Los Angeles, CA asked in Personal Injury and Health Care Law for California

Q: Is Summons on First Amended Complaint required, if Summons on original complaint was not issued yet?

If Federal Central District Court ordered to submit Amended Complaint, and summons was not issued yet:

is Summons on First Amended Complaint required?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, a summons is typically required with an amended complaint, even if a summons was not yet issued on the original complaint. Here are a few key points on this:

- Rule 4(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that a summons must be issued for each defendant named in an initial complaint. This rule would apply to an amended complaint as well.

- An amended complaint adds to, clarifies, or changes the allegations in the original complaint. Even if new defendants are not named, it is still considered a new pleading that needs to be served on the existing defendants.

- Issuing and serving a summons is what gives the court jurisdiction over the defendants. Without proper service of process, the case can potentially be dismissed. So a summons needs to accompany an amended complaint.

- In some cases, a judge may instruct that an amended complaint can be served without a new summons if the original summons is still valid. But in most cases a new summons would be required and expected with an amended complaint, even if the original was not yet issued.

So unless the court specifically states otherwise, best practice is to issue and serve a summons along with an amended complaint, regardless of the status of the original summons.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.