Disclosure or inspection orders in relation to non-parties
Produced in partnership with David Salter of Mills & Reeve
Disclosure or inspection orders in relation to non-parties

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with David Salter of Mills & Reeve provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Disclosure or inspection orders in relation to non-parties
  • Background
  • Usages
  • Procedure
  • Alternative procedures
  • Public interest immunity

Background

The Family Procedure Rules 2010, SI 2010/2955 (FPR 2010) do not contain a procedure for inspection (formerly production) appointments, as previously found in the Family Procedure Rules 1991 (FPR 1991). Under the former procedure, the respondent to the application had to attend an appointment before the court and produce documents specified in the order. By contrast, under FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 21.2 there is no requirement for the respondent to attend at court to produce the documents and instead FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 21.2 makes provision for an application to be made to the court under any Act governed by FPR 2010 for disclosure by a person who is not a party to the proceedings.

The disclosure sought may relate to information or to documents. A distinction must be drawn between orders for disclosure and orders for inspection. A party discloses a document by stating that the document exists or has existed, whereas inspection of the document occurs when a party is permitted to inspect a document disclosed.

The court may only order disclosure where it is necessary in order to dispose fairly of the proceedings or to save costs. Such disclosure is the exception rather than rule.

An application may be made, without notice, for an order permitting that the withholding of disclosure of a document on the ground that