6.7.4 Service & Evidence

Context

The CSRC Act and regulations contain provisions to assist with the production of evidence in court and with the service of documents. The Registrar's powers are also delegated to senior officers (see 6.1.2).

Act references

CSRC Act section 115, section 116, section 118

CSRC Regs regulation 11, regulation 13

On this page

Substituted service

Where a document is required to be served on a person in relation to enforcement proceedings under the CSRC Act (other than to recover an overpayment to a payee) and:

  • the Registrar is satisfied, after making reasonable enquiries, that the person is absent from Australia and does not have a lawyer or agent representing them in Australia, or cannot be found,

the document can be served by posting it, or a sealed copy of it, in a letter to the person's last known address.

There is no need to seek the court's permission for this method of service (section 115).

This provision overrides requirements contained in other legislation, e.g. the requirements in the FL Act, rules or regulations, which require the court to make orders for substituted service.

Evidence

A document signed by the Registrar or Registrar's delegate which claims to be a copy of an entry in the Child Support Register in relation to a registrable maintenance liability is prima facie evidence (section 116):

  • that the liability is a registrable maintenance liability (except in an objection, application for review or appeal about the registration of the liability or the particulars in the Register),
  • that the liability is registered under the CSRC Act (except in an objection, application for review or appeal about the registration of the liability or the particulars in the Register),
  • that the particulars of the register entry are those set out in the document (except in an objection, application for review or appeal about particulars in the Register that have been varied), and
  • that all of those particulars are correct (except in an objection, application for review or appeal about the registration of the liability or the particulars in the Register).

The Registrar or delegate's certificate saying that an amount is payable on a specified day by a person to the Commonwealth for a child support liability is prima facie evidence of the matters stated in the certificate (section 116(2) and regulation 11).

The Registrar or delegate's certificate saying that an amount is payable on a specified day by a person to the Commonwealth in relation to a deduction from salary or wages is prima facie evidence of the matters stated in the certificate (section 116(2)).

'Prima facie' evidence is evidence of fact which the court must take as proof until there is evidence to disprove it.

Example: A certificate stating how much child support is owing could be disproved by further evidence in court proceedings.

Judicial notice of signature

A court, tribunal, judge, or person acting judicially, will take judicial notice of the signature of a person who holds the office of Registrar or Registrar's delegate (section 118). 'Judicial notice' means that a court must take notice of things which are clearly established and formal evidence on the issue is not necessary. This means then that a court or tribunal will not require any further evidence that the signature is the signature of the Registrar or Registrar's delegate.

A document bearing the written, printed or stamped name of the Registrar or Registrar's delegate (including a facsimile of the signature) is taken to have been duly signed by that person unless it is proven to the contrary (regulation 13).

Last reviewed: 1 July 2016