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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 ?
Bears promoter Glyn Taylor would have also called off tomorrow's return match had the funerals gone ahead today as first expected.
With Gor already struggling financially, the change of date means Gor have to draft a new plan for their travel to Tunis for the return match. The club's chief executive officer Lordvick Aduda termed the move as frustrating and expressed his dissatisfaction with the changes.
The Yanks have been promised a return match and one of the two November friendly dates between the 11th and the 15th have been being pencilled in.
The return match will be played at King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh next Saturday.
"Cercle are a good, strong ream, so the return match in Mali will be a real battle."
Real Barston won their vital clash with Coventry Saracens to climb into second place, and now need to beat either Parcelona next week or Saracens in the return match to be sure of the runners-up trophy.
"If we turn this tie around in the return match it will be a miracle.
Hiddink (below) is not even sure if he will still be boss on Tuesday night for the return match against Croatia in the Euro 2012 play-offs following a dramatic 3-0 home defeat in the first leg in Istanbul on Friday.
The Creek returned an impressive total of 419 to overshadow Emirates' total of 401 to take the honours and bragging rights until the return match.
Turkey's soccer team Fenerbahce will take on Greek soccer team PAOK in Istanbul on Thursday in return match of the UEFA Europa League play-off.
Jermain Defoe also suffered a groin problem in that game but could be fit for the return match.
It means Everton now face a difficult return match in Portugal a week tomorrow.