What Happens If Defendant Does Not Respond To Complaint?

Your response to the complaint should both preserve your rights and also comply with court rules.

An incorrect response or a failure to respond to a complaint can have serious consequences, such as the waiver of your rights or a judgment against you.

What happens if a defendant does not respond to a summons?

If you do not respond to a civil summons, the court can grant the other party judgment against you in the underlying case. This means the other side will automatically win. Failing to honor a criminal summons, by contrast, could lead to your arrest and even time in jail.

How long does a defendant have to respond to a complaint?

21 days

What happens after complaint is filed?

Plaintiff has 60 days to serve the complaint once it is filed. The court randomly selects a judge who will preside over most aspects of the case. The defendant is served with the summons and complaint. Defendant (the person or entity being sued) must respond to the complaint within 30 days of service.

What happens when a summons is issued?

Specifically, a summons is a document that is an order by a court requiring someone to appear in court. In civil lawsuits, a summons is issued by to the defendant in the lawsuit, requiring his or her presence to defend a case. When you receive a summons, pay attention to the date by which you must reply.