What To Do If You Receive A Subpoena Or Summon Papers

Woman reading a document

Picture this: you’re just going about your ordinary day when the doorbell rings and a sheriff hands you a subpoena or a summons by registered letter. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Worry not, here’s what you should do. But first, let’s try to understand the differences between the two. 

What’s A Summons? 

Used in civil and criminal cases, a summons inherently is a document that signals the possible commencement of the case to resolve the issue that needs a court trial or adjudication. It’s basically a legal order by a court stating that someone is required to appear in court. 

For example, in civil litigations, a summons is typically issued to the defendant to inform them that their presence is mandatory to defend the case at a particularly specified time and place. In this case, a summons may also be called a ‘civil summons and complaint,’ with the complaint component being the charge or reason for filing the lawsuit and the type of relief being sought. 

Whenever a summon paper is received, the party must sign to show that the summons has been received, which is why professional process servers usually deliver it in person. It’s also vital to pay close attention to the date by which you’re obligated to reply. 

What’s A Subpoena? 

A subpoena is generally demanded by the court when it mandates the provision of evidence for the court case. It’s similar to a summons, but the main difference is that it usually comes after the case has begun in court. 

You can receive a subpoena if even if you may or may not be involved in the case directly, as a defendant, a plaintiff, or if you’re a witness in the court case. In the contemporary legal system, it’s extremely common for defendants or plaintiffs to give evidence under a subpoena during a deposition or court.  

What You Need To Do If You Receive A Subpoena Or A Summons 

Signing legal documents

Subpoena, Latin for ‘under penalty’ and a summons, both are official court documents. If one doesn’t respond to them within the required deadline, it automatically makes the person lose the case by default. Simply put, if the defendant doesn’t respond to a summon, the plaintiff obtains the court’s judgment as it signifies that you have given the right to contest the issue at hand. 

When one receives a subpoena, they must submit the information or appear whenever prompted. In most cases, it’s used when one requires to give a deposition. Not responding to a subpoena or failing to appear in court can result in you being cited for contempt of court

The Role Of Process Servers 

Since responding to a subpoena or a summons is such a time-critical, crucial task, you can trust experts at Elite Legal Services of NY Inc. to deliver important legal documents on time. Apart from housing a team of professional process servers, the leading process serving agency also offers a comprehensive range of legal processing services, including preparing divorce to summon papers, civil summons and complaints, and more

Reach out to us if you’re looking to learn more about our legal services or same-day process service.

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