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Al Zaidi v Shaheed [2021] NZFC 7363

Published 22 November 2022

Declaration as to paternity — presumption as to parenthood — substituted service — balance of probabilities — Family Proceedings Act 1980, s 47 — Status of Children Act 1969, s 5 — Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995, ss 9 & 15. The applicant mother was seeking a declaration as to the paternity of her child against the respondent. Due to a lack of cooperation with the Registrar-General's correspondence, the applicant was granted an application for substituted service by way of social media. The respondent took no steps and the application proceeded unopposed. The Judge noted that the respondent could be declared the father pursuant to the statutory presumption in s 5 of the Status of Children Act, which presumes the husband and wife to be the parents of a child born during the marriage, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. The Registrar-General initially declined to record the respondent as the child's father, and directed the applicant to prosecute the paternity application. The Judge noted that the Registrar-General could choose to exercise the provisions at s 15(2) of the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act, having regard to the statutory presumption referred to above. The Registrar-General issued a memorandum stating that both Acts were applicable, and the respondent was registered as the child's father. The original application for a paternity order under the Family Proceedings Act was struck out. Judgment Date: 26 July 2021 * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *