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Procedure for Summons to court appearance in ACT

By WildOne - 1 August 2011 9

I’ve been given a Summons to give evidence in court and was wondering what the standard procedures are in the ACT for doing so.

The Summons was left on my front doorstep when I was out, and a message left on my mobile phone to that effect. This seems rather odd to me – don’t legal papers such as a Court Summons need to be hand-delivered in person so that the Processor can correctly identify the person he’s delivered it to?

Another thing – there’s no indication on the Summons as to who has Summonsed me, whether the Applicant or the Defendant. I would’ve expected Counsel for one party or t’other to first contact me and ascertain that I have any evidence worth giving before bothering to Summons me.

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
Procedure for Summons to court appearance in ACT
shirty_bear 11:25 am 02 Aug 11

WildOne said :

vg said :

Its all good…..and you just admitted receipt of it. Nothing wrong with what was done

Apart from anyone not knowing me from a bar of soap in this forum, why would I not admit receiving it?? It’s nothing against me.

Suspect the inference there was that it may have been a criminal matter you’d rather dodge. Subsequently revealed to not be the case.

WildOne 10:21 am 02 Aug 11

vg said :

Its all good…..and you just admitted receipt of it. Nothing wrong with what was done

Apart from anyone not knowing me from a bar of soap in this forum, why would I not admit receiving it?? It’s nothing against me.

WildOne 10:17 am 02 Aug 11

KeenGolfer said :

Is it a police prosecution or a civil matter? If you provided a statement to police (or if police believe you know something about the incident and you refused/didn’t provide a statement) you can be summonsed to give evidence. If it’s either of these then the summons will have been issued by the police.

If it is a police matter, normally the police informant in charge of the case will meet you at court and brief you on what happens when you go in. If you haven’t done it before it can be nerve racking, but in all honesty it’s not that big a deal once you’ve actually done it.

If “police prosecution” or “a civil matter” are the only two options, my guess is it’s a civil matter. Legal matters are not my forte. I just looked up “civil law” in Wikipedia and it says “Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals and/or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim.”

That would fit with what I know of the event. I haven’t provided any statements (police or otherwise), which is why I’m surprised that – firstly – I’ve been asked to give evidence, and – secondly – that no-one has contacted me to tell me what evidence they’re looking for. The Summons has come completely out of the blue and I don’t particularly want to front up at court without a clue of what’s going on.

I’m quite sure you’re right KeenGolfer that it’s going to be no big deal. Just seems a bit of a circus to me – I have a lousy memory at the best of times, plus my hearing’s dodgy, and both get even worse when I’m under pressure. I can just see myself getting in there and doing a “rabbit in the headlights.”

WildOne 9:54 am 02 Aug 11

Padoof said :

It depends…..

Which court is it? Family, Federal Magistrates, Supreme, Magistrates? What type of case is it? Criminal or Civil? If it’s for a criminal matter it may have been the Police who summonsed you. Differeny legislation has different requirements for the service of documents.

The form will have a form number at the top, go to http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and look up the approved form by its number, that may help to explain things.

Otherwise I’d suggest giving the appropriate Court registry a phone call tomorrow.

It’s the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) – should that tell me something about the case? I don’t know what type of case it is; I only have some vague idea of what the grievance is, and I vaguely know some of the people involved. I don’t imagine Police are involved; more likely a bunch of solicitors.

Thanks for the tip on looking up the number – I didn’t realise you could do this, or even ring the Court and ask.

dungfungus 9:27 am 02 Aug 11

Padoof said :

It depends…..

Which court is it? Family, Federal Magistrates, Supreme, Magistrates? What type of case is it? Criminal or Civil? If it’s for a criminal matter it may have been the Police who summonsed you. Differeny legislation has different requirements for the service of documents.

The form will have a form number at the top, go to http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and look up the approved form by its number, that may help to explain things.

Otherwise I’d suggest giving the appropriate Court registry a phone call tomorrow.

Right on Padoof. If I ever need a process server again I will contact you.

merlin bodega 8:20 pm 01 Aug 11

That’s just the start of it WildOne.

When you get there they wear silly frocks and even sillier wigs on their head, speak in language that is oh so amusing and have a set of arcane rules that will make you think that you may just expect an odd looking man to come out after a while and proclaim you have just been pranked!

Welcome to the legal system, which is not to be confused with a justice system.

KeenGolfer 5:23 pm 01 Aug 11

Is it a police prosecution or a civil matter? If you provided a statement to police (or if police believe you know something about the incident and you refused/didn’t provide a statement) you can be summonsed to give evidence. If it’s either of these then the summons will have been issued by the police.

If it is a police matter, normally the police informant in charge of the case will meet you at court and brief you on what happens when you go in. If you haven’t done it before it can be nerve racking, but in all honesty it’s not that big a deal once you’ve actually done it.

vg 5:10 pm 01 Aug 11

Its all good…..and you just admitted receipt of it. Nothing wrong with what was done

Padoof 4:54 pm 01 Aug 11

It depends…..

Which court is it? Family, Federal Magistrates, Supreme, Magistrates? What type of case is it? Criminal or Civil? If it’s for a criminal matter it may have been the Police who summonsed you. Differeny legislation has different requirements for the service of documents.

The form will have a form number at the top, go to http://www.legislation.act.gov.au and look up the approved form by its number, that may help to explain things.

Otherwise I’d suggest giving the appropriate Court registry a phone call tomorrow.

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