Case: CSA stopping a person leaving Australia
In Jones v Child Support Registrar, the Federal Court refused on the first instance to grant the payer of child support a stay or freeze of a departure prohibition order issued by the Child Support Registrar.
A departure prohibition order, if made, prevents a payer leaving Australia. Section 72D(1) of the Act authorises the Registrar to make a departure prohibition order prohibiting a person from departing from Australia for a foreign country, if, relevantly:
• the person has a child support liability; and
• the person has not made arrangements satisfactory to the Registrar for the child support liability to be wholly discharged; and
• the Registrar is satisfied that the person has persistently and without reasonable grounds failed to pay child support debts arising from a registrable maintenance liability; and
• the Registrar believes on reasonable grounds, that it is desirable to make the order for the purpose of ensuring that the person does not depart from Australia for a foreign country without wholly discharging the child support liability or making arrangements satisfactory to the Registrar for the child support liability to be wholly discharged.
The court held that:
three of the prerequisites of s 72D depend upon the state of mind of the Registrar, but the applicant does not know and, a fortiori, the Court does not know, the nature of the material before the Registrar that may have justified a conclusion that the applicant has not made arrangements satisfactory to the Registrar, that the Registrar is satisfied that the applicant has persistently, without reasonable grounds, failed to pay child support debts and that the Registrar believed that it was desirable to make the order.