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District Court Rules

Order: 15

Issue of summonses alleging offences : S.I. No. 167 of 2005

The below amendment(s) have been made to this instrument which can be viewed by clicking on the link(s):

No15-S.I. No. 557 Of 2010: District Court (Summonses) Rules 2010


* Issue of summonses alleging offences

O.15, r.1 Making of complaint to and issue of summons by a Judge.

1. (1). Where in the first instance a summons is sought pursuant to section 10 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851 to require the attendance before the Court of a person against whom a complaint is made, the complaint shall be made to a Judge and may be made with or without oath as the Judge shall direct.

(2). Where the complaint is made on oath it shall be made by sworn information (Form 15.3 Schedule B).

(3). Having received such complaint, the Judge may issue a summons (Form 15.1 Schedule B) in any case in which that Judge has jurisdiction in the district to which he or she is assigned.

Application to and issue of summons by Court Office.

2. (1). When, upon application made to an appropriate office (within the meaning of section 1(14) of the Courts (No. 3) Act 1986 as amended) pursuant to section 1(3) of the Courts (No. 3) Act 1986 as amended, for the issue of a summons in relation to an offence, a summons is issued, such summons shall be in the Form 15.2 Schedule B.

Contents of summons and Court to which returnable.

3. (1). A summons shall state shortly and in ordinary language particulars of the cause of complaint or offence alleged, and shall state the name of the person against whom the complaint has been made or who is alleged to have committed the offence and the address (if known) at which he or she ordinarily resides.

(2). A summons issued by an appropriate office and to which rule 2(1) of this Order relates shall also notify such person that he or she will be accused of that offence at a sitting of the District Court to be specified in the summons. Such summons shall also contain the particulars specified in section 1(6) of the Courts (No. 3) Act 1986 as amended.

(3). Every summons shall require the appearance of the person to whom it is directed at a sitting of the Court having jurisdiction to deal with the complaint or the offence alleged, provided that the court at which such person is required to appear shall -

      (a) Where the summons is issued by a Judge, be a court within the area of jurisdiction, of that Judge, or

      (b) Where the summons is issued by an appropriate office be a court within the district in which a judge has jurisdiction in relation to the offence to which the summons relates.

4. Two or more complaints or offences may be alleged in the one summons.

O.15, r.5 Signing of summonses

5. (1). A summons issued by a Judge shall be signed by the Judge who issues it and no summons shall be signed in blank.

(2). A summons against a person who is a member of the Garda Síochána shall be signed by a Judge.

(3). (a) Where a summons is signed by a Judge such summons shall not be avoided by reason of the death of that Judge or by reason of his or her ceasing to hold office

      (b) Where a summons is issued by an appropriate office such summons shall not be avoided by reason of the death of the appropriate District Court Clerk whose name is specified on the summons or by reason of his or her ceasing to hold office.
Copies for service

6. In the case of every summons issued otherwise than by transmitting it by electronic means to the person who applied for it or a person acting on his or her behalf, there shall be issued with such summons a copy thereof for service upon each person to whom the summons is directed. Where a summons is issued by transmitting it by electronic means to the person who applied for it or a person acting on his or her behalf, a true copy of such summons shall be served upon each person to whom the summons is directed by electronic means.

May be served in any part of the State.

7. A summons may be served in any part of the State and upon service being effected in a manner prescribed by these Rules, the person against whom the complaint is made or the offence is alleged shall be as effectively bound by the proceedings as if he or she resided within the area of jurisdiction of the Judge issuing it or (if issued out of an appropriate office) within the limits of the court area or areas to which the appropriate Clerk whose name is specified on the summons has been assigned.

8. Where an enactment constituting an offence states the offence to be the doing or the omission to do any one of a number of different acts in the alternative, or states any part of the offence in the alternative, the acts, omissions or other matters stated in the alternative in the enactment may be stated either in the alternative or in the conjunctive in the summons alleging such offence.

9. In alleging an offence contrary to any statute or statutes it shall be sufficient to state the substance of the offence in ordinary language with such particulars of the offence as may be necessary for giving reasonable information as to the nature of the complaint, and it shall not be necessary to negative any exception or exemption from or qualification to the operation of a statute creating such offence.

Summons in lieu of a warrant

10. Where under Order 16, rule 1(1) of these Rules a warrant is sought for the arrest of a person charging that person with having committed an indictable offence a Judge may, if he or she thinks fit, instead of issuing a warrant issue a summons requiring the appearance of that person, notwithstanding that the complaint had been made by information on oath and in writing. A Judge who has issued such summons may at any time (the complaint having been made by information) issue a warrant for the arrest of that person.

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* Provisions relating to the issue of summonses in matters other than criminal matters are contained inOrder 40E of these Rules.