrued before registration, and with respect to obligations accruing after registration, be enforced, varied or rescinded as provided in this Act whether the order is made before, on or after the day on which this Act comes into force.

Service not necessary

9(4)        Where a proceeding is brought to enforce a registered order, it is not necessary to prove that the respondent was served with the order.

Recording variations

9(5)        Where a registered order is being enforced and the registration court or a proper officer of that court is satisfied that the order has been varied by a court subsequent to the date of registration, the registration court or a proper officer of that court shall record the fact of the variation and enforce the order as varied.

S.M. 1995, c. 33, s. 14.

Remedies of a state

10          Where Manitoba, a province, a state or a political subdivision or official agency of Manitoba, a province or a state is providing or has provided support to a claimant, it has, for the purpose of obtaining reimbursement or to obtain continuing maintenance for the claimant, the same right to bring proceedings under this Act as the claimant.

Duties of the minister

11(1)       The minister shall, on request in writing by a claimant or an officer or court of a reciprocating state, take all reasonable measures to enforce an order made or registered under this Act.

Transmission of documents

11(2)       On receipt of a document for transmission under this Act to a reciprocating state, the minister shall transmit the document to the proper officer of the reciprocating state.

Delegation

11(3)       The minister may, in writing, authorize a person to perform or exercise a power or duty given to the minister under this Act.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Documents from reciprocating states

12(1)       Where a document signed by a proper officer of the court in a reciprocating state or a certified copy of the document is received by a court in Manitoba through the minister, the court in Manitoba may deem the document to be a provisional order or a final order, according to the tenor of the document, and proceed accordingly.

Terminology

12(2)       Where in a proceeding under this Act a document from a court in the reciprocating state contains terminology different from the terminology of this Act or customarily in use in the court in Manitoba, the court in Manitoba shall give a broad and liberal interpretation to the terminology so as to give effect to the document.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Conversion to Canadian currency

13(1)       Where confirmation of a provisional order or registration of a final order is sought and the documents received by a court refer to amounts of maintenance or arrears not expressed in Canadian currency, a proper officer of the court shall first obtain from a bank a quotation for the equivalent amounts in Canadian currency at a rate of exchange applicable on the day the order was made or last varied.

Certification

13(2)       The amounts in Canadian currency certified on the order by the proper officer of the court under subsection (1) shall be deemed to be the amounts of the order.

Translation

13(3)       Where an order or other document received by a court is not in English or French, the order or other document shall have attached to it from the other jurisdiction a translation in English or French approved by the court and the order or other document shall be deemed to be in English or French for the purposes of this Act.

Appeals

14(1)       Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a claimant, respondent or the minister may appeal any ruling, decision or order of a court in Manitoba under this Act to the Court of Appeal.

Time for appeal by appellant

14(2)       A person resident in the reciprocating state and entitled to appear in the court in the reciprocating state in the proceeding being appealed from, or the minister on that person's behalf, may appeal within 75 days after the making of the ruling, decision or order of the court in Manitoba appealed from.

Time for appeal by person responding to appeal

14(3)       A person responding to an appeal under subsection (2) may appeal a ruling, decision or order in the same proceeding within 15 days after receipt of notice of the appeal.

Order in force pending appeal

14(4)       An order under appeal remains in force pending the determination of the appeal, unless the court appealed to otherwise orders.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Spouses are compellable

15(1)       In a proceeding under this Act, spouses are competent and compellable witnesses against each other.

Proof of documents

15(2)       In a proceeding under this Act, a document purporting to be signed by a judge, officer of a court or public officer in a reciprocating state shall, unless the contrary is proved, be proof of the appointment, signature and authority of the person who signed it.

Sworn documents and transcripts

15(3)       Statements in writing sworn by the maker, depositions or transcripts of evidence taken in a reciprocating state may be received in evidence by a court in Manitoba under this Act.

Proof of default

15(4)       For the purposes of proving default or arrears under this Act, a court may receive in evidence a sworn document made by any person, deposing to have knowledge of, or information and belief concerning, the fact.

Statement of payments

16          A registration court or a proper officer of it shall, on reasonable request of a claimant, respondent, the minister, a proper officer of a reciprocating state or a court of the state, furnish a sworn itemized statement showing with respect to maintenance under an order

(a) all amounts that became due and owing by the respondent during the 24 months preceding the date of the statement; and

(b) all payments made through the court by or on behalf of the respondent during that period.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Transmission of documents by court where respondent leaves Manitoba

17          Where a proper officer of a court in Manitoba believes that a respondent under a registered order has ceased to reside in Manitoba and is resident in or proceeding to another province or state, the officer shall inform the minister and the court that made the order of any information he has respecting the whereabouts and circumstances of the respondent and, on request by the minister, a proper officer of the court that made the order or the claimant, shall send to the court or person indicated in the request

(a) three certified copies of the order as filed with the court in Manitoba; and

(b) a sworn certificate of arrears.

S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 75.

Regulations

18(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make such regulations as are ancillary to this Act and not inconsistent with it.

Designation of reciprocating states

18(2)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, where satisfied that laws are or will be in effect in a state for the reciprocal enforcement of orders made in Manitoba on a basis substantially similar to this Act, by order, declare that state to be a reciprocating state.

Revocation of designation

18(3)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may revoke any order made under subsection (2) and thereupon the state with respect to which the order was made ceases to be a reciprocating state for the purposes of this Act.

Saving

19          This Act does not impair any other remedy available to a claimant or another person, Manitoba, a province, state or a political subdivison of official agency of Manitoba, a province or state.