Legal act through which a person, by mandate of the judge, is called before the tribunal for trial
Citation (Lat. citare), a legal act through which a person, by mandate of the judge, is called before the tribunal for trial. It is called verbal when the judge sends an apparitor to the accused to call him to judgment on a fixed day. If the citation be made by a public summons it is called edictal. When a person has been arrested by the officers of the law his citation is said to be real. Citations are also distinguished into simple and peremptory. The former is had when the judge orders a person to appear on a determined day before his tribunal, but does not add a threat nor declare that a prolongation of the time will not be allowed; the latter, or peremptory citation, is that which imposes a strict obligation to appear, and declares that no later summons will be issued, so that if the person cited does not obey this one, he will be considered contumacious. Real citation is had recourse to, when the accused is suspected of meditating flight or is contumacious; edictal citation, when the defendant can be reached in no other way; peremptory citation, only under extraordinary circumstances. A peremptory citation is held to be the equivalent in effect to three simple citations. In a judicial process, a citation is ordinarily so necessary that if it be omitted, every other act of the trial is null and void. There are some exceptions to this, as, for example, if a person be taken red-handed, or when the accused is already before the tribunal, or when there is danger in delay. There are many requisites for a legitimate citation, as that it be asked for by one party to the suit, that it contain the names of plaintiff and defendant, the cause of the summons, the day and place of judgment and so forth. When a certain judge has issued a valid citation, the case must be tried before him, even though other judges would have been competent. If the citation be not couched in the prescribed legal style, or if it be issued for one beyond the court’s jurisdiction, it may be disregarded. When the plaintiff is contumacious, he may be condemned to pay the expenses of the court and sentence may be pronounced without him. Contumacy on the part of the defendant creates a presumption of his guilt, and in a real action puts the other party in temporary possession of the disputed object.
WILLIAM H. W. FANNING