I. summons sum‧mons 1 [ˈsʌmənz] noun summonses PLURALFORM [countable]
LAW an official order to appear in a court of law:

• Administrators of his estate have issued a summons to get him to return to Australia.

oˈriginating ˌsummons
LAW a document which formally begins a legal case where people agree on the facts, but need a judge to decide on the meaning of a law, contract, or other document:

• The Crown struck out the originating summons on the grounds that the case was outside its jurisdiction.

— compare writ
ˈwitness ˌsummons LAW
an order to someone to come to a Magistrate'S Court and tell the court what they know about a crime or event; = SUBPOENA:

• He has been served with a witness summons.

ˌwrit of ˈsummons LAW
a way of starting a legal action by someone who has a claim against a particular person, that orders that person to come to court unless they admit the claim:

• The delay in having a civil action heard in the High Court is often two years from the issue of a writ of summons.

  [m0] II. summons summons 2 verb [transitive]
LAW to officially order someone to appear in a court of law:

• I was summonsed to appear as a witness.

* * *

summons UK US /ˈsʌmənz/ noun [C] (plural summonses) LAW
an order for someone to appear in a court of law: »

One newspaper reporter was given a summons for disorderly conduct.


They will be issued a summons to appear before the U.S. District Court in Richmond.


Service of the summons does not have to be effected in person; postal service is likely to be sufficient.

issue/serve/send a summons »

Proctor will be served a summons with a date to appear in court to answer the charges.

receive/get/be given a summons »

Approximately half of defendants receive a summons rather than being brought into custody.

See also ORIGINATING SUMMONS(Cf. ↑originating summons), WITNESS SUMMONS(Cf. ↑witness summons), WRIT OF SUMMONS(Cf. ↑writ of summons)
summons UK US /ˈsʌmənz/ verb [T] (also summon) LAW
to order someone to appear in a court of law: »

Prosecutors summonsed several residents to the Grafton County grand jury.


I have been summoned for jury service and must appear at Middlesex Crown Court on July 31.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • summons — sum·mons 1 / sə mənz/ 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… …   Law dictionary

  • Summons — Sum mons, n.; pl. {Summonses}. [OE. somouns, OF. sumunse, semonse, semonce, F. semonce, semondre to summon, OF. p. p. semons. See {Summon}, v.] 1. The act of summoning; a call by authority, or by the command of a superior, to appear at a place… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • summons — [sum′ənz] n. pl. summonses [ME somounce < Anglo Fr somonse < OFr sumunse < pp. of somondre: see SUMMON] 1. a) an order or command to come, attend, appear, or perform some action b) Law an official order to appear in court, specif. to… …   English World dictionary

  • summons — ► NOUN (pl. summonses) 1) an order to appear in a law court. 2) an act of summoning. ► VERB chiefly Law ▪ serve with a summons …   English terms dictionary

  • Summons — Sum mons, v. t. To summon. [R. or Colloq.] Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Summons — For other uses, see Summons (disambiguation). Legally, a summons (also known in England and Wales as a claim form) is a legal document issued by a court (a judicial summons) or by an administrative agency of government (an administrative summons) …   Wikipedia

  • summons — noun 1 order to go somewhere ADJECTIVE ▪ urgent ▪ royal VERB + SUMMONS ▪ send, send out ▪ await, expect …   Collocations dictionary

  • summons — Instrument used to commence a civil action or special proceeding and is a means of acquiring jurisdiction over a party. In re Dell, 56 Misc.2d 1017, 290 N.Y.S.2d 287, 289. Writ or process directed to the sheriff or other proper officer, requiring …   Black's law dictionary

  • summons — n. 1) to issue a summons 2) to serve a summons on 3) a summons to + inf. (I received a summons to appear in court) * * * [ sʌmənz] to issue a summons to serve a summons on a summons to + inf. (I received a summons to appear in court) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • summons — summon, summons, call, cite, convoke, convene, muster mean to demand the presence of persons or, by extension, things. Summon implies the exercise of authority or of power; it usually suggests a mandate, an imperative order or bidding, or urgency …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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