File your Answer with the court

After your server mails a copy of the Answer, you need to file it with the court and pay a filing fee. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive the fee.


How to file forms with the court

  • Take your forms to the court clerk

    Go to the courthouse address listed at the top of the Complaint you were served with. 

    At the courthouse, file the forms by giving the original and the 2 copies of the Answer and Proof of Service to the clerk. 

    The clerk will stamp the forms. The court will keep the original and return the copies to you. Both copies are for your records. 

    Yes. Mail your original and 2 copies to the attention of the clerk. You need to include the filing fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copies back to you. If you are going to file by mail, you will want to send the papers such that they arrive prior to the due date for the filing. Otherwise, a default could be entered if it gets to the court before your answer or other response.

    Some courts allow online filing (called e-filing). You can find out if your court has online filing by visiting your court’s website. 
  • Pay a filing fee

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    You’ll need to pay a fee ($225-$450) to the clerk when you file your forms. 


    If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the for a fee waiver. You qualify for a fee waiver if: 

    • You receive public benefits 

    • Your income is less than a set amount

    • You can’t afford the fee and meet your basic needs  

After you serve and file an Answer

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 Check your mail and update your address.  If you move, let the court and Plaintiff know your new address.

Over the coming months, the court may send you information about court dates. The Plaintiff will often send you requests for information (discovery). For example:

  • Requests for Admission
  • Form Interrogatories

If you get these, you need to respond to the request.  If you do not respond, you could lose your case or end up owing more money. You may also get a Declaration in Lieu of Live Testimony

If you're sued

What's next?

Now that you've filed a response, you'll start to prepare your defense by using a legal process called discovery to gather evidence and find out what evidence the other side has. 

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