Adversary Summons



Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004



The summons is a writ (i.e., a formal command issued by the court) which accompanies the complaint and notifies the defendant(s):

  • of the names and parties
  • of the court in which the adversary proceeding has been filed, and
  • that a response to the complaint is required within a certain time limit



Clerk prepares and issues the summons to the plaintiff.  The clerk may sign, seal, and issue a summons electronically by putting /s/ before the clerk’s name and including the court’s seal on the summons. See  Fed R. Bankr. P. 7004(a)(2)   



Once the summons is docketed/issued by the clerk’s office the plaintiff must:


  • ECF User - print/download the summons from the NEF email notification; serve the summons and complaint on the defendant(s)
  • Non ECF User - upon receiving the summons from the clerk serve the summons and complaint on the defendant(s)


The plaintiff is the responsible to serve the summons and the complaint o the defendant(s). See Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004(a) 


Summons and complaint must be served within 7 days of the issuance of the summons.  If service is not perfected within 7 days a request to reissue an alias summons must be filed. See. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004(e) and Summons - Reissued/Alias Summons


The defendant has 30 days to file an answer or other responsive pleading, except when a different time is prescribed by the court.  The United States or an officer or agency thereof has 35 days. See Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012(a) and Answer to Complaint



Only the clerk is authorized to electronic issuance a summons.   The defendant must serve the summons and complaint as specified in Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004(b).