Many people do not know what a summons is and if they do, they don’t know the requirements a summons has to comply with in order to be valid.
There are two main types of summonses, viz.:
a combined summons: this is used mainly when a person is suing for something other than a liquidated amount of debt; and
a simple summons: this is used when a person sues somebody else on the grounds of liquidated debt.
It is important to note that a summons MUST comply with certain requirements to be valid. These include the following:
Where the claimant is represented by an attorney, the attorney’s address and contact details must be listed on the summons. Should the claimant represent himself or herself, the claimant’s address and contact details must be provided.
The claimant and or his attorney must be within 15 km from the court out of which they are suing.
The summons must be signed by the claimant or his attorney. The registrar of the court must also sign the summons and put a stamp on it that shows the address and name of the court as well as the date on which the case number was allocated to the summons.
The summons must contain a notice of intention to defend and a permission for judgment (unless it is a divorce, in which case a permission for judgment is not necessary.
The jurisdiction of the court must be mentioned in the summons together with a statement why the court has the right to hear this case.
There must be a proper statement of facts as well as a proper exposition of the relief claimed in the prayers.
If you want to summons another person or if you are served with a summons, make sure that the summons complies with these requirements because if it does not the summons is invalid.