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.
What is the deadline to answer a 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.
The complete Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Texas Rules of Evidence, and key quotations from leading cases are available in O’Connor’s Texas Rules * Civil Trials.
View our deadline calculators for resources to help you determine other due dates.