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Summons Overview

Overview: How To Effectuate a Summons


Summons 101

Who:Plaintiff  Court  Process Server  Defendant
What:Summons
Definition:1
"A mandate requiring the appearance of the defendant under penalty of having judgment entered against him for failure to appear. The object of the summons is to notify the defendant that he has been sued."
Where:Federal Court. State Court.
When:At the beginning of a case.
How: (1) Draft a Summons.
(2) Ask the Court to issue it.
(3) Get a process server to deliver it.
(4) Tell the Court whether the summons was served.
Plain English:Basically, you have to notify the defendant(s) that you're suing them. The Summons is the notification. There's a strict, regimented way to accomplish this. And it's your responsibility to do it correctly.
Additional Note:Due Process. Default Judgment.
Essential Requirements of Law.

Footnotes

Part I. Summons in DOAH's Realm

You do NOT have to effectuate a summons while your case is with DOAH.

This is because DOAH is not a "court of competent jurisdiction".
(learn more by reading about branches of government and judicial sovereignty)


Nevertheless, you can still click here for further details.

Part II. Summons in the FCHR's Realm

Likewise, you do NOT have to effectuate a summons while your case is with the FCHR.

This is because the FCHR is not a "court of competent jurisdiction".
(learn more by reading about branches of government and judicial sovereignty)


Nevertheless, you can still click here for more details.

Part III. Federal Court Summons

You must follow this 8-step process for effectuating a summons in Federal Court

  1. Grab Your Case Initiating Documents
  2. Draft Your Federal Summons
  3. File Your Documents (Federal Complaint, Federal Cover Sheet, and Federal Summons)
  4. Wait for the Court to Issue Your Federal Summons (≈ 2 months)
  5. Complete Form USM 285
  6. File Form USM 285 with the Court
  7. Wait for the Return of Service
  8. File the Return of Service with the Court

Part IV. State Court Summons

Similarly, you must follow this 7-step process for effectuating a summons in State Court

  1. Grab Your Case Initiating Documents
  2. Draft Your State Summons
  3. File Your Documents (State Complaint, State Cover Sheet, and State Summons)
  4. Wait for the Court to Issue Your State Summons (≈ 1-2 days)
  5. Send Your Newly Issued State Summons1 to a Process Server2
  6. Wait for the Return of Service
  7. File the Return of Service with the Court

Footnotes

  • 1 "Newly Issued State Summons" = the summons that the Court issued to you after you filed it. It should be engraved with the Court's seal.
  • 2 "Process Server" = You can find these process servers in the 'phone book'. Your local sheriff may be the best one. Please read this for more details.

You're now booked up on how to effectuate a summons!

Make sure you've used the walkthrough for drafting your federal summons (if you're in federal court).
Make sure you've used the walkthrough for drafting your state summons (if you're in state court).

Please get the justice you deserve.

Sincerely,



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