Before you start
You have 30 days to respond to Form Interrogatories. If you were served by mail, you typically have 35 days from the date of mailing to respond.
In eviction (unlawful detainer) cases the time is much shorter. In eviction cases you have 5 days to respond, or typically 10 days from the date of mailing if served by mail.
The Form Interrogatories you received will list an Answering Party. Make sure that this is you. If it lists another party in your lawsuit as the answering or responding party, you do not need to respond to these requests. They are provided for your information.
There is no form for your answer, but you typically have to respond in a specified format, using paper with numbers down the left-hand side, with your name and address at the top left, the name of the court and of the case, and the case number. A sample of this format is included in the steps below.
Download the blank response template and fill in basic information
There is no form for your answer, but you typically have to respond in a specified format, using paper with numbers down the left-hand side, with your name and address at the top left, the name of the court and of the case, and the case number. This is called "pleading" paper. You may create pleading paper in your word processor, or download the sample pleading paper captioned and formatted for your answer below:
Complete the top caption with your name, address, and telephone number, the names of the parties in your case, and case number. Copy the name of the Asking party, Answering Party, and Set Number from the form interrogatories.
On the first page of the Form Interrogatories is a set of instructions with a signature line. The signature line is part of the instructions, and does not need to be signed.
The questions you need to answer start on the second page.At the very bottom of the first page and on the second page is a series of words in bold capital letters. These words have definitions that follow them. Whenever one of these words appears in an interrogatory in bold capital letters, it should be read to have the meaning that was stated on the first or second page of the Form Interrogatories.
Prepare the template for your responses
The form includes a list of numbered questions with checkboxes. The ones that are checked are the questions that the opposing side asks you to answer. Each numbered question is called an interrogatory.
Make a list in your template. For each checked question, write “Interrogatory number” followed by the number of the request.
Interrogatory number 101.1:
Interrogatory number 102.1:
Interrogatory number 102.2:
Read and answer the questions
Read the question very carefully. Answer only the question that is asked, and avoid the temptation to over-explain your answer.
If the question contains several parts, you may break your answer into parts as well.
It is also possible that you might object to the question. To raise an objection, you write “Responding party objects on the grounds” followed by why you object.
Sign the document
Once you are done, date and sign under the language “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing answers are true and correct.” By signing, you are stating that your answers are true and you could be prosecuted for perjury if they are not.
This perjury language is called a “verification,” and is required unless your responses contain only objections. For anything other than objections, if this language is missing it is considered the same as not responding at all.
After you complete your response, you’ll need to share your responses with the opposing side. You follow a specific court process to do this called serving papers.