What to Do If You Receive a Summons or a Subpoena?

Subpoena or summons is an official legal document from the courts. In actual fact, the term “subpoena” originates from Latin meaning “under penalties.” You must answer summons or subpoena according to the requirements and within the deadline.

In the event that you are served with summons, you will be given a certain period of time to respond in response to the request. If you do not reply to the summons, the other party could be granted a default judgment in which case you’ve lost the right to challenge the decision.

The most frequent reason for a summons to be served is when someone has filed complaints against your company. It can be legal proceeding or the result of a debt. The person who serves you will be in person or by the registered agent of your company. ( You should have an registered Agent for this reason.)

In certain instances there are instances where both the company’s officers and the company itself could be served with summons. If your company is an sole-proprietorship the company will also be served with a personal summons. 

If you’re served with an order to appear, you must provide all the necessary information or appear if required. In the majority of instances, you’ll need to take the required deposition (similar to giving evidence before a courts). 

If you fail to answer a subpoena or summons and you fail to comply, you may be penalized as a contemptory of court for the inability to appear.

In the event that you are required to respond to a subpoena or summons, include all details about the matter so that you can be sure that your response has been properly filed.

In any case, if you cannot do what is required or fail to be present when it is required or when required, you might be able to ask for an amendment, which could or might not be granted depending on the specific circumstances.

Do I need an attorney to assist me with a Summons or Subpoena?

It’s all dependent on the situation. If the summons is for smaller claims courts or to jury service, or an easy issue it’s unlikely that you’ll need legal counsel. It’s always an excellent idea to seek assistance from an attorney should you have any questions or require assistance with the matter.



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