In any litigation, the plaintiff needs to know who the defendant (or defendants) is. In an alias summons, the plaintiff has been unable to find out who the defendant(s) are. This guide will explain how to respond to an alias summons, what you can do if you receive an alias summons, and will answer questions about how to respond to an alias summons, such as when you should respond and how much you can be fined if you don’t respond to an alias summons.
Understand the summons
An alias summons is a type of formal notice notifying the defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against them. The term alias refers to the use of an alternate name to identify the defendant. When someone receives an alias summons, they have 20 days from receipt to respond or risk defaulting on the case.
Decide if you will comply with the summons
The decision of whether or not to comply with an alias summons may depend on the individual’s life, family circumstances, and financial situation. If you do not feel that your personal safety will be jeopardized by complying with the alias summons, then it may be best to do so. However, suppose you are a witness in a criminal case and fear for your personal safety after complying with an alias summons. In that case, there is no legal obligation to comply, and you should contact the police immediately.
Prepare your response
An alias summons is a legal term for a summons that is directed to someone who has the same name as the person you are suing. If you receive an alias summons, it does not necessarily mean that you are being sued, but it does indicate that there is some connection between you and the lawsuit.
Here’s what to do if you receive an alias summons:
- Contact the court clerk and ask how to respond to the alias summons.
- Ask the clerk about any additional requirements or procedures related to responding to an alias summons.
- Be prepared with copies of your driver’s license, utility bills, credit card statements, car registration certificate and anything else requested by the clerk.
Serve the response
Upon receipt of an alias summons, you must fill out the alias summons form and mail it to the State or local court that issued the summons. You also need to include a copy of your driver’s license or other form of photo identification with the alias summons form and send it back within five calendar days. If you fail to do this, you will be charged a failure to respond fine.
Wait for a response from the court
Once you receive the court order, read it carefully. If your name is on the order, it means that the court has decided that you are a defendant in the case and have been summoned to appear in person at a time and place stated on the order. You should contact an attorney immediately if your name is on the order.
If you are served with an alias summons, it is important to take the time to understand what the summons means and how best to respond. If you have any questions about your particular situation, please contact an attorney for advice.