What are Summons?

A summons is the first step in every court case. Without a summons, there cannot be a lawsuit. A summons is, in the simplest terms, an official notice to someone that you are suing them.

The act of giving someone a summons is called “serving.” The summons must be delivered directly to the person, but not by mail. It needs to be put in their hand. If the person being served can’t be reached, the summons can be published in the newspaper.

What Purpose Does a Summons Serve?

A summons is a formal notice to a person or business that they are being sued by someone else. A lawsuit can’t begin without a summons because the person being sued needs to know they are being sued so they can prepare a defense.

In Georgia, it is the law that a summons must be served. If your summons doesn’t get to the person you’re suing, that person doesn’t have to show up in court.

Is a Summons the Same as a Subpoena?

No, a subpoena and a summons are not the same, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably. A summons is just a notice that is sent to a party. A subpoena is a real court order that forces a person to give evidence, give a deposition, or appear in court. The only thing they have in common is that they need to be “served.”

How Do I Serve a Summons to Someone?

Your lawyer will file the summons with the court clerk. The summons will then be served to the person who is being sued.

You can’t send the summons to the other party directly in Georgia. Instead, it must be filed with the court, which will then use the Sheriff to serve the summons.

What Happens When Someone Receives a Summons?

The summons will tell them how long they have to respond and include a copy of the complaint. Most of the time in Georgia, the person served has 30 days to respond.

A summons is only needed if you file a lawsuit. Many car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other personal injury claims are settled without going to court through simple negotiations.

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If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!

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