A summons is issued to a defendant to advise them that they must appear in court to answer charge(s). A summons may be issued and served before or after a charging document is filed.
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A constable or any person except a private prosecutor may issue and serve a summons if they have good cause to suspect the person has committed an offence and they have filed, or intend to file, a charging document in relation to that offence.
An enforcement officer may issue and serve a summons if a person has a positive evidential breath test and does not advise that they want to undergo a blood test.
The summons must contain:
The day on which the person is required to appear must not be later than 2 months after the date of the summons and must be at the court where the charging document has been, or is to be, filed.
A summons may be served on behalf of the issuer by:
A summons is personally served by leaving the document with the person named or, if that person does not accept it, by putting it down and bringing it to the notice of that person.
A category 2, 3, or 4 offence summons must be served personally or by being left for the person at their place of residence with a member of their family who lives at that address and appears to be 18 years of age or older. It can't be served on the person’s lawyer.
A category 1 offence summons may be served personally or by sending it to the person’s address. Where this has not been provided, it may be served by:
Rule 2.7 of the Rules has more information about serving a summons on the following:
If a charging document has not been filed before a summons is served, it must be filed as soon as reasonably practicable after the summons has been served, unless the person who issued the summons decides not to proceed with the charge.
It is the responsibility of the person who issued the summons to ensure that a charging document is filed. If they decide not to file a charging document, or decide to file a charging document containing a different charge than that on the summons, they must take all reasonable steps as soon as possible to notify the person summoned of the decision before they are required to appear. The person summoned does not need to appear if a decision is made that a charging document will not be filed.
If a charging document has been filed and a summons has not been served on the defendant despite reasonable efforts to do so, a warrant may be issued to arrest the defendant and bring them before the court:
If the summons relates to a category 2, 3 or 4 offence, any judicial officer (Judge, Justice of the Peace, or Community Magistrate) or Registrar may issue the warrant if satisfied a reasonable effort has been made to serve the summons.
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