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Civil Forms
Responding to a Civil Lawsuit

Disclaimer: The information on this web page is provided as a service and a convenience by the Connecticut Judicial Branch. It is not intended as legal advice to any person.

If you have questions about the use of these forms, your legal rights, or particular issues in your case, it is strongly recommended that you talk to an attorney.

Due to the changing nature of the law, the forms and information found on this web site will change from time to time. It is up to you to follow the current procedures and to file the correct, up-to-date forms.

Each court location has a Clerk's Office and many locations also have a Court Service Center that can give you help and information about court procedures. Please note, however, that Clerk's Office and Court Service Center personnel cannot provide you with legal advice.

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 AidExternal Link - You are leaving the Connecticut Judicial Branch websiteor 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 respond to a Civil Lawsuit you will need to fill out the following 2 forms:

IMPORTANT: There are other pleadings that you can file for which there are no pre-printed forms. Sections 10-6 and 10-8 of the Connecticut Practice Book give information on the timing and order for the filing of these pleadings.

The Law Library also has a Video on the First Steps in Responding to a Lawsuit.

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.

The 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 you.

For help filling out these forms you can go to a Court Service Center.




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