A ‘Summons’ is the form of court document used to commence proceedings in the ‘Summary Cause Court’, a branch of the Sheriff Court dealing with the vast majority of landlord/tenant eviction cases (it may only hear cases with a fincial value of up to £5,000). The service copy of the Summons is several pages in length, and the cover page is recognisable from the Crown Coat of Arms appearing in the top left corner as shown below.
The cover page also lists the following information:
- Name & address of court;
- Name & address of landlord, or ‘Pursuer’;
- Name & address of tenant, or ‘Defender’;
- Order sought, i.e. ejection, payment & expenses;
- Name & address of landlord’s solicitors;
- Return Date & Calling Date.
The Return Date is the date when the tenant (Defender) should return the ‘Response to Summons’ to court, for example if he wishes to make a Time to Pay Application. However, in eviction proceedings it is not necessary to return a Response to Summons, and indeed to do so might actually harm the tenant’s case.
The Calling Date is when the case calls at court. It specifies a date and time. It is important that the tenant appear of be represented at court at that time, and not merely in the court house but also in the actual courtroom – otherwise the sheriff may grant an order in absence.
The following page of the Summons, page 2, outlines a Statement of Claim against the tenant, i.e. the background facts and circumstance of the case, and it also specifies service particulars, i.e. place, date, method.
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- Court Proceedings 2