BASIC GUIDE TO ANSWERING A CIVIL COMPLAINT
IN JUSTICE COURT AND SUPERIOR COURT IN ARIZONA
Disclaimer: This guide only provides general advice on some phrases that lawyers often use
when answering a complaint. It also refers to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Please
read the most current version of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure before answering a
complaint. I strongly recommend that you consult with a lawyer before attempting to
answer a complaint, as you may lose some defenses or weaken your position by
improperly answering a complaint.
I am not your attorney. The only method of establishing an attorney–client
relationship with me is by a retainer and fee agreement signed by me, which is not
offered via this website. The information given in this guide is not legal advice and is
for general information only. This guide may not be complete or applicable to your
situation. This guide is given upon the condition that you will contact an attorney
licensed in Arizona to receive legal advice that applies to your particular situation.
A. General pointers.
Complaints should be formatted with numbered paragraphs. Answers should also be
formatted with numbered paragraphs. You must truthfully answer every paragraph in the
B. Filing fee.
To file an answer, you must pay a fee at the same time you file the answer. Call the court
before you go to ensure that you have enough cash or a the correct amount on your money
order or check.
C. State the parties’ names.
Begin your answer by stating the names of the parties. For example:
Defendant John Smith (“Smith”) for his Answer to the Complaint filed by
Plaintiff Rebecca Rolfe (“Rolfe”) admits denies and alleges as follows:
D. Optional: Generally deny everything before you specifically answer anything.
If you wish, you may begin by generally denying everything before you specifically answer
any paragraph. For example:
1. Smith denies each allegation of Rolfe’s Complaint, which is not