Summons Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Summons, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Summons?

(n) Summons is the written document issued by the court directing the responded to file response within the allowed time containing information about the case filed against him. Summons contain all information like name of plaintiff, defendants, attorneys, court where case is filed, instructions to follow with a provision to record the delivery and acceptance of the service of summons

History and Meaning of Summons

A summons is a legal document that is issued by a court, informing someone that a lawsuit has been filed against them and that they need to file a response within a certain amount of time. It may also require the person to appear in court on a specific date and time. The purpose of a summons is to ensure that the person being sued is aware of the legal action being taken against them and has the opportunity to respond to it.

The use of summons dates back to ancient Rome, where individuals were required to appear in court when summoned by magistrates. Over time, this practice was adopted by other legal systems and has become a standard part of the legal process in many countries around the world.

Examples of Summons

  1. John received a summons from the court informing him that he was being sued for breach of contract.
  2. The police served a summons on Mary, requiring her to appear in court as a witness.
  3. The company's lawyer filed a summons to compel the production of documents from a third party.

Legal Terms Similar to Summons

  1. Subpoena: Similar to a summons, a subpoena is a legal document that requires a person to produce documents, testify in court, or appear at a deposition.
  2. Writ of Summons: In some jurisdictions, a writ of summons is used instead of a regular summons.
  3. Notice to Appear: A notice to appear is a legal document that requires a person to appear in court, but does not necessarily involve a lawsuit.