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October 31, 2005

High Court rules Maintenance Courts have extended powers

The Cape High Court has handed down a landmark ruling in a maintenance case. The court, reports the Cape Times, has ruled that Maintenance Courts can grant any order to ensure that maintenance orders are satisfied. This includes interdicting institutions from making payments to maintenance defaulters so that the money can be made to complainants instead. Previously, complainants had to consult advocates and approach the High Court – a step which has proved too costly for many. The ruling, by Justice Deon van Zyl, was made in the case of a woman who took action against the maintenance magistrate and maintenance officer of a Wynberg Maintenance Court after battling for 10 years to obtain monthly maintenance for her son. The Maintenance Court said it was unable to assist her in granting an order to obtain funds from the maintenance defaulter’s pension. Judge Van Zyl granted an order confirming that the Maintenance Act provided the Maintenance Court with extensive jurisdiction to make any order to enforce a maintenance order which had not been satisfied.
Full Cape Times report

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