What Is the Proper Way to Respond to a Court Summons?


Quick Answer

The proper way to respond to a summons is generally outlined on the papers served to the defendant, explains the Civil Law Self Help Center. Generally, a defendant has 20 days from the date of service to answer the complaint in a written document outlining the defenses of the allegations.

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Full Answer

While a defendant can try to negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff, filing an answer on a timely basis prevents the plaintiff from receiving an automatic judgement against the defendant, notes the Civil Law Self Help Center. An answer is formatted to include the identity of the parties in the case, and indicates the allegations to which the defendant admits, and the allegations he denies, explains the National Paralegal College.

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