Time to Answer Complaint / Request for Extension


#1

I have a child custody and property distribution complaint (civil complaint) that I need to respond to within 30 days (my 30 days on the original complaint is up on the 13th of June). I am currently residing out of the state and need to file an extension for an enlargement of time under Rule 6 because I haven’t been able to successfully coordinate and secure legal representation in the NC county to which I need to file my answer - despite efforts thus far. The distance and other factors regarding my work/business have precluded me from getting an attorney at this point.

I’ve prepared a motion for a 30 day extension of time under Rule 6 and want to know if I can just mail it with a certification of service…or do I have to physically take it to the clerk of court? and it’s my impression that the clerk will usually always grant an extension out of courtesy…is this true? I want to make sure I’m not wasting my time doing this if they’re not going to extend me the courtesy…I’ll instead need to get this complaint answered quickly…
I also understand that the plaintiff’s attorney will sometimes grant an extension out common courtesy…but I’m not going down that road, if I can get the clerk of court to grant it.

related question…is it true that I don’t need to send a copy of my request for an extension to her attorney? or should I out of courtesy?

also, one other thing…does the 30 day response time “reset itself” if my wife’s attorney sent me an amended complaint a couple of weeks subsequent to the original? does it reset to the filing date of the amended complaint.

I just want to get this extension of time so I can get down to NC, get an attorney and get these matters addressed properly…

would appreciate your response. thanks.


#2

Extensions of time are freely granted by the clerk.

You may mail your motion and order for the extension of time to the clerk. Be sure to prepare an Order granting the extension for the clerk to sign and enter as well. Include a self addressed stamped envelope and the clerk will mail you file stamped copies of the Motion and Order. You will then mail copies of the same to the Plaintiff/ Plaintiff’s attorney with a certificate of service.

Mail a copy of the certificate of service to the clerk for filing (be sure to include the case caption and file number on the same since you will be mailing it to the clerk after service).

The extension does not reset the filing date, and the Plaintiff can only amend the Complaint with your permission or leave of court once you have filed your first response (in this case a motion for an extension of time).


#3

let’s recap…
so with my motion and the order (for the clerk to sign) I don’t need to include a certification of service document with this packet to the clerk correct?

but when I get stamped copies of the motion and order back from the clerk, I’ll turn around and mail copies of these to the plaintiff’s atty with a cert of service.

I’ll also mail a cert of service (with all the case caption / file #) to the clerk so they have proof I sent the motion/order copies to my plaintiff’s atty correct?
thx for your help!!


#4

You will not be able to file the certificate of service at the time you file motion since you are mailing the motion in, and therefore will not be able to send the file stamped copies to the Plaintiff’s attorney the same day (as you would if you filed it in person).

When you get the file stamped copies from the clerk you will complete a certificate of service for that day, when you actually mail them to the Plaintiff’s attorney with the certificate of service.

You will mail copies of the certificate of service to the clerk as well so that there is proof of service in the file.


#5

excellent and understood…many thanks!


#6

You are welcome!


#7

forgot one thing…I prepared the order… do I need to sign and date the actual order? or just provide space/date etc for the clerk to sign… just dotting i’s and crossing t’s here…
thanks!!!


#8

Leave the space for the clerk to sign the order.


#9

final question…and obviously the most important…sorry but the paranoids are after me…

if I signed and dated the motion today (the 8th) and dropped it in regular mail today to the clerk of court down there in NC…what if it doesn’t get there by the time the time expires from the complaint service date (which i’m pretty certain on the June 13th …because I was served the complaint on the 14th of May)? It could take a few days…

Do I need to send the whole packet again via Fedex just to stay on the side of the angels - and have it get there by Friday…?

Just don’t want to get dinged on a technicality here…

thanks!


#10

The motion needs to arrive before the time expires on June 14.