Issuing a summons

A summons is a legal notice issued by the AAT which requires a person to: 

  • attend and give evidence, or
  • produce documents.

You can make a request in writing that we issue a summons to a person. We will decide whether the summons should be issued.

We can also decide to issue a summons ourselves without a request from you if we think that information of documents are required.

If we issue a summons at your request, you must give the summons to the person named in the summons. Look at sections 12 and 17 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulation 2015  for more information about how to do this.

Fees and allowances associated with a summons

If you ask us to issue a summons, you are required to pay certain expenses for the person to comply with the summons. If we decide to issue a summons without a request from you, we will pay the expenses.

Summons requiring a person to give evidence

A person summoned to give evidence must be paid:

  • the amount of wages, salary or fees not paid to them because they appeared before us to give evidence, or
  • a reasonable amount for each day the person appears before us to give evidence.

This amount must be paid as soon as practicable after the person has given evidence.

The person must also be paid a reasonable amount for expenses to appear before us, including:

  • transport costs, and
  • if the person is required to be absent overnight from their usual place of residence, meals and accommodation.

These amounts must be paid no later than a reasonable time before the day the person is required to give evidence.

Summons requiring a person to produce documents

No expenses must be paid to a person if they have only been summoned to produce documents.

Look at sections 13,14  of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulation 2015  for more information.


What happens if I do not comply with a summons?

Failure to comply with a summons without a reasonable excuse is a criminal offence.

If you have been summoned to produce documents but do not have any documents, you must write to the AAT and tell us this.

If you receive a summons and believe you have a reasonable excuse for not giving evidence or producing documents, you must contact us immediately.

If you think the amount of expenses paid to you is not sufficient, you must still comply with the summons. If you cannot reach agreement about the amount of the expenses with the party who asked us to issue the summons, you can ask the AAT to decide the amount.

Find more information for persons who are summonsed.