Process Law and Legal Definition

The term Process has the following meanings in law.

• It can be the proceedings in any action or prosecution. For example Due Process of law

• It can be a summons or writ by which a person is required to appear in court or a defendant is given notice of a legal action against him/her/it.

• In Connection with patents it refers to a method, operation, or series of actions intended to achieve some new and useful end or result by changing a material's chemical or physical characteristics. It is a statutory category of patentable invention.

Even though the term ‘process' is commonly associated with summons it is not limited to ‘summons.’ In its broadest sense it is equivalent to, or synonymous with, ‘procedure,’ or ‘proceeding.’ Sometimes the term is also broadly defined as the means whereby a court compels a compliance with its demands.

Process is the legal term for the delivery of copies of legal documents such as summons, complaints, subpoenae, orders to show cause, writs, notices to quit the premises and certain other documents. Delivery is usually made by personal delivery to the defendant or other person to whom the documents are directed. "Substituted service" can be made by leaving the documents with an adult resident of a home, with an employee with management duties at a business office or with a designated "agent for acceptance of service" (usually identified by a filing with the state's Secretary of State), or, in some cases, by posting in a prominent place followed by mailing copies by certified mail to the opposing party. In certain cases of absent or unknown defendants, the court will allow service by publication in a newspaper. After service , the original document, along with the "return of service" proving the same were served, is filed with the court to show that each party was served.