Hi. I hold a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Administration. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I have prior high school tutoring experience.
Yes a summons is a request for you to appear in court. The summons will normally indicate whether or not there are other options besides appearance in court if applicable. Is this for a traffic, civil, or criminal suit?
This is for criminal.
Then you definitely need to appear in court as you could be held in "contempt of court". There are different penalties for this to include jail time or fines.
If for some reason you are unable to make the court date then you may be eligible for a postponement. You would need to contact the courthouse or discuss this with a defense attorney. If you have an attorney, they may also be able to attend court on your behalf.
I hope this information has assisted you.