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AWB v JP ? Glasgow Sheriff Court, 1 June 2010


In a family action, the Defender withheld details of her current address. At proof, the Pursuer objected to the non disclosure. When the action was raised, the Defender had admitted the address in the instance in her defences. She later changed her address, but did not provided details of her up to date address. She averred that this was due to fear for her safety. The defences included bare allegations of physical and verbal abuse by the Pursuer, although the most recent incident was said to have happened in December 2006. The Pursuer submitted that a party to an action should be designed by reference to his or her name and address. If a party's address changed during the course of proceedings, the onus was on that party to disclose an up to date address. In this case, disclosure of the Defender's present address was necessary for any contact order that the Court might make. The Defender maintained that the onus was on the Pursuer to seek the Defender's up to date address. The Defender also suggested that, if there were sufficient averments to support non disclosure, the Court had the discretion to allow a party to withhold personal details such as their current address. The Defender argued that her averments about the Pursuer's conduct were sufficient for this purpose, although she accepted that the absence of an up to date address might cause problems in relation to enforcement of any Court order relating to contact. The Sheriff had to determine whether, in the circumstances of this case, the Defender was justified in refusing to disclose her present address.