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To bring, carry, or send back; to restore, redeliver, or replace in the custody of someone. Merchandise brought back to a seller for credit or a refund. The profit made on a sale; the income from an investment. A schedule of information required by some governmental agencies, such as the tax return that must be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.

The official report made by a court, body of magistrates, or other official board charged with counting votes cast in an election. The redelivery of a writ, notice, or other form of legal process to the court after its proper service on the defendant or after it cannot be served.

For example, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require a plaintiff to begin an action in federal court by preparing a complaint and giving it to the court. Then the clerk of the court issues a summons and delivers the summons and complaint to a U.S. marshal or a deputy, unless the court designates someone else. That person must take the papers, called legal process, and serve them on the named defendant. The process server must promptly report back to the court the circumstances of the service or the failure to serve the papers.

This report with the process server's signature on it is called the return of service. It recites facts to demonstrate that the defendant has actually been given notice that she is required to appear in court. The failure to make a proper return does not make the service invalid or defeat its effectiveness for starting the lawsuit, but it can be grounds for disciplining the process server. The return is important to the court because it is proof that service was properly made on the correct person and that the action has been legally commenced.


Service of Process.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

RETURN, contracts, remedies. Persons who are beyond the sea are exempted from the operation of the statute of limitations of Pennsylvania, and of other states, till after a certain time has elapsed after their returning. As to what shall be considered a return, see 14 Mass. 203; 1 Gall. 342; 3 Johns. 263; 3 Wils. 145; 2 Bl. Rep. 723; 3 Littell's Rep. 48; 1 Harr. & Johns. 89, 350; 17 Mass. 180.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He wished them abundant health and happiness and their peoples further progress and prosperity, wishing the Arab and Islamic nations many happy returns.
The Speaker also extended greetings to the people of Bahrain wishing them many happy returns. He exchanged Eid greetings with the heads of GCC, Arab and Islamic legislative councils, wishing them many happy returns.
Thanks, Nanny - Many Happy Returns for tomorrow Ashleigh,
He prayed to Allah Almighty to guide them on the path of success in assuming their duties to defend the security of Bahrain under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the Supreme Commander, wishing many happy returns to Bahrain and its people.
IT'S many happy returns to these Sunbeams Club members celebrating their birthday this week!
HM the King expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to HRH Premier for his noble feelings, wishing him continuous good health and happiness, and the Arab and Muslim nations many happy returns.
IT'S many happy returns to our Sunbeams Club members who are celebrating their birthdays!
The Commander-in-Chief congratulated those present, and wished Bahrain and its people many happy returns and more security and progress under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Supreme Commander.
In their cables they expressed utmost signs of felicitations and best wishes to HM the King on this blessed occasion, supplicating to Allah the Almighty for many happy returns with abundant health and well-being and to the Kingdom of Bahrain and its honorable people as well as the Arab and Islamic nations with divine blessings, prosperity and welfare.

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