How to Respond to an Out of State Summons

By Kimberly Turtenwald
An out of state summons requires a response just an in-state.

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When someone files a court case against you in the area where you live, you respond to a summons within a few days and show up in court with or without an attorney. However, if someone files a case against you from another state, the process involves a longer process to respond to a summons. Unless you want the judgment against you, you must make every effort to respond to the out of state summons, even if you must pay for a plane ticket to appear in court.

Contact your attorney to help you write a response to the summons. If you do not have an attorney, write one yourself. Include why you feel the court should rule in your favor. State difficulty to appear because you live out of state and request to appear by phone.

Mail a copy of your response to the county clerk's office in the location where the case has been filed within 20 days. The contact information is included with the certified summons letter. This is considered your official, legal response.

Mail a second copy to the other party's attorney, if he has one, or to the individual or company if he does not within 20 days. The contact information for the other party is also in the certified summons letter.

Schedule travel arrangements to appear in court as stated in the summons letter. You must appear in court whether or not you live in the state, unless the judge allows you to appear by phone. You put yourself in jeopardy of losing the case automatically if you do not appear.

About the Author

Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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