Posted on

Magistrate: Only five of 105 summonses served

Heather-Lynn Evanson

Social Share

FIVE OUT of 105.
That startling statistic forced the Bridgetown Traffic Court to a halt less than an hour after its start yesterday morning.
The figures represented the number of summonses which court marshals had served on a day that was supposed to be a major call day.
It was also a figure that left Magistrate Christopher Birch hopping mad and he wants an explanation from the Chief Marshal or his deputy.
“This morning I was informed that 105 summonses were sent out for a call day that was supposed to be today [yesterday] in this Traffic Court,” he said.
“I am reliably informed that of those 105 summonses that were sent to the Chief Marshal and his officers, a grand total of five were successfully returned as served. Five out of 105,” the magistrate told the few who were gathered in court.
“That is unacceptable by any standard and, at some point, I intend to call the Chief Marshal, his deputy and his seniors to give account as to why 105 summonses could not be served and/or why we have not received returns,” Magistrate Birch said.
The District “A” magistrate added that while it would appear the majority of marshals had “some difficulty” in serving process, he said there were five marshals – Bancroft, Wiseman, Payne, Vaughn and Ellis – who seemed able to find their people.
He noted it was all about common sense.
If there was a summons for a public service vehicle driver, stand up at a bus stop on his route, “flag him down and serve him”.
That way, said Birch, the marshal would not have to deal with uncooperative family or wanted people who “bar the door”.
“It does make me wonder what is going on within that department,” the magistrate said.
Birch adjourned court at 10:40 a.m.