CITATION (Lat. citare, to cite), in law, a summons to appear, more particularly applied in England to process in the probate and divorce division of the high court. In the ecclesiastical courts, citation was a method of commencing a probate suit, answering to a writ of summons at common law, and it is now in English probate practice an instrument issuing from the principal probate registry, chiefly used when a person, having the superior right to take a grant, delays or declines to do so, and another having an inferior right desires to obtain a grant; the party having the prior right is cited to appear and either to renounce the grant or show cause why it should not be decreed to the citator. In divorce practice, when a petitioner has filed his petition and affidavit, he extracts a citation, i.e. a command drawn in the name of the sovereign and signed by one of the registrars of the court, calling upon the alleged offender to appear and make answer to the petition. In Scots law, citation is used in the sense of a writ of summons. The word in its more general literary sense means the act of quoting, or the referring to an authority in support of an argument.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)