What is a Summons?

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A summons is a court form which notifies the defendant that they are being sued and lists the day the defendant needs to appear in court (the Return Date). The court has no power to hear a case until the defendant is served the summons and complaint.

The plaintiff selects both the Return Date and the trial date. The trial date is AUTOMATICALLY the fourteenth day after the Return Date.

The Return Date may be on any weekday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, at either 9:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. not less than 14 nor more than 40 days after the issuance date on the summons. The plaintiff must consult the Small Claims clerks to avoid court holidays and dates that are already filled with other cases. If a trial is mistakenly scheduled on a holiday, it will be held on the next following court day.