Moss v Paul [2020] NZFC 3072

Published 01 December 2021

Declaration of non-paternity — refusal of DNA sample — onus of proof — more likely than not — Status of Children Act 1969, s 10 — Family Proceedings Act 1980, s 54. The applicant applied for a declaration of non-paternity for the respondent's (now-adult) child pursuant to s 10 of the Status of Children Act. The parties had been in a relationship and had one child together already, but at the probable date of conception the applicant had been on bail with a condition that he not contact or see the respondent. As the child in question refused to give a DNA sample for the purposes of establishing paternity, the onus fell onto the applicant to prove that it was more likely than not that he was not the biological father. Despite having signed an IRD form acknowledging he was the child's biological father, the bail conditions and evidence that he had been on holiday during the probable conception date satisfied the judge that the onus had been met. The judge made a declaration accordingly that the applicant was not the biological father. Judgment Date: 7 May 2020. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *