These instructions are to help you represent yourself in
responding to a civil lawsuit. Legal words and court documents
can be confusing. The more you know about what forms you will
need to fill out in order to respond to a civil lawsuit the more
comfortable you will be when you come to court. These
instructions will give you some useful information and
instructions on completing the required forms.
Every case is
different and these instructions are to be used as a guide only;
if you think you need more help you may want to get an
attorney. You can also go to a
Court Service Center or contact the
Connecticut Network for Legal
find additional information at the Law Libraries.
Court Staff can help you understand the legal process, and while
they may give you procedural information, they cannot
give you legal advice.
to a Civil Lawsuit you will need to fill out the following 2
By filing an
Appearance form you are telling the court that you are
acting as your own attorney and giving the court your mailing
address. Once you file an Appearance, all court notices and
papers filed about your case that are filed after your
Appearance will be sent to the address on your Appearance.
form (JD-CL-12) should be filed by the date shown in the box
marked “Return Date” on the top right corner of the Summons. The Return Date is the date that starts the countdown for things
taking place in the case. You must fill out the Appearance form
in order to receive any court notices. You must provide your
current correct mailing address. The court and the other
parties will use the address you provide to send notices and
other correspondence to you.
In all cases
except foreclosure actions, the deadline to file the Answer to
Complaint (JD-CV-106) is within 30 days of the “Return Date”
shown in the box on the top right corner of the Summons. In
foreclosure actions, the deadline is within 15 days of the
Return Date. (There are some exceptions to these deadlines that
are in sections 10-6 and 10-8 of the Connecticut Practice Book.
You may want to look at these before you file your answer.)
You can use the Answer to Complaint (JD-CV-106)
to respond to the numbered allegations in the Complaint.
If you do not
file the Appearance form, a default for failure to appear could
be entered against you. If you file the Appearance form, but do
not file an Answer to the complaint, a default for failure to
plead could be entered against
filling out these forms you can go to a Court Service Center.