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How to File a Civil Action: The Summons

In order to let the opposing party, or defendant,  know you are filing a civil action, you must serve the opposing party with a copy of your complaint.  This service is accomplished by issuing a summons through the Clerk’s Office.  The Court has a standard summons form.

Here are tutorials on how to complete the standard summons form.

Video Demonstration Form with Explanation
Summons Summons

You must include two completed summons for each defendant listed on your complaint.   You must include six completed summons for each defendant that is the United States, a federal agency, or a federal employee in an official capacity. For additional information about the summons, review the Instructions for Filing a Civil Action on Your Own Behalf.


Nothing in these links or tutorials should be viewed as legal advice.