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Summary Process

legal procedure lawsuit

A legal procedure used for enforcing a right that takes effect faster and more efficiently than ordinary methods. The legal papers—a court order, for example—used to achieve an expeditious resolution of the controversy.

Because summary process deprives a defendant of all the time and legal defenses usually available, a plaintiff may invoke it only when specifically permitted by law. For example, some states provide for a special procedure for evicting a tenant without the normal delays of a lawsuit, and some states allow summary process for resolving incidental issues that arise between the parties during the pendency of a lawsuit.

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