The Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings Rules 1980 (known as "the Rules") are referred to by the High Court as they regulate the flow and procedure of each and every petition filed under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (known as "the Act"). The Rules are usually read together with the Rules of High Court 1980 (known as the "RHC").
These Rules have been set up pursuant to Section 108 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. Section 108(1) of the Act says: "The Rules Committee may make rules regulating the practice and procedure in all matrimonial proceedings under this Act as they consider expedient and also rules to fix and regulate the fees and costs payable upon all such proceedings; and subject thereto all proceedings under this Act shall be regulated by the Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings Rules 1980."
COMMENCEMENT, ETC, OF PROCEEDINGS
SERVICE OF PETITION, ETC
PLEADINGS AND AMENDMENT
PREPARATION FOR TRIAL
DECREES AND ORDERS
ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS
APPLICATIONS RELATING TO CHILDREN
COST, ALLOWANCES AND COURT FEES
In exercise of the powers conferred by section 108 (1) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 [Act 164], the Rules Committee makes the following Rules:
1. Citation and commencement
These Rules may be cited as the Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings Rules 1980, and shall come into force on the same day as the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.
(1) In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires—
"Act" means the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976;
"ancillary relief" means—
(a) an avoidance of disposition order;
(b) a financial provision order;
(c) an order for maintenance pending suit;
(d) a property adjustment order; or
(e) a variation order;
"avoidance of disposition order" means an order under section 102 of the Act;
"defended cause" means a cause not being an undefended cause;
"directions for trial" means directions for trial given under Rule 29;
"district registry" means any district registry having a divorce court within its district under section 2 (2) of the Act;
"judge" means a judge of the High Court and includes a Judicial Commissioner and under section 2 (2) of the Act, a President of the Session Court;
"matrimonial proceedings" means any proceedings with respect to which rules may be made under section 108 (1) of the Act;
"notice of intention to defend" has the meaning assigned to it by Rule 13;
"person named" includes a person described as "passing under the name of A.B";
"registrar" in relation to proceedings pending in a High Court shall mean the registrar or one of the registrars of that court as the case may be and includes a deputy or assistant registrar, or under section 2 (2) of the Act, in relation to proceedings pending in a Sessions Court shall mean the President of that court;
"senior registrar" means the senior registrar of the divorce registry or, in his absence, the senior of the registrars in attendance at the divorce registry;
"undefended cause" means—
(a) in the case of an application under section 50 of the Act, a cause in which the respondent has not given notice of intention to defend within the time limited;
(b) in any other case—
(i) a cause in which no answer has been filed or any answer filed has been struck out; or
(ii) a cause which is proceeding only on the respondent's answer and in which no reply or answer to the respondent's answer has been filed or any such reply or answer has been struck out; or
(iii) a cause to which Rule 16 (4) applies and in which no notice has been given under that rule or any notice so given has been withdrawn;
"variation order" means an order under sections 83, 84, 96 and 97 of the Act;
(2) Unless the context otherwise requires, a cause begun by application shall be treated as pending for the purposes of these Rules notwithstanding that a final decree or order has been made on the petition.
(3) In these Rules a form referred to by number means the form so numbered in the Schedule, or a form substantially to the like effect, with such variations as the circumstances of the particular case may require.
(4) In these Rules, any reference to an Order and rule is—
(a) if prefixed by the letters "S.C.R", reference to that Order and rule in the Subordinate Courts Rules 1980; and
(b) if prefixed by the letters "R.H.C", a reference to that Order and rule in the Rules of the High Court 1980.
(5) Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in these Rules to any rule or enactment shall be construed as a reference to that rule or enactment as amended, extended or applied by any other rule or enactment.
3. Application of other rules
(1) Subject to these Rules and to any other written law, the Subordinate Courts Rules 1980 and the Rules of the High Court 1980 shall apply with necessary modifications to the commencement of matrimonial proceedings in, and to the practice and procedure in matrimonial proceeding spending in the Sessions Court and in the High Court respectively.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), any provision of these Rules authorising or requiring anything to be done in matrimonial proceedings shall be treated as if it were, in the case or proceedings pending in the High Court, a provision of the Rules of the High Court 1980.
COMMENCEMENT, ETC, OF PROCEEDINGS
4. Application under section 50 of the Act
(1) An application under section 50 of the Act for leave to present a petition for divorce before the expiration of two years from the date of the marriage shall be made by originating application.
(2) The application shall be filed in the court to which it is proposed to present the divorce petition, together with—
(a) an affidavit by the applicant exhibiting a copy of the proposed petition and stating—
(i) the grounds of the application;
(ii) particulars of the exceptional circumstances or hardship alleged;
(iii) whether there has been any previous application for leave;
(iv) whether any, and if so what, attempts at reconciliation have been made;
(v) particulars of any circumstances which may assist the court in determining whether there is a reasonable probability of reconciliation between the parties; and
(vi) the date of birth of each of the parties or, if it be the case, that he or she has attained 18;
(b) a copy of the application and of the supporting affidavit for service on the respondent; and
(c) unless otherwise directed on an application made ex parte, a certificate of the marriage.
5. Proceedings after service of application under section 50 of the Act
(1) If, within the time limited, the respondent gives notice of intention to defend an application under section 50 of the Act in the case of proceedings in a Sessions Court, the registrar shall order that the application be transferred to the High Court.
(2) The application shall be heard by a judge and shall, unless otherwise directed, be heard in chambers.
(3) Subject to this Rule, these Rules shall, so far as applicable, apply with necessary modifications to the application as if the originating application were a petition and the applicant a petitioner.
6. Discontinuance of cause before service of petition
Before a petition is served on any person, the petitioner may file a notice of discontinuance and the cause shall thereupon stand dismissed.
7. Cause to be begun by petition
(1) Every cause other than an application under section 50 of the Act shall be begun by petition.
(2) Where a petition for divorce, nullity or judicial separation discloses that there is a minor child of the family who is under 16 or who is over that age and is receiving instruction at an educational establishment or undergoing training for a trade or profession, the petition shall be accompanied by a separate written statement containing the information required by Form 4, to which shall be attached a copy of any medical report mentioned therein.
(3) Where a petition for divorce alleging two years' separation contains a proposal by the petitioner (not being a proposal agreed between the petitioner and the respondent) to make financial provision for the respondent, the petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit by the petitioner giving brief particulars of his means and commitments.
8. Contents of petition
(1) Unless otherwise directed, every petition, other than a petition under Rule 80 or 81, shall contain the information required by Form 2 as near as may be in the order there set out and any further or other information required by such of the following paragraphs of this Rule as may be applicable.
(2) A petition for divorce, nullity or judicial separation—
(a) shall state whether or not there are to the knowledge of the petitioner any proceedings continuing in any country outside Malaysia which are in respect of the marriage to which the petition relates or are capable of affecting its validity or subsistence; and
(b) if there are any such proceedings, shall give particulars of them including—
(i) the court in or the tribunal or authority before which they were begun;
(ii) the date when they were begun;
(iii) the names of the parties;
(iv) the date, or as the case may be, the expected date of any trial in the proceedings; and
(v) such other facts as may be relevant to the question whether the proceedings on the petition should be stayed.
(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2) “proceedings continuing in any country outside Malaysia” includes any proceedings which are not instituted in a court of law in that country, if those proceedings are instituted before a tribunal or other authority in that country having power under the law having effect there to determine questions of status, and proceedings shall be treated as continuing in a country outside Malaysia if they have been begun and have not been finally disposed of.
(4) A petition for a decree of nullity under section 68 of the Act shall state whether the petitioner was at the time of the marriage ignorant of the fact alleged.
(5) A petitioner who intends to adduce evidence that a person—
(a) was found guilty of adultery in matrimonial proceedings or was adjudged to be the father of a child in affiliation proceedings before a court in Malaysia, must include in his petition a statement of his intention with particulars of—
(i) the finding or adjudication and the date thereof;
(ii) the court which made the finding or adjudication and the proceedings in which it was made; and
(iii) the issue in the proceedings to which the finding or adjudication is relevant.
9. Signing of petition
Every petition shall be signed by the advocate and solicitor of the petitioner in his own name or the name of his firm, or by the petitioner if he sues in person. A joint petition under section 52 of the Act shall be signed by the solicitors of both parties in their name or the name of their firms or by the petitioners if they act in person.
10. Presentation of petition
(1) A petition, other than a petition under Rule 80 and 81, may be presented to any court.
(2) Unless otherwise directed on a petition made ex parte, a certificate of the marriage to which the cause relates shall be filed with the petition.
(3) Where there is before a court a petition which has not been dismissed or otherwise disposed of by a final order, another petition by the same petitioner in respect of the same marriage shall not be presented without leave granted on a petition made in the pending proceedings.
(4) The petition shall be presented by filing it, together with any statement, report and affidavit required by Rule 8 (2) and (4), in the court office, with as many copies of the petition as there are persons to be served and a copy of the statement, report and affidavit required by Rule 8 (2) and (4), for service on the respondent spouse.
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), where a petition alleges that the respondent has committed adultery, the person with whom the adultery is alleged to have been committed shall be made a co-respondent in the cause unless—
(a) that person is not named in the petition and, the petition contains a statement that his or her identity is not known to the petitioner; or
(b) the court otherwise directs.
(2) Where a petition alleges that the respondent has been guilty of rape upon a person named, then, notwithstanding anything in paragraph (1), that person shall not be made a co-respondent in the cause unless the court so directs.
(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the person named has died before the filing of the petition.
SERVICE OF PETITION, ETC.
12. Service of petition
(1) Subject to this Rule and Rules 84 and 87, a copy of every divorce petition shall be served personally or by post on every respondent or co- respondent.
(2) Service may be effected—
(a) where the party to be served is a person under disability within the meaning of Rule 83, through the petitioner; and
(b) in any other case, through the court or, if the petitioner so requests, through the petitioner.
(3) Personal service shall in no case be effected by the petitioner himself.
(4) A copy of any petition which is to be served through the court shall be served by registered post by an officer of the court.
(5) For the purposes of paragraphs (1) to (4) a copy of a petition shall be deemed to be duly served if—
(a) an acknowledgement of service in Form 6 is signed by the party to be served or by a solicitor on his behalf and is returned to the court office; and
(b) where the form purports to be signed by a respondent spouse, his signature is proved at the hearing.
(6) Where a copy of a petition has been sent to a party and no acknowledgment of service has been returned to the court office, the registrar, if satisfied by affidavit or otherwise that the party has nevertheless received the document, may direct that the document shall be deemed to have been duly served.
(7) Where a copy of a petition has been served on a party personally and no acknowledgment of service has been returned to the court office, service shall be proved by filing an affidavit of service showing, in the case of a respondent, the server's means of knowledge of the identity of the party served.
(8) Where an acknowledgment of service is returned to the court office, the registrar shall send a copy thereof to the petitioner.
(9) An application for leave to substitute some other mode of service for the modes of services prescribed in paragraph (1), or to substitute notice of the proceedings by advertisement or otherwise, shall be made ex parte by lodging an affidavit setting out the grounds on which the application is made; and the form of any advertisement shall be settled by the registrar.
(10) Where it appears necessary or expedient to do so, the registrar may by order dispense with service of a copy of a petition on the respondent or on any other person, and an application to a registrar for an order under this paragraph may, if no notice of intention to defend has been given, be made ex parte by lodging an affidavit setting out the grounds of the application.
13. Notice of intention to defend
(1) In these Rules, any reference to a notice of intention to defend is a reference to an acknowledgment of service in Form 6 containing a statement to the effect that the person by whom or on whose behalf it is signed intends to defend the proceedings to which the acknowledgment relates, and any reference to giving notice of intention to defend is a reference to returning such a notice to the court office.
(2) In relation to any person on whom there is served a document requiring or authorising an acknowledgment of service to be returned to the court office, references in these Rules to the time limited for giving notice of intention to defend are references to 8 days after service of the document, inclusive of the day of service, or such other time as may be fixed.
(3) Notice of intention to defend a cause begun by petition may be given at any time before directions for trial are given, notwithstanding that the time limited for giving the notice has expired.
(4) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a person may give notice of intention to defend notwithstanding that he has already returned to the court office an acknowledgment of service not constituting such a notice.
14. Consent to the grant of a decree
(1) Where, before the hearing of a petition alleging two years' separation coupled with the respondent's consent to a decree being granted, the respondent wishes to indicate to the court that he consents to the grant of a decree, he shall do so by giving the registrar a notice to that effect signed by the respondent personally. For the purposes of this paragraph, an acknowledgment of service containing a statement that the respondent consents to the grant of a decree shall be treated as such a notice if the acknowledgment is signed—
(a) in the case of a respondent acting in person, by the respondent; or
(b) in the case of a respondent represented by a solicitor, by the respondent as well as by the solicitor.
(2) A respondent to a petition which alleges any such fact under paragraph (1) may give notice to the court either that he does not consent to a decree being granted or that he withdraws any consent which he has already given.
(3) Where a notice under paragraph (1) is given, the proceedings on the petition shall be stayed and the registrar shall thereupon give notice of the stay to all parties.
PLEADINGS AND AMENDMENT
15. Supplemental petition and amendment of petition
(1) A supplemental petition may be filed only with leave.
(2) A petition may be amended without leave before it is served but only with leave after it has been served.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), an application for leave under this Rule—
(a) may, if every opposite party consents in writing to the supplemental petition being filed or the petition being amended, be made ex parte by lodging in the court office the supplemental petition or a copy of the petition as proposed to be amended; and
(b) shall, in any other case, be made on notice (or in the High Court by summons), to be served, unless otherwise directed, on every opposite party.
(4) The registrar may, if he thinks fit, require an application for leave to be supported by an affidavit.
(5) An order granting leave shall—
(a) where any party has given notice of intention to defend, fix the time within which his answer must be filed or amended; or
(b) where the order is made after directions for trial have been given, provide for a stay of the hearing until after the directions have been renewed.
(6) An amendment authorised to be made under this Rule shall be made by filing a copy of the amended petition.
(7) Rules 9 and 11 shall apply to a supplemental or amended petition as they apply to the original petition.
(8) Unless otherwise directed, a copy of a supplemental or amended petition, together with a copy of the order (if any) made under this Rule shall be served on every respondent and co-respondent named in the original petition or in the supplemental or amended petition.
(9) The petitioner shall file the documents required by paragraph (8) to be served on any person and thereupon, unless otherwise directed, Rule 12 shall apply in relation to that person as it applies in relation to a person required to be served with an original petition.
16. Filing of answer to petition
(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to Rules 14, 18 and 40, a respondent or co-respondent who—
(a) wishes to defend the petition or to dispute any of the facts alleged in it; or
(b) being the respondent, wishes to make in the proceedings any charge against the petitioner in respect of which the respondent prays for relief, shall, within 21 days after the expiration of the time limited for giving notice of intention to defend, file an answer to the petition.
(2) An answer may be filed at any time before directions have been given for the trial of the cause, notwithstanding that the time for filing the answer has expired or that the person filing the answer has not given notice of intention to defend.
(3) Any reference in these Rules to a person who has given notice of intention to defend shall be construed as including a reference to a person who has filed an answer without giving notice of intention to defend.
(4) Where in a cause in which relief is sought under sections 69 and 70 of the Act the respondent files an answer containing no more than a simple denial of the facts stated in the petition, he shall, if he intends to rebut the charges in the petition, give the registrar notice to that effect when filing his answer.
17. Filing of reply and subsequent pleadings
(1) A petitioner may file a reply to an answer within 14 days after he has received a copy of the answer pursuant to Rule 21.
(2) If the petitioner does not file a reply to an answer, he shall, unless the answer prays for a decree, be deemed, on making a request for directions for trial, to have denied every material allegation of fact made in the answer.
(3) No pleading subsequent to a reply shall be filed without leave.
18. Filing of pleading after directions for trial
No pleading shall be filed without leave after directions for trial have been given.
19. Contents of answer and subsequent pleadings
(1) Where an answer, reply or subsequent pleading contains more than a simple denial of the facts stated in the petition, answer or reply, as the case may be, the pleading shall set out with sufficient particularity the facts relied on but not the evidence by which they are to be proved and, if the pleading is filed by the husband or wife, it shall, in relation to those facts, contain the information required in the case of a petition by paragraphs (11) an (12) of Form 2.
(2) Unless otherwise directed, an answer by a husband or wife who disputes any statement required by paragraphs (4), (5) or (6) of Form 2 to be included in the petition shall contain full particulars of the facts relied on.
(3) Paragraph (8) of Form 2 and so much of that form as requires the application to conclude with a prayer giving details of the relief claimed shall, where appropriate, apply with necessary modifications to a respondent's answer as they apply to a petition:
Provided that it shall not be necessary to include in the answer any claim for costs against the petition.
(4) Where an answer to any such petition to which Rule 7 (2) applies contains a prayer for relief, it shall contain the information required by that paragraph in the case of the petition in so far as it has not been given by the petitioner.
(5) Rule 8 (5) shall apply with necessary modifications to a pleading other than an application as it applies to an application.
(6) Where a party's pleading includes such a statement as is mentioned in Rule 8 (5), then if the opposite party—
(a) denies the finding or adjudication to which the statement relates; or
(b) alleges that the finding or adjudication was errorneous, or
(c) denies that the finding or adjudication is relevant to any issue in the proceedings,
he shall make the denial or allegation in his pleading.
(7) Rule 9 shall apply with the necessary modifications to a pleading other than a petition as it applies to a petition.
20. Allegation against third person in pleading
(1) Rules 11 and 12 shall apply with necessary modifications to a husband's or wife's pleading other than a petition as they apply to a petition, so however that for the reference in those rules to a co-respondent or respondent there shall be substituted references to a party cited.
(2) Rule 16 shall apply with necessary modifications to a party cited in a pleading as it applies to a respondent or co-respondent to a petition.
21. Service of pleadings
A party who files an answer, reply or subsequent pleading shall at the same time file a copy for service on every opposite party and thereupon the registrar shall annex to every copy for service on a party cited in the pleading a notice in Form 5 with Form 6 attached and shall send a copy to every other opposite party.
22. Supplemental answer and amendment of pleadings
Rule 15 shall apply with necessary modifications to the filing of a supplemental answer, and the amendment of a pleading or other document not being a petition, as they apply to the filing of a supplemental petition and the amendment of a petition.
(1) A party on whom a pleading has been served may in writing request the party whose pleading it is to give particulars of any allegation or other matter pleaded and, if that party fails to give the particulars within a reasonable time, the party requiring them may apply for an order that the particulars be given.
(2) The request or order in pursuance of which particulars are given shall be incorporated with the particulars, each item of the particulars following immediately after the corresponding item of the request or order.
(3) A party giving particulars, whether in pursuance of an order or otherwise, shall at the same time file a copy of them.
PREPARATION FOR TRIAL
24. Discovery of documents in defended cause
R.H.C Order 24 rule 12 (discovery and inspection of documents) shall apply to a defended cause begun by petition as it applies to an action begun by writ.
25. Discovery by interrogatories in defended cause
(1) R. H.C Order 26 rule 1 (discovery by interrogatories) shall apply to a defended cause begun by petition as it applies to a cause within the meaning of that Order.
(2) A copy of the proposed interrogatories shall be filed when the summons for an order is issued.
26. Medical examination in proceedings for nullity
(1) In proceedings for nullity on the ground of incapacity to consummate the marriage the petitioner shall, subject to paragraph (2), apply to the registrar to determine whether medical inspectors should be appointed to examine the parties.
(2) An application under paragraph (1) shall not be made in an undefended cause—
(a) if the husband is the petitioner; or
(b) if the wife is the petitioner and—
(i) it appears from the petition that she was either a widow or divorced at the time of marriage in question; or
(ii) it appears from the application or otherwise that she has borne a child; or
(iii) a statement by the wife that she is not a virgin is filed, unless, in any such case, the applicant is alleging his or her own incapacity.
(3) Reference in paragraphs (1) and (2) to the petitioner shall, where the cause is proceeding only on the respondent's answer or where the allegation of incapacity is made only in the respondent's answer, be construed as references to the respondent.
(4) An application under paragraph (1) by the petitioner shall be made—
(a) where the respondent has not given notice of intention to defend, after the time limited for giving the notice has expired; or
(b) where the respondent has given notice of intention to defend, after the expiration of the time allowed for filing his answer or, if he has filed an answer, after it has been filed; and an application under paragraph (1) by the respondent shall be made after he has filed an answer.
(5) Where the party required to make an application under paragraph (1) fails to do so within a reasonable time, the other party may, if he is prosecuting or defending the cause, make an application under that paragraph.
(6) In proceedings for nullity on the ground that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the wilful refusal of the respondent, either party may apply to the registrar for the appointment of medical inspectors to examine the parties.
(7) If the respondent has not given notice of intention to defend, an application by the petitioner under paragraph (1) or (6) may be made ex parte.
(8) If the registrar hearing an application under paragraph (1) or (6) considers it expedient to do so, he shall appoint a medical inspector or, if he thinks it necessary, two medical inspectors to examine the parties and report to the court the result of the examination.
(9) At the hearing of any such proceedings as are referred to in paragraph (1) the court may, if it thinks fit, appoint a medical inspector or two medical inspectors to examine any party who has not been examined or to examine further any party who has been examined.
(10) The party on whose application an order under paragraph (8) is made or who has the conduct of proceedings in which an order under paragraph (9) has been made for the examination of the other party, shall serve on the other party notice of the time and place appointed for his or her examination.
27. Conduct of medical examination
(1) Every medical examination under Rule 26 shall be held at the consulting room of the medical inspector or, as the case may be, of one of the medical inspectors appointed to conduct the examination:
Provided that the registrar may, on the application of a party, direct that the examination of that party shall be held at the court office or at such other place as the registrar thinks convenient.
(2) Every party presenting himself for examination shall sign, in the presence of the inspector or inspectors, a statement that he is the person referred to as the petitioner or respondent, as the case may be, in the order for the examination, and at the conclusion of the examination the inspector or inspectors shall certify on the statement that it was signed in his or their presence by the person who has been examined.
(3) Every report made in pursuance of Rule 26 shall be filed and either party shall be entitled to be supplied with a copy on payment of the prescribed fee.
(4) In an undefended cause, it shall not be necessary for the inspector or inspectors to attend and give evidence at the trial unless so directed.
(5) In a defended cause, if the report made in pursuance of Rule 26 is accepted by both parties, notice to that effect shall be given by the parties to the registrar and to the inspector or inspectors not less than 7 clear days before the date fixed for the trial; and where such notice is given, it shall not be necessary for the inspector or inspectors to attend and give evidence at the trial.
(6) Where pursuant to paragraph (4) or (5) the evidence of the inspector or inspectors is not given at the trial, his or their report shall be treated as information furnished to the court by a court expert and be given such weight as the court thinks fit.
28. Order for transfer of cause
(1) The court may order that a cause pending in a court other than the High Court be transferred to the High Court, where, having regard to all the circumstances including the difficulty or importance of the cause or of any issue arising therein, the court thinks it desirable that the cause should be heard and determined in the High Court.
(2) Where a cause has been transferred to the High Court, the registrar of the registry in which it is proceeding or a judge may order that the cause be transferred to another registry.
(3) An order under this Rule may be made by the judge or registrar, as the case may be, of his own motion or on the application of a party, but before making an order of his own motion, the judge or registrar shall give the parties an opportunity of being heard on the question of transfer and for that purpose the registrar may give the parties notice of a date, time and place at which the question will be considered.
29. Directions for trial
(1) On the written request of the petitioner or of any party who is defending a cause begun by petition, the registrar shall give directions for the trial of the cause if he is satisfied—
(a) that a copy of the petition (including any supplemental or amended petition) and any subsequent pleading has been duly served on every party required to be served and, where that party is a person under disability, that any affidavit required by Rule 84 (2) has been filed;
(b) if no notice of intention to defend has been given by any party entitled to give it, that the time limited for giving such notice has expired;
(c) if notice of intention to defend has been given by any party, that the time allowed for filing an answer has expired;
(d) if an answer has been filed, that the time allowed for filing any subsequent pleading has expired; or
(e) in proceedings for nullity—
(i) that any application required by Rule 26 (1) has been made; and
(ii) where an order for the examination of the parties has been made on an application under Rule 26 that the notice required by paragraph (10) of that Rule has been served and that the report of the inspector or inspectors has been filed.
(2) The registrar shall, if he considers it practicable to do so, give directions for trial by fixing the date, place and, as nearly as may be, the time of the trial and giving notice thereof to every party to the cause.
30. Determination of place of trial
(1) Directions for trial shall determine the place of trial.
(2) In the case of an undefended cause the request for directions shall state—
(a) the place of trial desired;
(b) the place where the witnesses whom it is proposed to call at the trial reside; and
(c) any other fact which may be relevant for determining the place of trial.
(3) In the case of a defended cause, the party intending to make a request for directions shall, not less than 8 days before making his request, give notice of the place of trial desired to every other party who has given notice of intention to defend and, if the party intending to make the request is the respondent, to the petitioner. The notice shall state the number of witnesses to be called on behalf of the party giving the notice and the places where he and his witnesses reside.
(4) If any party to whom notice is given under paragraph (3) does not consent to the place of trial specified in the notice, he may, within 8 days after receiving it, apply to the registrar to direct trial at some other place; and if he does consent to the place so specified, he shall within that period send to the party by whom the notice was given a statement signed by his solicitor (or by him, if he is acting in person) indicating that the notice has been received and specifying the number of witnesses to be called on his behalf and the places where he and his witnesses reside.
(5) Where no application for trial at some other place is made under paragraph (4) within the period specified in that paragraph, the party making the request for directions shall state in his request—
(a) the place of trial desired;
(b) the number of witnesses to be called on his behalf and the places where he and his witness reside;
(c) if it be the case, that no statement has been received from any party (naming him) to whom notice was given under paragraph (3); and
(d) an estimate of the probable length of the trial; and shall file with the request any statement sent to him by any other party in accordance with paragraph (4).
(6) If circumstances arise tending to show that the estimate of the probable length of the trial given under paragraph (2) or (5)(d) or made on an application under paragraph (4) is inaccurate, a further estimate shall be filed.
(7) In determining the place of trial, the registrar shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case so far as it is possible for him to do so on the basis of the information available to him, including the convenience of the parties and their witnesses, the costs likely to be incurred, the date on which the trial can take place, the estimated length of the trial and the respective facilities for trial at the courts.
(8) Directions determining the place of trial of any cause may be varied by the registrar of the court or registry in which the cause is proceeding on the application of any party to the cause.
31. Directions as to allegations under sections 54 (1)(b) of the Act
(1) Where in a defended cause the petitioner alleges that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent, the registrar may, of his own motion on giving directions for trial or on the application of any party made at any time before the trial, order or authorise the party who has made the request for or obtained such directions to file a schedule of the allegations and counter-allegations made in the pleadings or particulars.
(2) Where such an order is made or authority given, the allegations and counter-allegations shall, unless otherwise directed, be listed concisely in chronological order, each counter-allegation being set out against the allegation to which it relates, and the party filing the schedule shall serve a copy of it on any other party to the cause who has filed a pleading.
32. Evidence generally
(1) Any fact required to be proved by the evidence of witnesses at the trial of a cause begun by petition shall ordinarily be proved by the examination of the witnesses orally and in open court.
(2) Nothing in Rules 33 and 34 shall affect the power of the judge at the trial to refuse to admit any evidence if in the interest of justice he thinks fit to do so.
33. Evidence by affidavit, etc
(1) The court may order—
(a) that the affidavit of any witness may be read at the trial on such conditions as the court thinks reasonable;
(b) that the evidence of any particular fact shall be given at the trial in such manner as may be specified in the order and in particular—
(i) by statement on oath of information or belief; or
(ii) by the production of documents or entries in books; or
(iii) by copies of documents or entries in books; or
(iv) in the case of a fact which is or was a matter of common knowledge either generally or in a particular district, by the production of a specified newspaper containing a statement of that fact; and
(c) that not more than a specified number of expert witnesses may be called.
(2) An application to the registrar for an order under paragraph (1) shall—
(a) if no notice of intention to defend has been given; or
(b) if the petitioner and every party who has given notice of intention to defend consents to the order sought; or
(c) if the cause is undefended and directions for trial have been given, be made ex parte by filing an affidavit stating the grounds on which the application is made.
(3) Where an application is made before the trial for an order that the affidavit of a witness may be read at the trial or that evidence of a particular fact may be given at the trial by affidavit, the proposed affidavit or a draft thereof shall be submitted with the application; and where the affidavit is sworn before the hearing of the application and sufficiently states the grounds on which the application is made, no other affidavit shall be required under paragraph (2).
(4) On any application made, evidence may be given by affidavit unless these Rules otherwise provide or the court otherwise directs, but the court may, on the application of any party, order the attendance for cross-examination of the person making any such affidavit; and where, after such an order has been made, that person does not attend, his affidavit shall not be used as evidence without the leave of the court.
34. Evidence of marriage outside Malaysia
(1) The celebration of a marriage outside Malaysia and its validity under the law of the country where it was celebrated may, in any matrimonial proceedings in which the existence and validity of the marriage is not disputed, be proved by the evidence of one of the parties to the marriage and the production of a document purporting to be—
(a) a marriage certificate or similar document issued under the law in force in that country; or
(b) a certified copy of an entry in a register of marriages kept under the law in force in that country.
(2) Where a document produced by virtue of paragraph (1) is not in English it shall, unless otherwise directed, be accompanied by a translation certified by a notary public or authenticated by affidavit.
(3) This rule shall not be construed as precluding the proof of a marriage in accordance with the Evidence Act 1950 or in any other manner authorised apart from this Rule.
35. Issue of witness summons or subpoena
(1) A witness summons in a cause pending in a court may be issued in that court or in the court of trial at which the cause is to be tried.
(2) A writ of subpoena in a cause pending in the High Court may issue out of the registry in which the cause is proceeding.
36. Mode and place of trial
Unless otherwise directed and subject to Rule 39, every cause and any issue arising therein shall be tried by a judge.
37. Trial of issue
Where directions are given for the separate trial of any issue, the registrar shall, after those directions have been complied with, set down the issue for trial.
38. Further provisions as to date of trial
Except with the consent of the parties or by leave of a judge, no cause, whether defended or undefended, shall be tried until after the expiration of 10 days from the date on which directions for trial were given:
Provided that nothing in this Rule shall apply to a cause entered in the special procedure list.
39. Disposal of causes in special procedure list
(1) As soon as practicable after a cause has been entered in the special procedure list, the registrar shall consider the evidence filed by the petitioner and—
(a) if he is satisfied that the petitioner has sufficiently proved the contents of the petition and is entitled to a decree and any costs for which he prays and that there are no children of the family, the registrar shall make and file a certificate to that effect; or
(b) if he not so satisfied he may either give the petitioner an opportunity of filing further evidence or remove the cause from the special procedure list.
(2) On the filing of a certificate under paragraph (1), a day shall be fixed for the pronouncement of a decree by a judge in open court at a court of trial and the registrar shall send to each party notice of the day and place so fixed and a copy of the certificate but it shall not be necessary for either party to appear on that day.
(3) Within 14 days after the pronouncement of a decree in accordance with a certificate under paragraph (1), any person may inspect the certificate and the evidence filed and may bespeak copies on payment of the prescribed fee.
40. Right to be heard on ancillary questions
(1) A respondent may, without filing an answer, be heard on—
(a) any question of custody of, or access to, any child of the family; and
(b) any question of ancillary relief.
(2) A respondent, co-respondent or party cited may, without filing an answer, be heard on any question as to costs but no allegation shall be made against a party claiming costs unless the party making the allegation has filed an answer.
(3) A party shall be entitled to be heard on any question pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) whether or not he has returned to the court office an acknowledgment of service stating his wish to be heard on that question.
(4) In proceedings after a decree nisi of divorce or a decree of judicial separation, no order the effect of which would be to make a co-respondent or party cited liable for costs which are not directly referable to the decree shall be made unless the co-respondent or party cited is a party to such proceedings or has been given notice of the intention to apply for such an order.
41. Respondent's statement as to arrangements for children
A respondent spouse on whom there is served a statement in accordance with Rule 7 may, at any time before the judge makes an order under section 61 of the Act, file in the court office a written statement of his views on the present and proposed arrangements for the children, and no receipt of such a statement from the respondent, the registrar shall send a copy to the petitioner.
42. Order as to arrangements for children to be drawn up
Any order under Rule 41 shall be drawn up.
43. Restoration of matters adjourned etc, at the hearing
(1) Where at the trial of a cause any application is adjourned by the judge for hearing in chambers, it may be restored—
(a) in the High Court, by notice without a summons; or
(b) in a Sessions Court by notice;
(c) in the High Court or a Sessions Court, by notice given by the registrar when in his opinion the matter ought to be further considered, and the notice shall state the place and time for the hearing of the restored application and be served on every party concerned.
(2) Where in proceedings for divorce, nullity of marriage or judicial separation the judge has not made an order, paragraph (1) shall, unless the judge otherwise directs, apply as if an application with respect to the arrangements for the care and upbringing of any such child had been adjourned for hearing in chambers.
44. Application for re-hearing
(1) An application for re-hearing of a cause tried by a judge alone (whether in the High Court or a Sessions Court), where no error of the court at the hearing is alleged, shall be made to a judge.
(2) Unless otherwise directed, the application shall be made to the judge by whom the cause was tried and shall be heard in open court.
(3) The application shall be made—
(a) in the High Court, by a notice to attend before the judge on a day specified in the notice; and
(b) in the Sessions Court, by notice, and the notice shall state the grounds of the application.
(4) Unless otherwise directed, the notice must be issued within 6 weeks after the judgement and served on every other party to the cause not less than 14 days before the day fixed for the hearing of the application.
(5) The applicant shall file a certificate that the notice has been duly served on each person required to be served therewith.
(6) The application shall be supported by an affidavit setting out the allegations on which the applicant relies or exhibiting a copy of any pleading which he proposes to file if the application is granted, and a copy of the affidavit shall be served on every other party to the cause.
(7) Not less than 7 days before the application is heard, the applicant shall file a copy of a transcript of so much as is relevant of the judge's note of the proceedings at the trial.
DECREES AND ORDERS
45. Decrees and orders
(1) Every decree, every order made in open court and every other order which is required to be drawn up shall be drawn up—
(a) in the case of a decree or order made at a Sessions Court by the registrar of that court; or
(b) in the case of a decree or order made at the High Court by a registrar of that court.
46. Application under section 77 of the Act
(1) An application by the respondent to a petition for divorce for the court to consider the financial position of the respondent after the divorce shall be made by notice in Form 12.
(2) Where an applicant is served with a notice in Form 12, then, unless he has already done so, he shall, within 14 days after the service of the notice, file an affidavit in answer to the application containing full particulars of his property and income, and if he does not do so, the court may order him to file an affidavit containing such particulars.
(3) Within 14 days after service of any affidavit under paragraph (2) or within such other time as the court may fix, the respondent shall file an affidavit in reply containing full particulars of his property and income unless already given in an affidavit filed by him under Rule 67 (3).
(4) The powers of the court on the hearing of the application may be exercised by the registrar.
(5) If a decree nisi has been granted on the basis of a finding that the applicant was entitled to reply in support of his application on the fact of two years' separation and has made no such finding as to any other fact, the registrar by whom an application under section 77 of the Act is to be heard shall fix an appointment for the hearing, and Rules 65 (3) to (7), 81 and 82 shall apply to the application as if it were an application for ancillary relief.
(6) At any time before the hearing of the application is concluded (and without prejudice to any right of appeal), the registrar may, and if so requested by either party shall, refer the application, or any question arising thereon, to a judge.
47. Copies of decrees and orders
(1) A copy of every decree shall be sent by the registrar to every party to the cause.
(2) A sealed or other copy of a decree or order made in open court shall be issued to any person requiring it on payment of the prescribed fee.
48. Service of order
(1) Where an order made in matrimonial proceedings has been drawn up, the registrar shall, unless otherwise directed, send a copy of the order to every party affected by it.
(2) Where a party against whom the order is made is acting by a solicitor, a copy may, if the registrar thinks fit, be sent to that party as if he were acting in person, as well as to his solicitor.
(3) It shall not be necessary for the person in whose favour the order was made to prove that a copy of the order has reached any other party to whom it is required to be sent.
(4) This Rule is without prejudice to the Rules of the High Court 1980 or the Subordinate Court Rules 1980 dealing with the service of an order to do or abstain from doing an act, or with orders enforceable by attachment and any other rule or enactment for the purposes of which an order is required to be served in a particular way.
49. Service of decree or order requiring act to be done
Where a decree or order requires a person to do or abstain from doing an act, the copy required to be served on the person mentioned therein may either be served on him personally or delivered to his solicitor.
50. Intervention to show cause by the Attorney General
(1) If the Attorney General wishes to show cause against a decree nisi being made absolute, he shall give notice to that effect to the registrar and to the party in whose favour it was pronounced, and if the cause is pending in a divorce court, the registrar shall thereupon order it to be transferred to the High Court.
(2) Within 21 days after giving notice under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall file his plea setting out the grounds on which he desires to show cause, together with a copy for service on the party in whose favour the decree was pronounced and every other party affected by the decree.
(3) The registrar shall serve a copy of the plea on each of the persons mentioned in paragraph (2).
(4) Subject to this Rule, these Rules shall apply to all subsequent pleadings in respect of the plea as if it were a petition by which a cause is begun.
(5) If no answer to the plea is filed within the time limited or, if an answer is filed and struck out or not proceeded with, the Attorney General may apply forthwith by motion for an order rescinding the decree and dismissing the application.
(6) Rule 29 shall apply to proceedings in respect of a plea by the Attorney General as it applies to the trial of a cause, so however that if all the charges in the plea are denied in the answer, the application for directions shall be made by the Attorney General and in any other case it shall be made by the party in whose favour the decree nisi has been pronounced.
51. Intervention to show cause to be tried in the High Court
The trial of any intervention under Rule 49, shall take place in the High Court.
52. Rescission of decree nisi by consent
(1) Where, after a decree nisi has been pronounced but before it has been made absolute, a reconciliation has been effected between the petitioner and the respondent spouse, either party may apply for an order rescinding the decree by consent.
(2) Where the cause is pending in a Sessions Court, the application shall be made on notice to the other spouse and to any other party against whom costs have been awarded or who is otherwise affected by the decree, and where the cause is pending in the High Court, a copy of the summons by which the application is made shall be served on every such person.
(3) The application shall be made to a judge and may be heard in chambers.
53. Decree absolute on lodging notice
(1) Subject to Rule 54 (1), an application by a spouse to make absolute a decree nisi pronounced in his favour may be made by lodging with the registrar a notice in Form 8.
(2) On the lodging of such a notice, the registrar should search the court minutes and if he is satisfied—
(a) that no appeal against the decree and no application for rehearing of the cause or for rescission of the decree is pending;
(b) that no order has been made by the Federal Court extending the time for appealing against the decree or by a judge extending the time for making an application for rehearing of the cause or, if any such order has been made, that the time so extended has expired;
(c) that no application for such an order as is mentioned in sub- paragraph (b) is pending;
(d) that no intervention under Rule 49 is pending; or
(e) that section 77 of the Act does not apply or has been complied with, the registrar shall make the decree absolute: Provided that if the notice is lodged more than 12 months after the decree nisi, the registrar may require the applicant to file an affidavit accounting for the delay and may make such order on the application as he thinks fit or refer the application to a judge.
54. Decree absolute on application
(1) An application for a decree nisi to be made absolute shall be made to a judge—
(a) where, within six weeks after a decree nisi has been pronounced, the Attorney General gives to the registrar and to the party in whose favour the decree was pronounced a notice that he requires more time to decide whether to show cause against the decree being made absolute and the notice has not been withdrawn; or
(b) where there are other circumstances which ought to be brought to the attention of the court before a decree nisi is made absolute.
(2) Unless otherwise directed, the summons by which the application is made (or, where the cause is pending in a Sessions Court, notice of the application) shall be served on every party to the cause (other than the applicant) and, in a case to which paragraph 1(a) applies, on the Attorney General.
(3) An application by a spouse for a decree nisi pronounced against him to he made absolute may be made to a judge or the registrar, and the summons by which the application is made (or, where the cause is pending in a Sessions Court, notice of the application) shall be served on the other spouse not less than four clear days before the day on which the application is heard.
(4) An order granting an application under this rule shall not take effect until the registrar has searched the court minutes and is satisfied as to the matters mentioned in Rule 53 (2).
55. Indorsement and certificate of decree absolute
(1) Where a decree nisi is made absolute, the registrar shall make an indorsement to that effect on the decree stating the precise time at which it was made absolute.
(2) On a decree nisi being made absolute, the registrar shall—
(a) send to the applicant and the respondent a certificate in Form 9 or 10, whichever is appropriate, authenticated by the seal of the court or registry from which it is issued; and
(b) send to the Registrar General in pursuance of section 107 of the Act an index card relating to the cause.
(3) A central index of decree absolute shall be kept at the Registry of Marriages and Divorces and any person shall be entitled to require a search to be made therein, and to be furnished with a certificate of the result of the search, on payment of the prescribed fee.
(4) A certificate in Form 9 or 10 that a decree nisi has been made absolute shall be issued to any person requiring it on payment of the prescribed fee.