Do I have to answer a summons 20 days from the dateI received itor 20 days after the date on the summons?

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I have to answer a summons 20 days from the dateI received itor 20 days after the date on the summons?

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The twenty days is from the date you received it.  You will need to file an answer to the complaint.  The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons.  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint and needs to be filed with the court and served by mail on the opposing party.  If you have an attorney, the attorney can handle that for you.  If you don't have an attorney, look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice at the law library.  This will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  The verification attests to the veracity of your statements in the answer.  File the answer to the complaint with verification and an attached proof of service with the court and mail a copy to the opposing party.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing your documents to the opposing party.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are at least eighteen and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to ____________ (name and address of opposing party or opposing party's attorney) on _______ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

If you don't file a timely answer to the complaint with the court and serve it on the opposing party within the twenty day deadline set forth in the summons, the opposing party can file a default and obtain a judgement against you.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion to set aside the default, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption