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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 ?
"Only white-collar workers are buying return tickets," Pallegangoda told Times of Oman.
Return tickets from Abu Dhabi to Moscow start from AED750, to Athens from AED830, to London from AED930, and to Vienna from AED1060.
For some reason managers of Cardiff Bus want to see an end to the return ticket and this will be a blow to many commuters.
A return ticket to Newcastle from King's Cross will cost you pounds 298.
Ms Esnouf said: "With a single fare of 70p, a return ticket for the same journey would be only pounds 1.20." She said day ticket prices have been frozen and a new weekly ticket for customers in Redcar has been introduced.
The English-language Jakarta Post daily reported that dozens of tsunami survivors from Aceh were denied entry into Batam Island by authorities on grounds that they had failed to show identity cards, return tickets and deposited money.
But the Sunday Mercury has discovered that the trade in expensive return tickets is one-way traffic.
With the latest increase, the return ticket of Karachi-Islamabad flight is being sold at around Rs63,000.
Nigeria's Dana Air has launched a Mega Miles promo which encourages its guests to book a return ticket and get miles good enough to get an upgrade from economy class to business class at no cost or pay for excess luggage using miles.
London North Eastern Railway, which now runs the East Coast Main Line, has launched a new Family Return Ticket in time for the summer.
Fans will get a chance to participate in the 'Enter and Win' Raffle Draw to be one of the many lucky winners for an Oman Air return ticket to Russia, the official airline sponsor for the Fan Zone.
Back in January, Martin Gallagher spent PS159 on a fare from London to Liverpool for stranded pharmacy student Grace Georgina, who had lost her return ticket.