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Return Day

defendant papers process date

The day on which votes are counted and the election results announced. The day named in a writ or other form of legal process as the date when the response to that paper must be made.

The day on which an officer, such as a U.S. marshal, must file proof with the court that he or she has served legal process on a defendant or that he or she cannot serve the papers. The statement is made under oath and is called the return or return of process.

For example, a defendant may make a motion in separate papers challenging some action taken by the plaintiff during pretrial discovery. In the motion papers, the defendant must specify the day when the plaintiff must deliver papers if he objects to the relief sought by the defendant. That date is called the return day, or return date.

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