Unless ordered, a reply to an answer is not necessary pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (here is a great practice guide you’ll want to keep in your office). Specifically, Rule 7(a) establishes that plaintiffs may not file a reply to an answer except in specific circumstances. In those circumstances, a reply to an answer is due twenty-one (21) days after the order for a reply is served. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1)(C).
What is the deadline to reply to an answer in federal court?
This general rule for civil litigation is contrasted with the rule for state inmates seeking habeas relief, which allows a reply by a petitioner. See Rule 5(e) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases (“The petitioner may submit a reply to the respondent’s answer or other pleading within a time fixed by the judge.”).
Links to Deadline Calculator Pages for Pertinent Federal Court Deadlines: