Return


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Return

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.

Cross-references

Service of Process.

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.

References in classic literature ?
And to think that I was risking death to return to him purely from a sense of duty and affection!
I must have been away for months, Perry, and now you barely look up from your work when I return and insist that we have been separated but a moment.
"There may be nothing but the present and no such thing as time, but I feel that I am about to take a trip into the hereafter from which I shall never return. If you and Ghak should manage to escape I want you to promise me that you will find Dian the Beautiful and tell her that with my last words I asked her forgiveness for the unintentional affront I put upon her, and that my one wish was to be spared long enough to right the wrong that I had done her."
'I beg your pardon,' returned Eugene, with a reluctant smile, 'but will you excuse my mentioning that I always protest against being referred to the bees?'
'Ye-es,' returned Eugene, disparagingly, 'they work; but don't you think they overdo it?
'I will stand,' returned Mr Haredale impatiently, 'on this dismantled, beggared hearth, and not pollute it, fallen as it is, with mockeries.
'I should say,' he returned, sipping his wine, 'there could be no doubt about it.
'Oh,' returned Tom, with contemptuous patronage, 'she's a regular girl.
'Not so much of that as you may suppose,' returned Tom; 'for our governor had her crammed with all sorts of dry bones and sawdust.
'It seems improbable because it is improbable,' his friend returned.
"Then here's your hat," returns his new friend, quite as intimate with it as if he had made it; "and if you're ready, I am."
"Why, you an't such an unnatural woman, I hope," returns Bucket sternly, "as to wish your own child dead?"