The Code of Criminal Procedure is amended to stipulate that a court summons shall be sent by registered mail (Taiwan)

Jenny Chen

The President promulgated Articles 57 and 61 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter, the “Code”) as amended via the President-Hua-Zhong-One-Yi-10700125401 Directive of November 21, 2018.

In current judicial practice, all district prosecutors offices send “important documents” relating to major cases or non-prosecutorial dispositions via double registered mail. However, judicial documents such as court summons or administrative closures are typically sent via ordinary mail except as otherwise specifically required by the prosecutors.  However, in case of court summons alone, if they are sent via ordinary mail, it is very likely that ordinary citizens who receive them are likely to mistake them for a new ploy of con artist groups and ignore them.  During the Chinese New Year, holidays or busy postal seasons, ordinary mails are prone to be lost.  Since an ordinary mail does not have a receipt mechanism to verify if the recipient defendant or witness has actually received the mail, it is quite common that a defendant or witness fails to appear in a court hearing as required.  The accountability issue also triggers disputes quite often.

Therefore, Paragraph 3 of Article 61 of the Code is added with referece to Article 124 of Code of Civil Procedure and Article 62 of Code of Administrative Procedureto specifically stipulate that in case of service by a postal agency, the service shall be delivered by registered mail, and the subsequent criminal court summons shall be sent by registered mail. Relevant implementation rules will be prescribed by the Judicial Yuan in conjunction with the Executive Yuan.