Are There Different Types of Summons?

You may have heard of a criminal summons, civil summons or administrative summons but what are they? What are the different types of summons all about? Read on to learn more about each of them.

What Is a Summon?

A summons is a notice being issued to an individual to let them know about the lawsuit or complaint filed against them and that they are required to appear in a civil case.  As citizens, we have the right to know about legal claims made against us so we can prepare to make our case heard. The summons is usually served with the court application where the plaintiff states the basis of his complaint.

How Many Types of Summons Are There?

There are three types of summons:

  • Civil summons

A civil summons is given by one private person/entity to another to appear in court. This summons lets the defendant know that there is a civil action being taken against them and they have to show up in court to respond to the complaint. A civil action usually involves a lawsuit claiming damages, for compensation for injury or loss, or injunction to compel someone to do something.

Some examples where civil summons can be issued include intellectual property infringement, injunction, claim for money lawsuit and breach of contract lawsuits.

  • Citation

A Citation is used in certain states in place of a Summons.  They both have similar effect by providing the person being served (defendant or respondent) with information as to how to respond to the complaint or petition..

  • Administrative summons

Administrative summons is issued by an administrative body to manage a particular type of investigation or legal matter. Every jurisdiction will have a tax authority who is responsible with managing all taxes related matters. Your tax authority may issue a summons for you to appear and give information relating to taxes. Administrative summons can be issued by the tax court, labor courts and immigration court.

Summons and Complaints

This is a type of civil lawsuit summons, made together with the actual complaint which summarizes the reasons of the lawsuit being made against the defendant.  This term is used when the summons and complaint are served together.

If you would like more information about the different types of summons, do not hesitate to contact us today.