A court summons is a notice to a defendant in case to appear before the court and enter a defense to the plaintiff’s charge/accusation/demand.
For civil cases in the High Court of Kenya, the process of issuance of summons is as follows:
- Summons to enter appearance are signed by the Deputy Registrar or Registry Supervisor.
- Summons are sealed with the Seal of the Court on the day of filing the suit and issued by the Court within 30 days from the date of filing.
- The suit becomes null and void where summons to enter appearance are not collected within 30 days of issuance, other than those to be served by the Court.
- Summons is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and extension may be sought from the Court upon expiry. For cases certified urgent the summons is signed simultaneously with the order.
- The period of extension of summons, if granted is marked on the Summons with an official Stamp.
- Service of Summons is carried out by licensed Court Process Servers.
- Summons sent for service outside the jurisdiction of the Court are forwarded to the nearest Court for Service.
- Affidavit of Service of Summons is filed after Service has been effected.
- Service of Summons abroad is effected by the Court through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Service of foreign legal process in Kenya is done by Court Process Servers. No Court fees are charged in respect of this service.
- A register of all Service of Summons is maintained in the High Court Registry.
The Judiciary – High Registry Operation Manual