Farley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another: CA 25 Jan 2005

The Respondent had sought a liability order against the appellant, the non-resident parent in respect of child support maintenance arrears. The appellant had asked the magistrates to consider whether he was liable to pay child support maintenance, but they had declined.
Held: The section prevented the magistrates enquiring as to the amount of arrears, but not as to whether child support maintenance was payable at all. If not they might be making an order for a person’s comittal to prison without that person having a proper and convenient way of challenging the assertion that he was liable. In hearing an application for a liability order, the magistrates exercised an adjudicative function requiring evidence of liability in the absence of an admission. The liability order was quashed, and the case remitted.
Lord Woolf LCJ, Lord Phillips of Wothr Matravers MR, Lord Slynn of Hadley.
Times 27-Jan-2005, [2005] EWCA Civ 778
Child Support Act 1991 33
England and Wales
Appeal fromFarley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 12-Jul-2004
The defendant and his wife were separated. The Child Support Agency assessed the contributions he was to make, and eventually pursued him in the magistrates court for arrears. The defendant argued that whilst the Act did prevent the magistrates . .

Cited by:
CitedFarley v Child Support Agency and Another; Farley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (No. 2) HL 28-Jun-2006
Magistrates were wrong to think they had a discretion to look at the validity of a liability assessment under child support legislation. The Act gave the payer alternative avenues of appeal, and therefore the Act should be read as it stated and the . .
See AlsoFarley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (No 2) CA 22-Jun-2005
The Court of Apeal had previously considered an appeal from the grant of a liability order made by magistrates. It had become clear that the order had been made without jurisdiction.
Held: The order must be set aside. The court had no . .

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Updated: 24 January 2021; Ref: scu.228911