What is an Answer?

An answer is a written pleading filed by a defendant to respond to a complaint. An answer generally responds to each allegation in the complaint by denying or admitting it, or admitting in part and denying in part. Some jurisdictions permit a ‘general denial,’ denying everything. An answer also usually presents affirmative defenses, legal theories intended to defend against the claims in the complaint. An answer must be filed with the court and served within a specific statutory time or the defendant risks the entry of a default judgment.


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