What the Night Courts and why do some Court hearings take place in the evening?
If you’re involved in a Criminal case in Court and you’re facing regulatory and minor traffic offences, your Mention and Court hearing will generally be dealt with in the Night Courts. The Night Courts function during the evening to make it more convenient for some accused persons who are only able to attend to their cases after working hours.
Proceedings for regulatory and minor traffic offences are generally started with the authorities issuing a Notice to Attend Court (Notice) or Summons. If you’ve received a Notice or Summons, it will state which Court you’re required to attend at and the date and time you’re required to appear in Court for the Mention.
It is important that you keep track of your Court dates because if you fail to attend Court, a Warrant of Arrest can be issued against you, and in some cases, you can also be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving license until the cases against you have been concluded, or your bailor will have to explain to the Court why the bail amount should not be forfeited.
If you’re involved in a Criminal case in the Night Courts, you’ll need to bring your Notice to Attend Court, Summons, Bail Bond or any other related document when you attend Court.
You should know that even though your case may begin in the Night Courts, it can be moved later to the general Mentions Court or a Pre-Trial Conference and take place during normal business hours.
For example, the Court can decide to transfer your Night Court case for a Pre-Trial Conferences (PTC) if:
- You decide to claim trial; or
- The Judge feels that it is more appropriate for your case to be managed and monitored through a Pre-Trial Conference instead of Night Court Mentions.
So, there you’ve it, some basic information on: what the Night Courts and why do some Court hearings take place in the evening.