Response to Complaint (Civil Summons)

On the civil summons received, it does not mention that a written Answer is required. However, when the court date was continued, we stopped by the clerk’s office and we were told we had to submit a written answer to the Plaintiff’s Complaint within 30 days of its receipt. Is this true, even if it doesn’t state it on the summons? Also, if we are to file an Answer with the Superior Clerk of Court, do we have to also submit it to the opposing party’s attorney?

The civil summons form in NC reads:

You are notified to appear and answer the complaint of the plaintiff as follows:

  1. Serve a copy of your written answer to the complaint upon the plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney within thirty (30) days after
    you have been served. You may serve your answer by delivering a copy to the plaintiff or by mailing it to the plaintiff’s
    last known address, and
  2. File the original of the written answer with the Clerk of Superior Court of the county named above.
    If you fail to answer the complaint, the plaintiff will apply to the Court for the relief demanded in the complaint.

I’m not sure how you recieved a summons that doesn’t say this, but yes, in NC, you have 30 days from date of service to file an answer. And yes, you have to submit to the opposing side (either party or counsel if there is counsel).

Thank you, yes, I now see that paragraph that you quoted in the summons. If we do not file an Answer, does the case automatically “default” to the Plaintiff’s side, or can we still fight it in court?

Thank you so very much!!!

Nothing is automatic. Plaintiff will have to file a motion for default and ask for entry of default judgment.