Summons and Warrants in Thailand

For an individual who have not gain exposure to the procedures of the Thai court or any court on that matter will surely have a difficulty in distinguishing a Summons from that of a Warrant as both of them would require the recipient of such to appear upon the prudence of the authorities. But in real, factual and legal terms, a summons is largely different from that of a warrant in the sense that:


A summon cannot be served verbally. It should be served in writing with the pertinent facts fully provided and written. Such facts as the following:

  1. The place where the summons is issued.
  2. The issuance date of the said document.
  3. The name of the locality and place of residence of the person who is subject for a summons.
  4. The reason why the person is required to appear before the body or investigator.
  5. The time, date and place where the recipient of such summons is tasked to appear.
  6. and the signature and seal of the summon’s issuing court.

Although the issuing court has the discretion on the time and date of the recipient’s appearance schedule but it should also consider the distance between the issuing court with his place of origin.

Moreover, other than the intended recipient of the summons, only the spouse, a relative or a guardian of the said person can ever receive it for him.

In case that the intended recipient of the summons’ residence is outside from place where the issuing party is located then the summons can be sent over to the issuing party’s equal body of the said place i.e. police official of the issuing party to the recipient’s place of residence’s police official.


An individual who has been arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest can only be released if the issuing court will also issue a warrant of release. Yet, issuing the said warrant must fall within the rules and procedures set by the Thailand Supreme Court’s President.

The aggrieved party who wishes a court to issue a warrant of arrest, search warrant or detention warrant against the accused must first convince the court that there is the presence of a valid reason to issue such warrant. Such request must be done under oath or if taken that the aggrieved party is not able to take the oath and issue the request personally can still request for a warrant to be issued through other channels or methods such as through telephone, fax, electronic media or other technological information but the same are also subject to the rules and regulations set by the President of the Supreme Court.

The different types of warrants should be issued in writing and should also have the correct and complete data on:

  1. The locality where the warrant is issued.
  2. The complete date which includes the day, month and year.
  3. The reason that affected the release of the warrant.
  4. The different types of warrants:
    1. Arrest Warrant – The name or the overall appearance of the individual who is the subject of the arrest warrant must be in good detail.
    2. Detention Warrant, Imprisonment Warrant or Release Warrant - The name of the individual who is the subject of these kinds of warrants should also be in detail.
    3. Search Warrant – The information with regards to the searching officer, the owner of the residence, the name and description, the place of residence as well as the time and date must also be clearly defined.


Although the terms, Warrants and Summons, are widely used in other countries and are hugely familiar to expatriates in Thailand, the fact is that how these are issued, served and the requirements that needed herewith for their issuance may have a slight or even large deviation to what is already known to them.

Even with the familiarity of the terms, the court processes that are utilized in Thailand may be confusing for any foreigner therefore for a better understanding of the tackled subject, the expat-individual must adhere to the advice to seek clarification on this matter with a reputable and experienced attorney at law.


Thailand Judicial Courts

Thailand has a fully functional but multileveled Judicial Court System. Citizens of United Kingdom and more than 20 other countries which utilize the Westminster Type may find it as somewhat familiar but the system currently utilized by Thailand should not in any way be misconstrued to function on the same manner as the British system.

Furthermore, the decisions in the Thai system only come from the wisdom of the Judges or the Justices as it does not operate with the assistance of a panel of jury like the United States.

The Thai judicial system is divided into three levels namely:

  1. The Supreme Court – it is the highest court in the land in which all of its decisions are final and executory. It hears appeals or contests against the decision of the Courts of Appeal, the Regional Courts of Appeal or the Courts of First Instance, which their descriptions will be discussed later on this article.

    The Supreme Court of Thailand is a separate entity therefore functions separately from: the Constitutional Court which decides whether a particular law, rule or regulation is constitutional or not; the Administrative Court which hears disputes against a private individual or entity against a government entity or disputes between a government entity against another government entity; or the Military Court which hears cases against a military personnel who committed a crime against other criminal laws or the military law.

    The Supreme Court is presided over by the President and it has separate specialized divisions. It is also the Supreme Court President who assigns the Chief Justice or Presiding Justice of each division. The different Supreme Court Divisions are as follows:

    1. Juvenile and Family
    2. Labour Division
    3. Tax
    4. Intellectual Property and International Trade
    5. Bankruptcy
    6. Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions
    7. Commercial
    8. Administrative
  2. The Courts of Appeal – The Courts of Appeal is divided into two divisions but both of which handles appeals on the decisions or orders of the lower courts whereas:

    1. The Court of Appeal – this division hears appeals on the decisions or order of both the Criminal and Civil Courts.
    2. The Regional Courts of Appeal (1-9) – these courts hears appeals on the decisions or order of the other Courts of First Instance.

    With this, the Courts of Appeal (both the Court of Appeal and the Regional Courts of Appeal) are mandated to affirm, correct, reverse or dismiss the decisions, to exacting of a death penalty or life imprisonment that are rendered unto the respondent by the Courts of First Instance and also to resolve cases that other laws have mandated them to.

    Even if the decisions or orders that are subject to appeals were handed by the Regional Courts of First Instance, the appeals of these will still take place in Bangkok as the Regional Courts of Appeal are located in the capital with the exception of Court of Appeal Region 2 which is located in the Rayong Province.

  3. The Courts of First Instance – This lowest level of the three tier system of the Thai judiciary is composed of:

    1. Courts in the Capital of Bangkok
      • The Civil Court
      • The Bangkok South Civil Court
      • The Thon Buri Civil Court
      • The Criminal Court
      • The Bangkok South Criminal Court
      • The Thon Buri Criminal Court
      • The Min Buri Provincial Court
      • Seven (7) Kwaeng Courts
    2. Courts in the Provinces
      • Seventy Nine (79) Provincial Courts
      • Twenty Kwaeng Courts
      • A branch of other Kwaeng Courts
    3. Juvenile and Family Courts
      • The Central Juvenile and Family Court
      • Nine (9) Juvenile and Family Courts in Bangkok
      • Twenty Four (24) Juvenile and Family Section in Provincial Courts
    4. Specialized Courts
      • The Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court
      • The Central Labour Court
      • The Central Tax Court
      • The Central Bankruptcy Court

    General courts are ordinary courts that decide and adjudicate Civil and Criminal cases. The Civil Courts, Criminal Courts, Provincial Courts and the Kwaeng Courts of Bangkok and that of the Provincial Courts also have distinctions.


    When you visit Thailand for the first time, you will be issued a 30-day stamp, a 15-day visa on arrival or a Tourist visa which is a 60-day visa with a 30-day extension to be done inside Thailand.  However, if for one reason or another you find yourself wanting to extend.


    If you are looking at visiting Thailand as a tourist and needing a tourist visa, or getting married and wanting to register your Thai marriage or if you are already married and are wanting a marriage visa or a retirement visa - then speak to us today online. Below are the contact information of trusted law firms in Thailand.


    If you're planning a wedding in Thailand, then you may want to know about the Marriage Registration requirements in Thailand. Read on to find out more. Thailand marriage certificates are valid in many countries and you will need to visit the Thai embassy to get them certified. You may also need to visit the ministry of foreign affairs to get your documents authenticated. The registration process for marriages takes a few days, so be sure to plan for this beforehand. And make sure you have a Prenuptial Agreement.

    Marriage Registration Requirements in Thailand

    The first step in marriage registration in Thailand is to submit all the necessary documents. For this, you can visit any of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' offices, located in Bangkok or outlying provinces. These offices are called "Khet" offices in Thailand and "Ampur" offices in other countries. The Thai Embassy can provide you with a list of these offices. Alternatively, you can also send your documents by mail.

    There are other requirements, including age and blood relationship. Generally, a person must be at least seventeen years of age to marry. The person must also not be a blood relative or descendent. The marriage may also be delayed until 310 days after the husband's death, or if a child is born. Those who have been divorced must present a certificate stating that the woman is not pregnant or has received a court order allowing her to remarry.

    Once the marriage is performed, the legality of the union cannot be denied. Marriages performed outside Thailand require registration and are subject to the laws of the country you live in. If you wish to marry a Thai national, you should bring a copy of your national ID card or House Registration Certificate to the registration office. Foreigners must bring an arrival card, passport or other official document attesting to their freedom to marry.

    Marriage Registration Process

    The Marriage Registration Process in Thailand is relatively simple. While some countries, such as those in the Middle East and North Africa, require a more complicated procedure, the process is still possible in Thailand. In Thailand, foreigners must provide an authenticated affirmation and certified translation. Thai partners must also present a House Registration Certificate and Identification Card. The following is a list of necessary documents to submit during the registration process. After obtaining these documents, the couple may now proceed with the marriage.

    The first step in the marriage registration process is to present your marriage documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Depending on the location of your wedding, you can submit them at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is located near Don Muang airport in Bangkok. Upon receipt of your marriage documents, you must take them to a district office called "Amphur" (or "Khet"). Once you complete the process, you will be issued a Thai marriage certificate.

    If you cannot file for your marriage in the court, you can request the registration at a local district office. A Registrar will meet you at this location and authenticate the documents. A service fee of 400 Baht is required. To make sure that the marriage registration process is successful, both parties should have the appropriate documents. For foreigners, the first step in the Marriage Registration Process in Thailand is to present their passports or arrival cards.

    Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

    If you're planning to get married in Thailand, a prenuptial agreement is highly recommended. This type of agreement specifies what will happen with the couple's personal assets and liabilities if they ever decide to divorce in Thailand. A prenuptial agreement in Thailand must be signed by both parties. It must be received in writing on the day of the wedding registration. Once signed and witnessed, the prenup will be attached to the marriage certificate.

    In Thailand, prenuptial agreements are generally enforced. Thai Civil and Commercial Code section 1465 stipulates the property rights of each of the parties to the prenup. However, a prenuptial agreement is void if it's contrary to good morals or public order. The agreement must be signed by both spouses and is not easily modified without the consent of the Thai courts.

    If you are marrying in Thailand, a prenuptial agreement is especially important to ensure that the property you have is not divided up into two parts. While the common property will be split equally, personal property can be divided in different ways. Thai law requires that all real estate property be divorced, so a prenuptial agreement should specify this. Furthermore, it should specify what will happen to your personal property if the marriage does end.

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