The summons accompanies the complaint or petition, and is issued by the court. As the document implies, it "summons" a party to come before the court and/or respond to the claims brought against them. Generally, there is a 20-day deadline, from the date of service, to respond to the complaint or petition attached to the summons. Failure to do so can ultimately lead to a default against the defendant, which essentially results in a conclusion of the case in favor of the plaintiff.