NB Courts

What is a Subpoena in criminal matters?

A Subpoena requires you to present yourself at the time and place stated to give evidence and, if required, to bring anything that you may have in your possession or under your control relating to the subject matter of the proceedings.

A Subpoena also requires you to remain in attendance throughout the proceedings unless excused by the presiding Judge.

What is a Summons to Witness in civil matters?

A Summons to Witness places upon a person the same obligations as a subpoena in a criminal matter (see the previous question).

The Summons to Witness is used in civil proceedings.

What happens if I ignore the Subpoena or Summons to Witness?

If you ignore or evade the Subpoena or Summons to Witness, the Judge may issue a warrant authorizing a peace officer to take you into custody and to bring you before the Court. Such warrants are issued by the Court before which you failed to appear at the time and place that had originally been set in the Subpoena or Summons to Witness.

What happens if I am taken into custody for ignoring the Subpoena or Summons to Witness?

Once you have been taken into custody, the peace officer is required to bring you before the Court at the earliest opportunity. In Court, you will be given an opportunity to explain your failure to appear. If the Judge is not satisfied with your explanation, a fine or a period of incarceration can be ordered.