How to summon a witness for your case

Last updated: 
22 January 2020

This page gives you general information about a summons for a person to appear at the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) and/or produce documents.

What is a summons?

A summons is an order for a person to appear at the VRB and/or produce documents. The VRB will only issue a summons where there is no other practical way to obtain relevant material that will assist the VRB. It is an offence not to comply with a summons.

How do I request a summons to be issued?

To request a summons to be issued, you need to complete form D1301 Application for Summons. You must set out why you believe that a particular person can give relevant evidence or produce relevant documents and why he or she would not do so without being summoned.

How do I lodge a summons request?

The completed form must be lodged by fax, mail or in person at the VRB registry where the matter will be heard. VRB registries contact and address details can be found on the VRB Registry Locations page of the VRB website.

The form should be lodged at the same time as your Certificate of Readiness. At the latest, it should be lodged not less than 14 days before the hearing date.

The Presiding Member of the VRB panel assigned to hear your application can, at his or her discretion, issue a summons. A summons will not be issued unless the member is satisfied the attendance of the person to give evidence or provide documents will assist the Board in its consideration of the application for review.

Will I have to pay any expenses?

If you ask for a summons to be issued, you are responsible for providing the person with reasonable expenses to travel to attend the VRB. In addition, if you summons an expert witness, you are responsible for paying the expert fees for the witness. The travelling expenses and any witness fees are determined by the Presiding Member of the VRB panel, at the time the summons is issued.

If there are significant reasons, the VRB may order the Commonwealth to pay part or all of the allowances and fees for a witness. A request for such an order should be made at the hearing, where the witness appears or produces the required documents. Significant reasons might include personal hardship.

Who arranges service of the witness summons?

It is your responsibility to arrange service of the witness summons. The summons must be served personally on the witness. That means, you or your representative have to hand deliver the summons to the person for whom it is intended, with the person being shown the summons when it is handed over.

Details of service of the summons should be noted and brought along to your hearing in case a dispute arises as to the effective service of the summons. You should record details such as the date, time and place where the summons was served, the name of the person who hand delivered the summons, the name of the person who was shown the summons and received it, and any conversation which took place.

More Information

Veterans’ Review Board

Metro Phone: 1300 550 460 *

Regional Phone: 1800 550 460 *

VRB Email: contact [at] vrb.gov.au

VRB Website: www.vrb.gov.au

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

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