A court summons is a type of legal document. It is typically used to inform a defendant of the beginning of a legal proceeding that requires his presence. It also lets the defendant know that the court has created a file for the case. This is intended not just to inform him, but also to allow him to respond to the case filing and prepare for court.
When a defendant receives a court summons, he usually finds several important pieces of information on it. He should find his name and address on it, as well as the name and address of the opposing party, referred to as the plaintiff. If there is more than one defendant in the case, the other defendants’ names are usually listed as well.
A court summons should include the name and address of the court in which the case is to be heard, as well as the case or file number created for the proceedings. It usually provides brief information about the case as well. If, for example, a furniture company is suing a client for default on a furniture loan, the court summons will typically include the amount for which the furniture store is suing. It will also inform the defendant of when he should show up in court or file a response in the case.
Though the exact language included in a court summons may vary, these documents typically advise the defendant to seek legal help in understanding and responding to the summons. Usually, a phone number is included, providing the defendant with a contact number for getting more information about the document. A summons may also include information about the consequences of failing to show up in court or failing to respond as directed. For example, failure to attend a court hearing could lead to a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff. This means the plaintiff could win his case simply because the defendant didn’t show up or respond.
Sometimes a court summons is used in criminal cases and is referred to as a criminal summons. This document typically includes information about the crime of which the defendant is accused and an order directing him to appear in court. It will also detail where, when and at what time the defendant is to appear. A criminal summons may also list penalties for failure to appear as ordered. In some places, arrest warrants are issued for failure to appear in criminal court.