Service of Summons – You Can Lose Without It

Whether you have been served summons to a hearing makes all the difference between a court order being valid or invalid. You have a constitutional right to service of summons, which summons you to a hearing at a specific date and time and which tells you exactly what the hearing will be about.

You might get an order signed by a estimate requiring certain actions or monetary payment. Maybe you were served summons to the hearing which resulted in the order being issued against you – or maybe you weren’t. If you take that order to an attorney to hire him or her to assist you with legal advice regarding the order, he or she really ought to ask if you had been served summons to the hearing in the first place. If you have not been served summons, the estimate’s order is legally invalid (and ought to be challenged on that basis as soon as possible), because your legal rights were violated when that hearing was held without you.

The saying goes, “The easiest way to win an argument is to tape your opponent’s mouth shut.” If a hearing was held without service of summons, your mouth was effectively taped shut. An attorney you hire must be willing to assert your right to service of summons, and I suggest you require the attorney to commit to doing so in a written contract with you.

The summons must include a motion. The motion can be called by other names such as appeal, pleading, course of action, etc. While a motion can be served without a summons, a summons to a hearing must include a motion which tells what the hearing is about. The motion is a written request made by one side against the other side in a lawsuit, and is presented for the estimate to take action by issuing an order at their request. The motion has no strength unless and until it is signed, in whole or in part, by a estimate, which turns the motion into a court order. However, the motion must be served to the other party prior to the hearing, with the hearing date and time included, for the hearing and the signed order to be valid.

A summons literally calls, or summons, (1) the other side to come to a hearing at a specific date and time; (2) the other side to make a written reply to the motion within a certain amount of time; or (3) both. You can see the great disadvantage you would have if you are not served summons and why this is a crucial issue for your legal success. Don’t let the other side tape your mouth shut!

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