Filing an Answer?

If you or your client has been served with a Summons and Complaint in a civil matter in California, here are some things to remember:

1. Time is of the essence. You have 30 days to respond unless it is an Unlawful Detainer action (eviction), in which case you have 5 days.

2. An “Answer” is one of several responsive pleadings that can be filed in response to a civil Complaint. The others include a General Denial, a Demurrer, and a Motion to Strike. If you are not sure which one to file or you have received unclear instruction from your supervising attorney, you should do a little research to find out which is the best choice under the circumstances.

3. The filing of the Answer requires a filing fee (check the court web site).

4.  The Answer must be served on the plaintiff and all other parties who have appeared in the action.  A proof of service showing a copy of it was served on the Plaintiff should be attached to the Answer when submitted for filing. counsel.  The Answer can be served on the plaintiff or counsel (if represented) by mail.

4. The Answer needs to be verified by the defendant if the Complaint was verified.

Be sure to follow the California Code of Civil Procedure and California Rules of Court when preparing, serving and filing your Answer or other responsive pleading.


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