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When and where do I file an answer?

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Reviewed December 2019

Get the Plaintiff a copy of your answer within 20 days after you were served the complaint. 

  • 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. 
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.


Keep a copy of the answer for yourself!

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