To initiate the proceedings the summons must be drafted; this is usually done using Form 13.2-A (for actions other than petitions). An unqualified person may not draft a summons.
This summons must then be signed by an agent on every page, and there are further special rules for the party litigants. The summons must then be signetted at the General Department of the Court of Sessions. Once a summons has been signetted, it may be served on the defendant. The summons must be served within one year and one day of the signeting.
For the action to formally be brought into the courts, it must be lodged for calling within one year and of the expiry period of notice. The summons must be lodged no later than 12:30 pm on the second day before it is to be called.
The charge of the summons will state the period of notice which must have elapsed after the date of execution of service before the summons may be called in court. The summons may not be called before the period of notice has expired. This is usually either:
within 21 days, if the defendant is resident or has a place of business within Europe;
within 42 days, if the defendant is resident or has a place of business outside Europe; or
within 6 months, where service is by advertisement because the defendant’s address is unknown.
Once the case has been lodged for calling, the defendant must enter appearance if they wish to:
challenge the jurisdiction of the court;
bring a defence; or
make a counterclaim.
The defendant must do so within 3 days of the date on which the summons was called.
Pleadings are then drafted by counsels and exchanged between the parties.