Thank you for visiting lawsuitforms.org! In this article, we will go over the basic steps of how to file an answer to a civil lawsuit in Texas District or County Courts (Texas’ general trial courts) without an attorney. As you will see, the basics of filing an answer to a lawsuit in Texas without an attorney are not nearly as complicated as they first seem.
How To Answer A Civil Lawsuit In Texas
If you have been sued in Texas, you will have received a citation and a civil petition (also known as a civil complaint) detailing the specifics of the allegations being made against you. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU DO NOT IGNORE THE CITATION AND PETITION!!! You must file an answer to the lawsuit within the time indicated in the petition! If you fail to do so, a default judgment will likely be entered against you and you will be forced to pay the plaintiff all of the damages they alleged in their petition, regardless of whether or not they are accurate.
In Texas, a response to a civil lawsuit is called an ‘Answer’ and it needs to be written in a specific format.
If your answer is not formatted correctly, it may be rejected by the court clerk! Lawsuitforms.org is the only website that offers state-specific form templates for filing a civil lawsuit. Most other websites sell overpriced, poor quality, generic forms that are NOT in compliance with state court rules.
Generally speaking, an answer to a Texas petition/complaint will be laid out in the following manner:
- A heading with basic information about the case, followed by the title of the pleading.
- Next, is the General Denial.
- After that general denial comes the ‘Request for Disclosures’.
- After the denial and request for disclosures you need to allege any AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES you may have. An affirmative defense is a defense that does not depend on the veracity of the plaintiff’s allegations.
- After the affirmative defenses, you will want to allege any valid COUNTERCLAIMS you may have against the plaintiff. A counterclaim is simply a valid civil claim arising from the same set of circumstances. If you do allege any counterclaims, make sure you properly allege each element of the claim you are bringing.
- Finally, you should have a brief Prayer for Relief.
Once you have drafted your answer, you will need to file it at whatever courthouse the petition was filed in and pay the applicable filing fee. It will then need to be served on the plaintiff or their attorney.
Texas Original Answer Forms
Our Texas Original Answer form packet includes more detailed instructions, as well as templates and samples that are already formatted for Texas courts. It will show you how to write and file an answer to a civil lawsuit in Texas without an attorney. It is a 100% digital download (an email with a download link will be sent to you shortly after your purchase) and includes the following:
- A fully editable MS Word form for writing an answer to a civil petition and filing it in District or County Court.
- A PDF version of the answer form that you can print and fill out by hand if you do not want to use the MS Word version of the form.
- A PDF sample of a completely filled out answer.
- A PDF of extra pleading pages in case you need more space when using the hand fill-able form.
- Easy to follow instructions on how to fill out, file, and serve the answer without an attorney.