Order 24

Attendance of witnesses


1.[2] (1) Subject to sub-rule (2), any party desiring the attendance of any person to give evidence or produce any books, papers or documents to the Court, or to an officer of the Court, shall apply for, and the County Registrar shall issue, a witness summons requiring the person to whom the summons is directed to comply with the requirements thereof at the time and place stated therein. Such summons shall be in accordance with Form 14 of the Schedule of Forms.

(2) An application for the issue of a witness summons requiring an officer of the State to attend and produce any books, papers or documents to the Court (witness summons duces tecum) may not be issued except by order of the County Registrar on an application ex parte.

2. In any case of difficulty as regards the issue of such summons, application may be made to the Court for the issue of the same, and on such application the Judge may direct the issue thereof, or otherwise deal with the matter as to him shall seem just.

3.[1] Service of a witness summons shall be in accordance with Order 11, unless the Judge or County Registrar shall order otherwise. If it appears that the person served was not given reasonable time to enable him to appear in pursuance of the summons, or that his reasonable expenses have not been paid or offered to him, the Judge may set aside or disregard such service.

4. Every witness summons, other than a summons duces tecum, may be directed to, and served upon, more than one person.

5. Any Officer of the Court required to attend with any record or document at any sitting or place outside the County in which he is serving as such officer, shall be entitled to require that the Solicitor or party desiring his attendance shall deposit with him a sufficient sum of money to answer his just charges and expenses in respect of such attendance, and undertake to pay any further just charges and expenses which may not be fully answered by such deposit.

6. If any person having been duly summoned to give evidence or to produce any books, papers or documents in his possession or under his control, which the party requiring his attendance desires to put in evidence, fails without lawful excuse to attend or to give evidence or to produce such books, papers or documents according to the summons, or, unless duly excused, fails to remain in attendance throughout the hearing, the Court, if satisfied that such person has been duly summoned, and that his reasonable expenses have been tendered to him, may attach him for contempt, or may impose upon him a fine for his default, and sentence him in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month.

7. The Court may, on cause shown, remit the whole or any part of any fine or imprisonment which it may have imposed under the last preceding Rule, or may order that the amount of any fine so imposed, or any part thereof, be paid to either party in respect of the costs and expenses of any postponement or adjournment rendered necessary by the default of such witness as aforesaid.


[1] Order 24 rule 3 amended by SI 132 of 2009, effective 3 April 2009.

[2] Order 24 rule 1 substituted by SI 396 of 2020, effective 30 September 2020.