Primary tabs

1) Proceedings in a legal matter. Department of State regulations, 22 CFR § 92.84, defines legal process as “a writ, warrant, mandate, or other process issuing from a court of justice [which] includes subpoenas, citations, and complaints.”

2) The legal means by which a person is given notice of a legal proceeding or required to appear in court. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff is required to issue a summons and serving papers to give the defendant proper process. Rule 4 governs the issuance of summons, the purpose of which is to inform the defendant that they have been sued. Rule 5 governs service of process, which ensures that the defendant receives the summons and the complaint, and any other relevant documents. If a defendant claims that they failed to receive proper process, then they can raise a Rule 12(b)(4) or Rule 12(b)(5) motion prior to the filing an answer.

3) Constitutionally, courts have identified two types of due process, guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment:  substantive due process, and procedural due process.

[Last updated in September of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]