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When and where do I file an answer?

  1. The Plaintiff must get a copy of your answer within 20 days after you were served the complaint.  You can find the plaintiff's address on the summons. If the plaintiff’s attorney’s address is on the summons, send a copy of your answer to the attorney.  Make sure you fill out the ‘certificate of service’ on the last page of your answer. This is where you swear to the court that you have mailed the answer to the plaintiff’s attorney or the plaintiff.
  2. Mail or deliver the original answer to the court clerk. You have five days from the day you gave a copy to the plaintiff to get the original to the court. You can file your answer at court first, but you must give your answer to the plaintiff the same day you fill out the certificate of service. You must file the Answer in the same court that is at the top of the summons form. It should say:

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    Trial Court Department

    ________________ Division

    The name before the Division is the court where you file your answer. Find the address of the court house on the court’s website.

Important

Keep a copy of the answer for yourself!

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Created June 2012

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