A summons is a legal document that notifies a defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against them and requires them to appear in court. It is a formal way of informing someone that they are being sued and must appear in court to answer the complaint.
Meaning and Definition of Summons -
The word Summons has not been defined anywhere in this civil procedure code. According to the dictionary meaning A Summons is a document issued from the office of a Court of Justice calling upon the person to whom it is directed to attend before a judge or office of the court for a certain purpose. In short, A summons is a legal document that informs a defendant about a lawsuit filed against them. It requires the defendant to appear in court and respond to the complaint.
Essentials of Summons -
Proper Identification: The summons should properly identify the court and the parties involved in the lawsuit.
Correct Address: The summons must be addressed to the defendant, and the address should be accurate and up-to-date.
Service of Process: The summons must be properly served to the defendant, usually by a process server, sheriff, or another authorized individual.
Time Limit: The summons must give the defendant a reasonable amount of time to respond to the complaint, typically 20 to 30 days.
Signature: The summons should be signed by a court official or authorized representative.Every Summons shall be signed by the judge or such officer appointed by him and shall be sealed with the seal of the court [Rule 1(3)]
Every summons Shall be accompanied by a plaint or if so permitted by a concise statement thereof (Rule 2)
For a Valid Summons -
a. The summons must contain a direction whether the date is for the settlement of issues only or for the final disposal of the suit (Rule 5).
b. In cases of summons for final disposal of the suit, the Defendant shall to be directed to produce his witnesses (Rule 8).
c. The Court must give sufficient time to the defendant to enable him to appear and answer the claim of the Plaintiff on the day (Rule 6).
d. The shall contain an order to the defendant to produce all documents in his possession or power which he intends to rely on in support of his case (Rule 7).
Summons is a Legal Document. As above said a valid summons must be properly addressed, served, and have a reasonable time limit. Summons should also be properly signed by a court official or representative. Failure to respond to a summons may result in a default judgment being entered against the defendant.