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Served: Popular Court Documents Explained

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Being a process server is serious work. You have to deliver legal documents like warrants and complaints. Tension can arise when these are sent. In addition, the papers should be sent before a deadline. Failure to do so can result in case delay and court fees. This is why those qualified are the only ones chosen.

But you may be wondering, what are these documents that a process server usually carries? There are many types of writs, warrants, and summons out there that you have to know. Here are some of them.


A writ is a formal order from a higher court sent to a subordinate court or authority. A lot of documents sent to defendants actually fall under this. Here are some examples of them:

  • Mandamus – This is an order┬áto reinforce a specific function of a body. It’s basically an order to perform what you are supposed to do.
  • Habeas Corpus – An order to have a lower court review if a person was legally detained or not.
  • Quo Warranto – An order to a person to prove their authority or right to the action they made.
  • Certiorari – This is an order from a higher court to review a decision a lower court made.
  • Assistance – As it suggests, it is an order to a person of authority to assist with an action. For example, the court may request a sheriff to carry out an eviction.

Subpoenas vs. Summons

There can be confusion between these two. These are both used to request the presence of a person, but the purposes are different.

A subpoena is presented to someone if they are requested to appear as a witness in a case. This means they can either be a person of interest or have some kind of involvement in said case. This can also be a request for physical pieces of evidence to be sent.

A summons may be given to someone if the court needs to let a defendant know of an offense they made. They should be physically present, not just to hear but also to let them explain themselves.


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Warrants are served if the action to be done is deemed unconstitutional. For example, a search warrant will allow authorities to search private property. This would not need the owner’s consent because the court has ordered it and must be followed. Another that’s well known is the arrest warrant which is an order to detain someone.


A complaint is presented by an aggrieved party. What they are complaining about may not be illegal in the literal sense. But if it has a negative effect on their lives, they need to provide a detailed explanation of everything. All the facts and their preferred course of action should all be written in the document.

A court hearing can be a long process for some. This paperwork is necessary so that the right people are brought to justice. No matter what kind of case it is, no stone should be left unturned and all the facts should be documented.

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