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Receiving a Court Summons

October 25, 2015 Hastings and Hastings

Usually, one wants to show up at court. Courts are typically associated with lengthy proceedings, bureaucratic red tape, and heart ache. A court summons is a document sent by the court ordering an individual to appear. Court summons can be sent out for multiple reasons. The three most common types of summons are citations, civil summons, and administrative summons.


A citation is a form of summons that is usually written or administered at the scene of an occurrence. Traffic citations are by far the most common form of citation. An officer may pull you over, inform you of the violation you committed, and write you a traffic citation (ticket). The citation will give you a court date. Failure to appear on that date is a separate crime. Often, however, individuals can deal with traffic citations simply by paying a fine or attending a traffic safety class.

Civil Summons

A civil summons is a document which informs an individual that a lawsuit has been filled against them by another individual. The specific complaint will be brought to the defendant by a plaintiff. Individuals who receive civil summons may either show up on the designated court date or supply a written response, which is usually best prepared by a lawyer. It is always best to consult a lawyer on what the best course of action may be.

Administrative Summons

An administrative summons is a demand for either the presences of an individual or for a call for them to turn over records they may have. An administrative summons is issued by a government authority. The IRS is an agency that commonly issues administrative summons to individuals. Citizens who have been served summons by the IRS should be prepared to produce any tax records, books, or papers that they may have as part of their records.