Request a summons

NCAT can issue a summons that requires a person or organisation to give evidence at the hearing or to produce documents or other things.

What is a summons

A summons is a formal document which tells someone that they must give evidence at a hearing, or provide documents. The summons is 'served on' (given to) the person in question.  If you are a party to a matter, you may ask for a summons to be issued.  NCAT may also issue a summons.

For more information read NCAT Procedural Direction - Summons (PDF , 61.4 KB).

Applying for a summons

Any party to proceedings at NCAT can apply for the issue of a summons. Before applying for a summons to be issued, ask the person or organisation if they are willing to give evidence or provide the documents voluntarily.


To apply for the issue of a summons a party must complete an application for summons form and summons form. Lodge the completed forms together with any required documents to NCAT.


Fees are payable when applying for the issue of a summons. View our fees and charges.

What information should I include?

A party should include the following information on the application for summons form:

  • a declaration that you have asked the person to give evidence or documents voluntarily
  • outline the person’s response to your request that they give evidence or documents voluntarily; or explain why you have not made this request
  • name of the person who will receive the summons
  • describe the documents you are requesting (if any)
  • explain how the evidence or a document relates to an issue in dispute in the proceedings.

You must provide 4 copies of the summons form to the relevant Divisional Registry: one to keep, one to serve on the recipient of the summons, one to send to the other party and one for the Tribunal file. If the recipient of the summons is the other party, then only 3 copies are required.

You can post the completed forms with the appropriate payment to NCAT or deliver and pay in person at an NCAT Registry office.

What happens next

NCAT will decide whether or not to approve the issuing of the summons. The party applying for the summons will be notified of the decision.

In some cases, a hearing may be necessary to decide whether to grant permission to issue a summons. If this is necessary, you will be notified. The hearing will be conducted by the Registrar or a Tribunal member.

Some examples of when a summons application might be refused are where it:

  • calls for the creation of a document, eg how the value of X was calculated
  • is too broad, eg all documents, invoices, correspondence relating to the property at 5 Bond Street. This type of request should contain an event or a specified time limit such as between 30 January 2018 and 5 March 2018
  • is not clearly relevant to an issue in dispute
  • is not at an appropriate stage of the proceedings i.e no hearing date has been set or no timetable for evidence to be filed has been set.

The Registrar/Tribunal must have regard to the competing interests of the inconvenience and expense of compliance with the request to a summons recipient and the need for the party to the proceedings to have access to evidence to prove the case. The Registrar/Tribunal can grant the conditional issue of a summons and should give reasons for refusal in the condition section of the application form if the summons is refused.

Where an application for a summons is refused by a Registrar a party can request that the mater be considered by the Tribunal.

For more information read NCAT Procedural Direction - Summons (PDF , 61.4 KB).

False or misleading evidence

Under section 71 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 a person must not in any proceedings or application provide any information, or make any statement, to NCAT knowing that the information or statement is false or misleading.

Last updated:

08 Sep 2022

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