Failure to Comply with Appearance Notice or Summons

Failure to Comply with Appearance Notice or Summons

The offence of failure to comply with an appearance notice or summons is outlined in section 145(3) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of failure to comply with an appearance notice or summons when they fail to appear at the time and place stated in their appearance notice or summons to be photographed, fingerprinted, or otherwise identified, or to attend court on the date specified in the appearance notice or the summons.

Examples

Person A does not attend the police station for fingerprinting on the date specified in their appearance notice.

Person B goes to the courthouse three days after the date specified in their summons.

Cases

R. v. Stephen John Rockett, 2009 PECA 7

In R. v. Stephen John Rockett, the accused was charged with two counts of failure to comply with a summons when he did not appear to be fingerprinted on the date specified in his summons and later did not go to court on the date specified in his summons.

R. v. Isenor, 2014 NSPC 50

In R. v. Isenor, the accused was charged with one count of failure to comply with an appearance notice when he did not go to court to speak on his charge of possession of stolen property on the date specified in his appearance notice.

Before December 2019, the offence of Failure to Comply with an Appearance Notice or Summons was found in sections 145(4) and 145(5) of the Criminal Code as “failure to appear or to comply with a summons” and “failure to comply with an appearance notice or promise to appear.”

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Lawful Excuse

Where the appearance notice or summons is breached for a lawful excuse, the person may not have committed the offence of failure to comply with an order. A lawful excuse includes a medical emergency or a threat to life. Forgetting or being mistaken about the time to appear after making a reasonable effort to recall the proper time can also count as a lawful excuse in some cases. For this offence, a lawful excuse also includes an election by the Attorney General to proceed with the matter as if it had been started by filing a ticket.

No Summons or Notice Issued

Where the person has not been issued a summons or appearance notice, or the appearance notice they were given has not been confirmed by a justice of the peace, the person has not completed the offence of failing to comply with an appearance notice or summons.

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