A judicial summons is addressed to a defendant in a legal proceeding. Typically, the summons will announce to the person to whom it is directed that a legal proceeding has been started against that person, and that a case has been initiated in the issuing court. In some jurisdictions it may be drafted in dense legal jargon, while several U.S. states expressly require summonses to be drafted in plain English and that they must start with this phrase: "Notice! You have been sued".
The summons announces a date by which the defendant(s) must either appear in court, or respond in writing to the court or the opposing party or parties. The summons is the descendant of the writ of the common law. It replaces the former procedure at common law by which the plaintiff actually had to ask the sheriff to arrest the defendant in order for the court to obtain personal jurisdiction in both criminal and civil actions.
In England and Wales, the term writ of summons for the originating document in civil proceedings has been replaced with the term claim form by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR). This is part of the reforms to simplify legal terminology. However, despite its name, the claim form does not present the details of the claim itself (in other words, it does not replace the complaint). The complaint is now known as the particulars of claim.
In most U.S. jurisdictions, the service of a summons is in most cases required for the court to have personal jurisdiction over the party who is being "hauled" into court involuntarily. The process by which a summons is served is called service of process. The form and content of service in the federal courts is governed by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the rules of many state courts are similar. The federal summons is usually issued by the clerk of the court. In many states the summons may be issued by an attorney, but some states use filing as the means to commence an action and in those states the attorney must first file the summons in duplicate before it becomes effective; one or more copies are stamped by the court clerk with the court seal and returned to the attorney, who then uses it to actually serve the defendants. Other jurisdictions may only require that the summons be filed after it is served on the defendants. New York is notorious for its permissive filing system, in which the summons or complaint need not be filed at all.
In the Australian state of NSW the service of a Court Attendance Notice can be issued in a number of ways, the most common of which is by the NSW Police Force when charging someone after an arrest is made, a Bail Court Attendance Notice(with bail conditions) or regular Court Attendance Notice is issued. Other methods the Police use include via a paper form called a Field Court Attendance Notice (Field CAN) which is issued to the accused person on the spot after an offence has been detected. Or by way of a Future Court Attendance Notice (Future CAN), which replaced the old court issued summons and is served in person by Police or sometimes by mail. In all of these cases the CAN is filed at the court after it has been served.
Read more about this topic: Summons
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Famous quotes containing the words summons and/or judicial:
“So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
—William Cullen Bryant (17941878)
“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville (18051859)