RULE 3:3. Summons Or Warrant Upon Complaint

3:3-1. Issuance of an Arrest Warrant or Summons

  • (a) Issuance of a Warrant. An arrest warrant may be issued on a complaint only if:

    • (1) a judge, clerk, deputy clerk, municipal court administrator or deputy municipal court administrator finds from the complaint or an accompanying affidavit or deposition, that there is probable cause to believe that an offense was committed and that the defendant committed it and notes that finding on the warrant; and

    • (2) a judge, clerk, deputy clerk, municipal court administrator or deputy municipal court administrator finds that subsection (c) of this rule allows a warrant rather than a summons to be issued.

  • (b) Issuance of a summons. A summons may be issued on a complaint only if:

    • (1) a judge, clerk, deputy clerk, municipal court administrator or deputy municipal court administrator finds from the complaint or an accompanying affidavit or deposition, that there is probable cause to believe that an offense was committed and that the defendant committed it and notes that finding on the summons; or

    • (2) the law enforcement officer who made the complaint, issues the summons.

  • (c) Determination of Whether to Issue a Summons or Warrant. A summons rather than an arrest warrant shall be issued unless:

    • (1) the defendant is charged with murder, kidnapping, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, second degree aggravated assault, aggravated arson, arson, burglary, violations of Chapter 35 of Title 2C that constitute first or second degree crimes, any crime involving the possession or use of a firearm, or conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes;

    • (2) the defendant has been served with a summons and has failed to appear;

    • (3) there is reason to believe that the defendant is dangerous to self, other persons, or property;

    • (4) there is an outstanding warrant for the defendant;

    • (5) the defendant's identity or address is not known and a warrant is necessary to subject the defendant to the jurisdiction of the court; or

    • (6) there is reason to believe that the defendant will not appear in response to a summons.

  • (d) Finding of No Probable Cause. If a judicial officer finds that there is no probable cause to believe that an offense was committed or that the defendant committed it, the officer shall not issue a warrant or summons on the complaint. If the finding is made by an officer other than a judge, the finding shall be reviewed by a judge. If the judge finds no probable cause, the judge shall dismiss the complaint.

  • (e) Additional Warrants or Summonses. More than one warrant or summons may issue on the same complaint.

  • (f) Process Against Corporations. A summons rather than an arrest warrant shall issue if the defendant is a corporation. If a corporation fails to appear in response to a summons, the court shall proceed as if the corporation appeared and entered a plea of not guilty.

Note: Source-R.R. 3:2-2(a)(1)(2)(3) and (4); paragraph (a) amended, new paragraph (b) adopted and former paragraphs (b) and (c) redesignated as (c) and (d) respectively July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (b) amended and paragraph (e) adopted July 16, 1981 to be effective September 14, 1981; paragraph (b) amended July 22, 1983 to be effective September 12, 1983; caption and paragraph (a) amended and paragraph (f) adopted July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; paragraph (b) amended January 5, 1988 to be effective February 1, 1988; captions and text amended to paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (e) and (f), paragraph (g) adopted July 13, 1994, text of paragraph (a) amended December 9, 1994, to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraphs (a), (c), (e), (f), and (g) deleted, paragraph (b) amended and redesignated as paragraph (c), paragraph (d) amended and redesignated as paragraph (e), new paragraphs (a), (b), (d), and (f) adopted July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.

3:3-2. [Reserved]

Note: Source-R.R. 3:2-2(b); deleted July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995.

3:3-3. Execution or Service; Return

  • (a) By Whom. The warrant shall be executed and the summons served by any officer authorized by law.

  • (b) Territorial Limits. The warrant may be executed and the summons served at any place within this State. An officer arresting a defendant in a county other than the one in which the warrant was issued shall take the defendant, without unnecessary delay, before the nearest available committing judge authorized to admit to bail in accordance with R. 3:26-2, who may admit to bail conditioned on the defendant's appearance before the court issuing the warrant. Nothing in this rule shall affect the provisions of N.J.S. 2A:156-1 to 2A:156-4 (Uniform Act on Intrastate Fresh Pursuit).

  • (c) Execution of Warrant. The warrant shall be executed by the arrest of the defendant. The warrant need not be in the possession of the officer at the time of the arrest, but upon request, the officer shall show the warrant to the defendant as soon as possible. If the warrant is not in the possession of the officer at the time of the arrest, the officer shall inform the defendant of the offense charged and of the fact that a warrant has been issued.

  • (d) Service of Summons. The summons shall be served in accordance with R. 4:4-4.

  • (e) Return. The officer executing a warrant shall make prompt return thereof to the court which issued the warrant. The officer serving a summons shall make return thereof to the court before whom the summons is returnable on or before the return day.

Note: Source-R.R. 3:2-2(c); paragraphs (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.

3:3-4. Defective Warrant or Summons

  • (a) Amendment. No person arrested under a warrant or appearing in response to a summons shall be discharged from custody or dismissed because of any technical insufficiency or irregularity in the warrant or summons, but the warrant or summons may be amended to remedy any such technical defect.

  • (b) Issuance of New Warrant or Summons. If prior to or during the hearing as to probable cause, it appears that the warrant executed or summons issued does not properly name or describe the defendant, or the offense with which the defendant is charged, or that although not guilty of the offense specified in the warrant or summons there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant is guilty of some other offense, the court shall not discharge or dismiss the defendant but shall forthwith cause a new complaint to be filed and thereupon issue a new warrant or summons.

Note: Source-R.R. 3:2-2(d); paragraph (b) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
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