Witness summons
Witness summons

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Witness summons
  • What is a witness summons?
  • Why use a witness summons?
  • Is the court's permission required to issue a witness summons?
  • Where the court's permission is not required
  • Overseas witnesses
  • Making an application to the court to issue a witness summons
  • Witness summons—forms
  • Serving a witness summons
  • Court service
  • More...

Where a party to proceedings wishes to compel a witness to attend court or produce documents to the court, they may consider using a witness summons. This Practice Note provides guidance on what a witness summons is, the circumstances in which you may use one, whether the court’s permission is required and how to make an application for a witness summons. It explains how to serve the witness summons, together with what to do if a witness does not comply with a summons, the concept of conduct money and paying summoned witnesses. This Practice Note also considers the differences between non-party disclosure orders under Rule 31.17 and witness summons.

What is a witness summons?

A witness summons is a document issued by the court under CPR 34.2 compelling a witness to:

  1. attend court to give evidence on the date fixed for a hearing or a court directed date (CPR 34.2(1)(a) and CPR PD 34A, para 1.1), or

  2. produce documents to the court either:

    1. on the date fixed for the hearing (CPR 34.2(4)(a)), or

    2. on such date as the court may direct (CPR 34.2(4)(b))

A summons can only be used in relation to documents that a person could be required to produce at the hearing (CPR 34.2(5)).

The summons must comply with CPR PD 34A. For more information on the form of the witness summons, see below.

If a summons

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