Civil Action - How To Answer

After you have been served with a Summons and Complaint, you must respond (in writing) to the allegations made in the Complaint. The length of time to respond is specified in the Summons. Normally the time to respond is 20 days (including weekends and holidays but not the date of service). If an Order Shortening Time is also included you must respond within the time specified in the Order.

Reno Justice Court has forms which may be used to file your Answer/Response to your Summons if you don't have an attorney at the beginning of the proceeding. Unless you are a corporation, you are not required to obtain an attorney for Civil actions. This is a more formal Court setting and you will be required to follow the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure until the case is concluded (by trial if necessary).

When you file your first response (regardless of what kind of response it is), you must pay the filing fee specified on the Summons. If you are responding simply to ask the Court to set up a payment schedule you need to contact the plaintiff directly before filing your response since the Court does not make payment arrangements for the parties.

You must provide the attorney for the opposing party with a file-stamped copy of your response. You can accomplish this by mail or personal service. You must then file a Certificate of Mailing or Affidavit of Service with the Court informing the Court exactly how service of the response was accomplished.

The next step in a Civil Action is to set a trial date. You may receive a Notice to Set the Trial, which will allow you to be included in choosing the date and time of trial. You may receive a Notice of Hearing which informs you of the actual date and time of trial. If you receive any document other than those listed above, you need to contact your attorney or Reno Justice Court immediately for further instruction.

Important - If you do not appear for your trial, the plaintiff may obtain a judgment by default against you.