Summary Proceedings Law and Legal Definition

A summary proceeding is a court action in which the formal procedures normally applicable to matters such as conducting discovery are dispensed with. A summary proceeding is often used in landlord-tenant law. The two most common types of summary proceedings are 1) holdover proceedings - brought when a person remains in possession of real property after the term of a tenancy expires, for example when a lease ends or after service of a termination notice and 2) non- payment proceedings - brought only after there is a default in the payment of rent and the landlord demands that the tenant pay the rent or move from the property.

Summary proceedings are also often used in domestic relations and probate matters. Although some of the legal processes are dispensed with, certain fundamental rights must be observed, such as the right to a jury, notice, and opportunity to be heard.