As of March 2017, Denmark’s Ministry of Justice wants to start sending court summonses using Digital Post, the country’s eGovernment messaging system. To make this possible the law has to be updated, and the Ministry will submit a proposal to parliament this autumn, it announced.
The Ministry expects the change will free up time of some 25 to 30 police officers, and will speed up the court’s processing of cases. If a citizen does not access the mailbox, and fails to respond to phone calls, the summons will be delivered in person.
In Denmark, about a half a million court summonses are handed out each year. Failing to deliver a summons is one of the major reasons for proceedings being dropped. It is thought that digital delivery and general improvements to summons delivery will reduce court procedures.
The Ministry’s proposal will give courts the sole responsibility to deliver summonses, and let them use the Digital Post services. Currently, delivering summonses is a task shared by the police, prosecution service and the courts. The Ministry says that centralising this task will make it more efficient.
A digital summons is considered delivered as soon as the recipient opens the message in the mailbox, with the courts automatically notified.
In a statement, Justice Minister Søren Pind explains that Danish police are under intense time pressure. The minister says it is vital that police officers can focus on police work, and let court summonses be handled by others.