Trends of Summonses in New York City

Jeremy Travis
President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Key Findings

  • From 2003-2013, New York City experienced an overall decline in the rate of issuance of summonses.
  • Approximately two in five summonses were dismissed.
  • 36% summonses recipients failed to appear in court.
  • The top charges for which summonses issued were public consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, public urination, park offenses and riding a bicycle on sidewalk.


This is the second report following the first study of the Misdemeanor Justice Project, Trends in Misdemeanor Arrest Rates in New York. This report documents the law enforcement practice of issuing summonses for violations of administrative codes, the penal law, health codes and park regulations, among others. The report presents analyses of data provided by the Office of Court Administration from New York City between 2003 and 2013.

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