Page:Destitute Persons Act 1846.pdf/1

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1846.

10° VICTORIÆ

No. 9.


Destitute Persons.


No. IX.

An Ordinance for the Support of Destitute Families and Illegitimate Children. [26th October, 1846.]


Preamble.

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the maintenance of destitute persons and illegitimate children by making the relatives of such person and the putative fathers of such children liable for their support:

BE IT ENACTED by the Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council thereof, as follows:–

Near relatives of destitute persons to be liable for their support.

1.The father and grandfather, mother and grandmother, and the children of every destitute person not able to support himself by his own labour, shall, being of sufficient ability, be liable to support every such destitute person in manner hereinafter mentioned.

Mode of proceeding.

2.On the information on oath of any respectable householder that any person is destitute and unable to support himself by his own labour, and that such person hath a father or other near relative as aforesaid within the Colony of sufficient ability to support such destitute person, it shall be lawful for any two Justices of the Peace to summon such father or other near relative and to hear and determine such information in a summary way.


Power to two Justices to make an order for support.

3.It shall be lawful for such Justices, on being satisfied that the father or other relative is of sufficient ability to support such destitute person, to make an order on such father or other relative for payment towards the support of such person of a sum of money at a rate not exceeding twenty shillings per week to such person at such times and in such manner as the said Justices may direct, and such order from time to time to suspend alter vary or determine as to them shall seem meet.

Persons deserting their wives or children to be liable to penalties.

4.Every person who shall unlawfully and without reasonable cause for so doing desert his wife, or who shall unlawfully desert any of his children under the age of fourteen years, and shall leave such wife or children without means of support, shall for every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding five pounds for the first offence and any sum not exceeding ten pounds for a second or subsequent offence, to be recovered in a summary way. And it shall be lawful for any two Justices at their discretion to order any person so convicted also to pay towards the support of his wife or children, as the case may be, such sum of money at a rate not exceeding twenty shillings per week to such persons at such times and in such manner as the convicting Justices may direct.

Power to Justice to summon party charged as the father of an illegitimate child.

5.On the complaint on oath made before any Justice of the Peace by the mother of any European or Half-caste illegitimate child, or on such complaint as aforesaid by any officer duly appointed to act in that behalf, that the father of such child hath refused to provide for its support, it shall be lawful for any two Justices to summon the party charged and to hear and determine such complaint in a summary way.

Power to two Justices to adjudge the party to be the putative father.

6.The parties being present, such Justices shall hear the evidence of the complainant and such other evidence as may be produced, and shall also hear any evidence tendered by the person alleged to be the father, and if the evidence of the mother shall be corroborated in some material particular by other testimony to the satisfaction of the said Justices, they may adjudge the man to be the putative father of such illegitimate child: Provided always that the evidence of the mother

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