A summons form is an official document that is sent to a defendant to notify him that he is being sued, explains HG.org. Some summons forms provide a court date, but not all.
Court jurisdictions determine their own rules of civil procedure regarding the service of a summons, explains HG.org. Many model their rules after the federal rules, which state that the summons must include the name of the parties, the court, the address of the plaintiff's attorney, and the time when the defendant must appear in court, if applicable.The summons must also include a statement that if the defendant does not appear, a default judgement is rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint.
A summons is generally served by a sheriff or process server, but in some instances, a summons can be served upon the defendant through certified mail. If the defendant of the pending lawsuit is a corporation, the appointed agent for the corporation accepts service, notes HG.org. The defendant must be served within 120 days of the complaint's filing, but state courts may have different rules regarding the service of process, such as a jurisdiction prohibiting service on a Sunday or for a specified time period after holidays.