A summon is a legal document that is issued by a Court on a person involved in a legal proceeding. When a legal action is taken against a person or when any person is required to appear in the court as a witness in a proceeding, to call upon such person and ensure his presence on the given date of the proceeding, summons are served. A summon is served when a suit has been initiated by the plaintiff against the defendant, the court directs to issue summons to the defendant as this ensures a fair trail. If the summons are not duly served then no action can be taken against the defendant. If on serving of the summon and the person against whom it had been issued does not appear in the court then this will be taken as a Contempt of Court and shall be punished accordingly. The summons is the descendant of the writ of the common law.