Notices to Appear are a new method for police and other authorised officials to require an accused person to appear before the Magistrates’ Court.
They are an alternative to summons or bail procedures, and may be used for any summary offence or indictable offence triable summarily. The form of a Notice to Appear is set out at Form 7 of the Magistrates’ Court Criminal Procedure Rules 2009.
Notices to Appear are dealt with in Division 2 of Part 2.3 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, ss 22 – 26. Although these provisions came into effect on 1 January 2010, courts and the police are using a staggered introduction of these new notices.
The proposed commencement dates for the rollout of the process across metropolitan Magistrates’ Court locations are:
February – Heidelberg and Ballarat
May – Broadmeadows
June – Sunshine
July – Frankston
August – Melbourne and Neighbourhood Justice Centre
September – Dandenong
October – Moorabbin
December – Ringwood
VLA lawyer Paul Jansen is working with the Victoria Police on the roll-out of these new summary procedures. He’s included a lot of useful information on the VLA website, including a two-page summary of how the new system is supposed to work.