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What is a Summons and What Does It Mean? | Summons 101 Insights

  • November 13, 2017
  • by ServeNow Staff

What is a summons?

A summons is a legal document notifying you or your required appearance in a court of law. Summons notify an individual of a civil case filed against them, or their need to defend themselves in a court of law or hearing.

How is a summons is served?

Summons are typically served by a process server to ensure that it is served accurately, legally, and within your state's rules and regulations as it is required to officially notify an individual of a summons. If a person is not properly served a summons, it may be thrown out in a court of law.

What happens when you get a summons to appear in court?

Carefully and thoroughly read the subpoena for details related to the location, time, and date of which you should appear in court. If you do not appear in court, you may lose the case by default.

Can you be arrested for failing to appear in court?

If the summons is regarding a criminal case in which you are involved, failing to appear in court may result in a warrant for your arrest on the grounds of contempt of court.

Regardless of the type of case, one should always go to court if they receive a summons or subpoena. If you are considering not appearing in court, we recommend contacting a lawyer for legal advice.

What happens if you do not respond to a summons?

You may lose the legal case in which you are involved by default. A warrant for your arrest for a contempt of court may be issued should you fail to appear in court.

Do I have to be served a summons in person?

Process serving laws regarding summons vary state to state, so you should check with your local county court for the most updated laws. However, some states do allow for mailed service or electronic notification.

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