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22 APR 2010

CHILD SUPPORT: Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission v Mitchell [2010] EWCA Civ 333

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Moore-Bick and Aikens LJJ; 30 March 2010)

The father had culpably neglected to pay child maintenance, but was now unable to pay due to bankruptcy. Eventually justices made order disqualifying father from driving for 12 months which would be suspended if £5 per week was paid.

An appeal was allowed on the grounds of the Limitation Act as the enforcement was 6 years from the date of the original judgment. The issue was whether the Limitation Act applied to an application pursuant to s 39A of Child Support Act 1991.  

Appeal allowed, s 39A procedure fell without the express wording of s9 of Limitation Act. Section 39A procedure did not lead to a direct recovery of sums due by way of child maintenance, although might, as here, do so indirectly.  

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