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summons n

pl: sum·mons·es [-mən-zəz]
: a written notification that one is required to appear in court: as
a : a document in a civil suit that is issued by an authorized judicial officer (as a clerk of court) and delivered to a plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney for service on the defendant and that notifies the defendant that he or she must appear and defend (as by filing an answer) within a specified time or a default judgment will be rendered for the plaintiff
b : a document that summons a defendant to appear before a court to answer a minor criminal charge and that is issued in lieu of a warrant for arrest by an authorized judicial officer (as a magistrate) upon request of a prosecuting attorney
c : a notification to appear for jury service
d : a notification to appear as a witness see also john doe summons, service compare subpoena
vt sum·monsed [-mənzd]
sum·mons·ing [-mən-zi]
: summon
: to bring into court by a summons [hereby summonsed to serve as a trial juror]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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