Order 46

Attendance Of Witnesses And Production Of Documents : S.I. No. 17 Of 2014

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S.I. No. 17 of 2014 - provisions overview




1 Application to Clerk to issue witness summons

1. Any party desiring the attendance of a person (in this Order, a “witness”) to give evidence or produce any books, papers or documents to the Court, or to an officer of the Court, in any civil proceedings must apply for, and the Clerk may issue, a witness summons (Form 46.01, Schedule C) requiring the witness to whom the summons is directed to comply with the requirements of the witness summons at the time and place stated in the witness summons.


2 Application to Court to issue witness summons

2. (1) 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 Court on an application ex parte.

(2) In any case of difficulty as regards the issue of any other witness summons, the party seeking the attendance of a witness may apply ex parte to the Court for the issue of a witness summons.

(3) On an application under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (2), the Court may direct the issue of a witness summons, with or without conditions as it considers appropriate, or may make such other order as it considers just.


3 Service of witness summons

3. (1) A witness summons must be served personally or by registered post on the witness named in the witness summons, unless the Court orders otherwise.

(2) If it appears to the Court that a witness served with a witness summons was not given reasonable time to enable him or her to appear as directed in the witness summons, or that his or her reasonable expenses of attending have not been paid or offered to him or her, the Court may set aside or disregard service of the witness summons.


4 Persons named in witness summons

4. (1) A witness summons requiring a witness to attend to give evidence only (witness summons ad testificandum) may be directed to and served on more than one person.

(2) A witness summons requiring a witness to attend and produce any books, papers or documents to the Court, or to an officer of the Court (witness summons duces tecum) may be directed to only one person, except in the case of partners, where all the members of the firm may be addressed in the witness summons in which event the attendance of any one of the members of the firm to produce the document or thing must be taken to be sufficient compliance with the witness summons unless the Court thereafter directs a specific member of the firm to so attend.


5 Officer of the Court may require expenses

5. If any officer of the Court is required by a witness summons to attend with any record or document at any sitting or place outside the Court district in which he or she is serving, the officer may require that the party requiring his or her attendance (or that party’s solicitor) must:

(a) deposit with the officer a sufficient sum of money to answer his or her reasonable charges and expenses in respect of attendance, and

(b) undertake to pay any further reasonable charges and expenses which may not be fully met by the deposit.


6 Consequences of failure to comply with a witness summons

6. If a witness who has been duly summoned:

(a) fails without lawful excuse to attend or to give evidence or to produce the books, papers or documents according to the witness summons; or

(b) unless duly excused, fails to remain in attendance throughout the hearing,

the Court, if satisfied that the witness has been duly summoned and that his or her reasonable expenses have been tendered, may impose a fine on the witness for his or her default, or may make such other order as is just in the circumstances.


7 Remittal on cause shown

7. The Court may, on cause shown, remit the whole or any part of any fine or imprisonment imposed under rule 6, or may order that the amount of any fine imposed, or any part of any fine imposed, be paid to a party in respect of the costs and expenses of any adjournment made necessary by the default of the witness.



8 Application for use of live television link

8. An application for a direction that a party may participate in a hearing in the proceedings, or that a witness give evidence in any such hearing, from a location other than the Court itself, by means of a live television link in accordance with section 26 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008:

(a) may be made by motion on notice to the other party or parties;

(b) may be heard and decided without the prior issue of a notice of motion by the Court on any occasion when the Court is considering case management directions.