Lawyers and Lawsuits


When served with a complaint, what is the legal responsibility of a defendant?

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).

This is a web preview of the "The Handy Law Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App