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A summons is a written notice, which usually is accompanied by the complaint, notifying the defendant and the court that the complaint has been served on all relevant parties and listing the date of the first court appearance for the lawsuit.

Service of a Summons and Complaint is a process to compel someone to appear in court to defend him/her/itself against a lawsuit.  It involves presenting to the person or entity sued (the ‘defendant’) a Complaint in which the person suing (the ‘plaintiff’) describes its legal claims and should always be accompanied by a Summons, requiring a defendant to respond in court.  There are very specific requirements for serving a lawsuit on a defendant.  Plaintiffs frequently hire a professional process server to comply with these requirements.

A Process Servers understands the requirements for “serving” (delivering) your summons and complaint to the party you are suing.  A seasoned Process Server also has tips on how to serve individuals, how to serve businesses, and what to do if you are unable to serve your summons and complaint.   There are many blog articles on the website that will help you understand the differences in serving different entities.  For instance, how to serve an individual, or how to serve a corporation that is out of state.

After you file your complaint and have the summons issued, a copy of the summons and complaint must be delivered to each defendant. This is called “service of process.” It is good practice to serve all defendants immediately after filing the complaint.  After the defendants have been served, proof of that service must be filed with the court.

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