In legal terminology, a praecipe is a formal request to the courts to take official action. Following the above definition, a "praecipe for summons" is a formal request to summon a certain individual in regard to a legal procedure, such as an ongoing case or a legal trial.
Praecipes are regulated at every level of government, including federal, state and local laws, which may have differing laws regulating them. As of 2014, praecipe documents are called requests at the county level in the United States. The word praecipe itself has its roots in a Latin word that means "to command."