This Texas Answer Deadline Calculator applies only to lawsuits in county and district courts in the State of Texas. For cases pending in federal courts, please see our federal rules deadline calculators. Information about additional court rules, including local rules, court closures, and holidays, can be found by using our interactive map of Texas Counties.
How long do I have to answer a civil lawsuit in Texas?
In cases in district or county court, a defendant must file a written answer by 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday after the expiration of 20 days following the service of citation on the defendant. Tex. R. Civ. P. 99(b).
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As noted above, Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 99(b) says the citation accompanying a plaintiff’s Petition shall direct the defendant to answer on or before 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday after the expiration of 20 days after the date of service.
If a defendant is served by publication and citation was issued from a district or county court, a defendant’s answer is due by 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday after the expiration of 42 days after the issuance of citation. Tex. R. Civ. P. 114.
When the answer date falls on a state holiday and the state courts are closed, the answer is due the following business day.
View our deadline calculators for resources to help you determine other due dates.
Side Note: The 2020 version of O’Connors Texas Rules – Civil Trials is here. A good practice guide will help you quickly find information about Texas deadlines. It also includes annotated instructions and forms for almost every step in conducting a civil trial in Texas. You can also save time and money by implementing a reliable law practice management system. Legal software like PracticePanther is a great option.