A defendant must file a response to the complaint—usually within 30 days—called an answer. The answer responds to each and every allegation contained in a complaint. The defendant must admit, deny, or respond that he or she does not have sufficient knowledge to answer the allegation. Many times defendants will admit basic information in a complaint like the parties’ names, the court’s jurisdiction (sometimes) and a few of the underlying facts (such as plaintiff worked for the defendant) but deny the substance of the allegations and the legal claims.
A lawsuit document that begins legal action is called a “complaint” (iStock).