A summons is a document issued by the court, usually immediately after a lawsuit is filed. It is then delivered to the defendant–the person against whom a lawsuit is filed–in person along with a copy of the complaint that was filed with the court.
The purpose of a summons is to notify the defendant of the lawsuit and command that person to take ceratin actions by specific deadlines. Commonly, the summons will command the defendant in a lawsuit to respond in writing to the lawsuit, appear in court on a certain date, or both.
Failure to observe the commands and deadlines set out in a summons can have very serious consequences. Anyone who receives a summons should read it carefully and consider having it reviewed by an attorney.
Have you received a summons? Don’t ignore it!