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Thread: Summons to attend court

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    Default Summons to attend court

    Hi just a quick one my partner was called to the police station 3 weeks ago and his somicitor had told himhe would be charged that day with alleged rape. He had assumed this had happened and was waiting for a letter with the magestraites court date. However recieved a letter from solicitors yesterday. He attended the station for fongerprints and photo. Amd was told the police intend to issue a summons to attend court.

    What does this mean?
    Is it still going to court or does the police present it to the court then they decide whether to take it further?
    And how long does it ususally take to recieve summons letter if it does mean hell have to attend.
    I know the process is very long but expected the magestrates bit to be done fairly quickly

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    It looks like it is going to court sadly, it's possible the case has been lost in the system or that they are waiting for a date from the court before they inform you.

    I left the police station with a charge sheet that had the date for the magistrates on it, it sounds like your particular police department are not very organised but they intend to charge an innocent man and have failed to investigate a pack of lies so you can't be surprised to learn that they are useless!

    Hang in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodguy View Post
    Hi just a quick one my partner was called to the police station 3 weeks ago and his somicitor had told himhe would be charged that day with alleged rape. He had assumed this had happened and was waiting for a letter with the magestraites court date. However recieved a letter from solicitors yesterday. He attended the station for fongerprints and photo. Amd was told the police intend to issue a summons to attend court.

    What does this mean?
    Is it still going to court or does the police present it to the court then they decide whether to take it further?
    And how long does it ususally take to recieve summons letter if it does mean hell have to attend.
    I know the process is very long but expected the magestrates bit to be done fairly quickly

    You say he "assumed this had happened" as in "he would be charged".

    He would know whether he is charged or not, as he would have been told "Mr X, I am charging you with...." and then presented with the charge sheet. Did that happen?
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: http://www.chrissaltrese.co.uk/contact-us/ - Telephone: 01704 535 512:

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    No it hadnt happened he assumed he had vecause he was told by tge solicitor 0rior to attending the station that he had been called back to be charged. But whilst at the station he was told he would recieve a letter to attend court.

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    I think we are seeing more of these charge by post cases. Not 100% fool-proof though as post gets lost and a client can end up in prison for failing to attend......
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: http://www.chrissaltrese.co.uk/contact-us/ - Telephone: 01704 535 512:

    Private forums for those maintaining innocence of HISTORIC sexual offences: http://www.pafaa.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=729

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    How on earth is it possible for a person to end up in jail for failure to attend unless the prosecution can demonstrate that the letter was delivered, by sending it recorded delivery for instance? There are so many other aspects of law where service has to be demonstrated - even the Small Claims Court requires proof of posting, as do eviction proceedings.

    This is yet another layer of fear added to everything else that people in this situation worry about. I'm watching the post feverishly enough as it is. :-(
    'Mongolian Warriors had the courage of lions, the patience of hounds, the prudence of cranes, the long-sightedness of ravens, the wildness of wolves, the passion of fightingcocks, the keenness of cats, the fury of wild boars and the cunning of foxes.' BE A MONGOLIAN WARRIOR WHEN DEFENDING YOUR INNOCENCE!

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    I've been puzzled why some members are 'summonsed' to the Magistrates by a letter and some are 'charged' to appear so did some googling and the most sensible answer was that the written method is used when the law doesn't require an arrest to be made for the alleged offence.

    Of course this explanation simply opens up another conundrum; why are some arrested and others not, though this one is easier to answer: securing of evidence; possibility of abscondment; protection of witnesses; and since April 2nd, issues over length of bail.
    'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franticwithworry View Post
    How on earth is it possible for a person to end up in jail for failure to attend unless the prosecution can demonstrate that the letter was delivered, by sending it recorded delivery for instance? There are so many other aspects of law where service has to be demonstrated - even the Small Claims Court requires proof of posting, as do eviction proceedings.

    This is yet another layer of fear added to everything else that people in this situation worry about. I'm watching the post feverishly enough as it is. :-(
    Whilst googling the above I read somewhere that the summons letter had to be delivered by hand or sent by registered or recorded post.

    [EDIT to add please read post #11 in conjunction ]
    Last edited by Casehardened; 23rd April 2017 at 07:03 AM.
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    England may be different, but the summons my man received to appear at the Scottish court came in the ordinary post. No hand delivery and no recorded delivery. He was never questioned about the supposed incident by the Scottish police and it was 6 weeks from summons to trial.

    I shudder to think what would have happened if it hadn't reached him.
    'Mongolian Warriors had the courage of lions, the patience of hounds, the prudence of cranes, the long-sightedness of ravens, the wildness of wolves, the passion of fightingcocks, the keenness of cats, the fury of wild boars and the cunning of foxes.' BE A MONGOLIAN WARRIOR WHEN DEFENDING YOUR INNOCENCE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casehardened View Post
    Whilst googling the above I read somewhere that the summons letter had to be delivered by hand or sent by registered or recorded post.
    I have to say that in our experience the summons came through in the normal post in a brown bill style letter. No warning. Not recorded or hand delivered. I did know though somehow before even opened what it was, the shock has never quite left me and even post trial somehow it still continues to be I don't like the post arriving but you can and do get past it. Always be positive the truth will out..
    Last edited by Staystrong1; 23rd April 2017 at 12:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casehardened View Post
    Whilst googling the above I read somewhere that the summons letter had to be delivered by hand or sent by registered or recorded post.*
    I do apologise for the above misleading information as it obviously doesn't happen (and of course I can't find the source again!)

    However further googling has established that the application for and service of a summons is the responsibility of whoever requires the summons.

    For criminal proceedings this will be the police force bringing the case to court and as there do not appear to be any national guidelines each local force will have their own procedures which might explain folk's different experiences.

    Failure to attend (due to non receipt of summons) would be a separate offence to whatever the summons was for but of course this puts the defendant on the wrong footing from the outset.

    *perhaps this is a requirement for private prosecutions?....when I used the small claims court I had to serve all notices via recorded delivery.
    'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger'

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    Not to worry, Caseardened.

    I think that it's a case of one rule for the public and another for the police. They don't use recorded delivery because there is nothing in law that says they have to and they are not held to the same standard of responsibility or held accountable as Joe or Joanna Bloggs.

    It's like speed regulations on the roads - nothing gets changed unless and until there's a disaster and then not always.
    'Mongolian Warriors had the courage of lions, the patience of hounds, the prudence of cranes, the long-sightedness of ravens, the wildness of wolves, the passion of fightingcocks, the keenness of cats, the fury of wild boars and the cunning of foxes.' BE A MONGOLIAN WARRIOR WHEN DEFENDING YOUR INNOCENCE!

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    It did arrive yesterday and i can confirm it was a vriwn envelope by normal post. It was 3 weeks after police said they were doing it but until we worked this out last night it had seemed wed waited months. So another 3 weeks and it is in court for them to hear.the case. I thought this was where names address and plea are heard but assuming they also need to hear the case to decide where to sendnit to. Worry akd panic has set in for mympartner and i get that too but the other part of me is relieved its moving forward as each little bit means we are 1 step closer to the nightmare been over.

    What should he expect from magestrites hes been told.to arrive half an hour early and to take soliciotor which we obviously knew. Now hes panic8ng about gettig there veen put in a cell while he waits, not sure if this happenes.

    And panicing about the accuser been present with the rest of that side of the family and what he has to say.etc

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    Hello - magistrates appearance is normally quick. In OH case he was in and out in 10 mins. Unlikely FA will be there. You might get some disclosure around the magistrates date. We didn't until just before first crown court appearance about a month after magistrates. Think of it as just another hurdle cleared.

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    As Jan11 said, the magistrates is a formality and won't take long but there may be a lot of waiting around. There is definitely no need to panic.

    Your OH most certainly will not have to wait in a cell but in a dirty waiting room with chewing gum on the chairs and the local riff raff so watch your purse and take some change in case there are only vending machines for hot drinks. (Some courts are better than others and have their own canteens) - you will have to empty your pockets, have your bags searched and pass through metal detectors each time you enter the building so leave swiss army knives at home.

    The courts are open to the public so there is no guarantee that the FA won't be there but I think it is unusual and they will probably be advised not to attend.

    The magistrate will hear a summary of the charges and most likely refuse jurisdiction and send the case on to the crown. Your OH will just confirm his name and possibly enter a plea, depending on the seriousness of the charges and the solicitor, court clerk and magistrate will do the rest of the talking, he will be bailed by the court, given a date to appear at crown and then free to leave.

    There are meeting rooms for the solicitors to talk to their clients in private and I will expect that your sol will talk you through what is to happen and whether they yet have any disclosure. Write down any questions you have for the sol and take notes.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Peter1975; 3rd October 2017 at 11:59 AM.

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    Hi Goodguy
    From my OH experience he was asked to attend a rebail date number 10 last August and on that day was only let in the foyer nit the actual station where promptly given 2 bits of paper that nobody duty solicitor and himself read . He was told there was not enough time on his clock to be charged now and that he would get a summons in the post . ( thus bring less than 24 hours of his father passing away ) so was no real need for him to go but then that's the way the OIC treated him . On arriving home I read the paperwork he was given one sheet that said NFA On it not enough evidence it said . Then a further letter about getting in the post, yep totally wrong bear with me it gets worse so we phoned the duty who informed us that the Sargent in the station was relatively new and made a mistake . ( he was not new as OH seen him several times since the beginning a year approx previously and he had in fact signed orevioys paperwork to that effect .

    So unable to grieve for his loss we sat and waited the brown envelope which had not arrived 3 weeks later so emailed the OIC usual wait then reply it had been sent out and date done - alas it materialusedvthey sent it to our original old address the one he was not allowed to go to and we forced to sell which was 2 addresses previously ! In our view done deliberately again you cannot trust them with a barge pole as they definately could not arrange a p up in a brewery just be so aware - we had bail letters sent unsealed too . Was this so that others could read especially as the FA was next door .
    I am going to shout now DO NOT EVER believe anything the police do they lie through their teeth and definately are not on your side and will do anything they can to a real cow / made to you .
    The magistrate hearing for OH we arrived had to go through security check bag etc then sat down OH did not go in a cell this time we had expected it though as every other time he had , then your solicitor will arrive and we had a few minutes chat with him then OH was called in and I was not sure but yes I was allowed to sit in there . Lots of talk between the people in there and then told that it would go to crown court and a first appearance date . Took as everyone says about 10 minutes was given bail with no conditions at all (total mockery of system as previously loads of conditions ) then was free to go . Crown court first appearance much the same really . The OIC makes sure they get a police picture if you too for for at least that's seems the way here not sure if this is allowed but what the hell they just don't give a damm about anyone other than there jobs and promotions .
    Apologies for the negative but OH case had a bad ending and I am very anti establishment . Your case hopefully will be on the positive side I will still stick with the dont trust them though !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1975 View Post
    As Jan11 said, the magistrates is a formality and won't take long but there may be a lot of waiting around. There is definitely no need to panic.

    Your OH most certainly will not have to wait in a cell but in a dirty waiting room with chewing gum on the chairs and the local riff raff so watch your purse and take some change in case there are only vending machines for hot drinks. (Some courts are better than others I understand) - you will have to empty your pockets, have your bags searched and pass through metal detectors each time you enter the building so leave swiss army knives at home.

    The courts are open to the public so there is no guarantee that the FA won't be there but I think it is unusual and they will probably be advised not to attend.

    The magistrate will hear a summary of the charges and most likely refuse jurisdiction and send the case on to the crown. Your OH will just confirm his name and possibly enter a plea, depending on the seriousness of the charges and the solicitor, court clerk and magistrate will do the rest of the talking, he will be bailed by the court, given a date to appear at crown and then free to leave.

    There are meeting rooms for the solicitors to talk to their clients in private and I will expect that your sol will talk you through what is to happen and whether they yet have any disclosure. Write down any questions you have for the sol and take notes.

    Good luck.
    I think this is a very good post of what actually happens and it is very quick at this hearing and definitely don't panic, it's a step toward your truth being heard eventually . Stay strong and positive x

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    hey GoodGuy what ended up happening? Can we get an update?

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    Was at crown court for preparing trail hearing last Friday. Got most of the evidence and statements as they call it in may at the magistrates and managed to find over 50 contradictions within the 4 statements. Remainder of evidence deadline is end of July and the trail is set for 18th Dec. So another 6 months of waiting but the end is now visible hopefully

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    Default Update

    So its now 15 weeks till the trail. Still waiting for the rest of the stuff from court or cps to be recieved but hoping it wont be too much of a wait as from the sounds of it thats what will help the case.

    Just had the defence statement submitted to the courts so all seems to be moving. Thats both relief and a worry. Sick of the waiting around and woulf like it over but also bery scary.to know that theres only matter of weeks to go and seems like nothing has been organised yet and considering life if it doesnt go our way.

    Just struggling to sort witnesses out.

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    Thanks for the update, I hope you are managing to keep sane, healthy and strong. It's a very strange feeling, wanting it all to be over but dreading it at the same time.

    It sounds like you have it all in hand as well as can be expected, it feels like you will never be ready but I promise you will get there.

    It is awful to have to contemplate things going wrong but "prepare for the worst and hope for the best" is probably the wisest thing anybody has ever said in the groups. I have posted about the "nasty bag" a few times this week already and I hate having to mention it but if you haven't thought about this yet, now is perhaps a good idea to start to prepare. As someone wise (I think it was TD) once said, think of it like taking an umbrella in case it rains. Rights Fighter has posted a list in the useful information section

    Keep posting for support
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    To add to Peter's excellent advice there are some threads in the Useful Information section on conducting yourself during the trial; responding to questioning, directing responses to the jury, showing emotion and so on. You've had a glimpse of the inside of the court so that has taken some of the unknown away.
    'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger'

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    Default Defence statement

    Hi all just a quick query, the defence statment was put in a month ago to the courts. Just wonderi g from peoples experience how long after this it usually is till the requested evidence and things as disclosed as there were several things my solicitor asked for and im starting to panick that with only 10 weeks to go we may not get it. Also my solicitor is yet to speak to prospective character witnesses, should this have happened yet? Just none if them know whats going to happen, wgether they need to book time off, what they are likely to ask and myself i havnt been through anything yet with the solicitor other than background to my family history.. Just know how quick these last few weeks could go by and panicking it isnt going to ve prepared properly but dont know if im over thinking and panicking for no reason

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    Unfortunately there is no set time - I have known disclosure to arrive actually at trial. A good solicitor / barrister will request pre trial hearings to ask the judge to order the CPS to disclose.
    Chris Saltrese Solicitors - private client only: http://www.chrissaltrese.co.uk/contact-us/ - Telephone: 01704 535 512:

    Private forums for those maintaining innocence of HISTORIC sexual offences: http://www.pafaa.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=729

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    Thanks for the information, think im just worrying as now iv gone through what has been recieved that many times i know yhe statements word for word im now stuck for what to do and realising that its now a waiting game till the trail as theres nothong more i can do till we get that realeased. Ill wait till the end of the month with the hope its recieved and the speak to my solicitor.

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    I would suggest that you send a polite email to the sol asking about the character witnesses and whether they may be asked to appear in court or their statements just read out, in which case they will likely be asked to simply email the solicitor. If you have any previous convictions or cautions though, calling good character will automatically allow prosecution to reveal them to the jury.

    It wouldn't hurt to mention that you are getting jittery about the response to the defence case statement either but a month isn't long in legal terms, they have to find and request the material themselves and then review it before handing it over and sometimes they are very reluctant to do so if it undermines their case.

    Hang in there
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    hi thanks for the advice i actually got an email from the solicitor that afternoon with some more material that had been recieved. im hoping that we will soon have meetings booked in with solicitor and barrister to start preparing for the case with only 9 weeks to go im feeling very underprepared but hoping that they get the witnesses spoken to this month and my meetings in next month so going to try and calm down and wait. i have emailed to ask when theyll be speaking to witnesses as she had told me to telll them it would be last month and to arrange to go in myself for a meeting with her to get things started. ill keep you posted

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    Default Barrister meetings and countdown

    Hi all, my partner had his meeting with the solicitor last week. Apparently still didn't feel like anythi g was covered just got told we now have all the evidence. She's going to be contact8ng his witnesses not hold g my breath as was given details 3 months ago to do tact them but hopefully that'll be very soon as with 5 weeks to go I feel it's a little late as no-one knows if they are needed if they need time off and what been a witness means. He asked when he was due to meet with barrister to go over questions and whatever and has been told it's end of the month leaving it 2 weeks before the trail is this normal for it to be left till so close to the trail. It also means hell only get 1 meeting in before the trail. I feel everything's been left till last minute it's and we won't be prepared. He's only had 2 meetings in 6 months between the pre trail hearing and now, one was to tell his life story to get to know him and last week where he watched the DVD of initial disclosure from accuser. I know they have other cases and are busy but all the correspondence from them stated they'd be numerous meetings over the 6 months just don't know if it's normal and there's timeframes are typical or if we're right to be worrying that no-one knows what happening and feeling unprepared.

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    I have to say your solicitors don't seem to be doing a very good job of keeping you in the loop or making you feel reassured but this is no reason to expect that they won't have prepared the case properly. There are many that haven't felt that their legal teams have been doing enough but they turn up to trial and find that everything is under control. They are perhaps leaving informing the witnesses a bit late but I am assuming they have already taken their statements (if they weren't taken by the police)

    That said, client care and the feeling of being listened to is the feedback RF likes to hear for her database of reliable solicitors

    I will assume that you have provided the sols with all evidence and timelines that you can and now they have "all the evidence" which I take to include the prosecution's disclosure and response to the defence case statement, it is just a matter of putting it all in order for the barrister.

    I can only suggest that you write down all of your questions for the meeting with the barrister and do not leave until you are sure that he/she understands your case and has explained everything to you. If there is evidence they don't want to use they should explain why not. Take notes while you are there. If you are a witness for your OH and cannot attend with him, someone else that can act as another pair of ears is never a bad idea.

    There will be time before and after each court session to talk to the barrister so don't panic and please keep us updated and ask anything you like here
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    They have come highly rec9mmended so i am hoping that it is that they have everything sorted in the background.

    The witnesses are all character witnesses but haven't been asked anything yet or got to put anything in writing. But iv searched google for what to include and were taking it up on ourselves to get their writtin references and sending them to sol incase time is left too late. There are a couple who were statemented by police and are yet to be contacted by sol to ask to appear but due to complications in case we also cant soeak to them. So left hoping everything works out on that.



    I will assume that you have provided the sols with all evidence and timelines that you can and now they have "all the evidence" which I take to include the prosecution's disclosure and response to the defence case statement, it is just a matter of putting it all in order for the barrister.*

    We have gave timelines Facebook screenshots comments on statements and other police evidence and family history. Know they have it all as been sendi g across since May constantly but not heard yet what is useful or not and why. The defence statement went in in Sep not been told if there's been a reply but the last piece of evidence released had been asked through.that. I know we've asked for a couple of pieces that we thought we're useful as showed her key character witness who she apparently disclosed it to in a bad light as it would.show how she'd lied in court in similar case and in other cases and been fined to lying but solicitor thought that was waste of time and it stated he had his daughter there but school records will have showed she was at school but that again apparently.wpuldnt help show they are lying.

    Because they having sorted witnesses out every meeting he's had they having let anyone in woth him so he's had to do them all alone. Not ideal when he's been burying his head in the sand and then overpanicking and not remembering what was said. But last time he took a list of questions that id emailed and was waiting on reply and used that so we can do the same with barrister although not sure what questions to be asking. Other than finding out what they.plan to.use and why.not if they aren't using something. What questions hell be asked. And what witnesses to be called. Are we missing stupid questions out.

    Also any advice on writing the character witnesses would be appreciated? Got a little about them how they know oh how long they know him. That they know of the accusation. And then example and opinions of his character and personality.

    Thanks again for advice and reassurance

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