30-Day Deadline to File Your Answer

You have 30 days to file what is called an Answer once you have been served with a lawsuit in Georgia. If the 30-day period ends on a weekend or holiday, then you must file your Answer on the next day court is open.

File Your Answer With the Court By Giving It to the Clerk

When you respond within the 30-day deadline you must file your Answer with the court. You do this by giving the original document to the clerk of the court where the lawsuit was filed.

You can probably find the contact information and location of the clerk’s office online. In fact, if the lawsuit was filed in Superior Court you can visit the Georgia Superior Court Clerk’s Cooperative Authority’s website (GSCCA.org) to search for the contact information for your county’s Superior Court Clerk: http://www.gsccca.org/clerks/.

Send a Copy to the Other Side

When you file your Answer within the 30-day deadline you must also send a copy to the other side. In fact, whenever you file anything with the court (by filing it with the Clerk) you must send a copy to the other side.

Do Not Contact The Judge Directly

You should not contact the judge in your case directly. The judge cannot help you. The judge must stay impartial.

Plus, contacting the judge directly is something called “ex parte communication.” It is something that can get you in trouble with the court. Every time a party to a lawsuit communicates with the judge about that lawsuit the other side must get a copy of that communication.


Failure to file an Answer within 30-days may result in a default judgment against you. This happens in the majority of the credit lawsuits I see. Hundreds, if not thousands of default judgments are issued by courts in credit lawsuits each month in Georgia. Each one was the result of a defendant failing to file an answer within 30 days. This can be avoided—don’t be part of this statistic!

Default Judgments Are Difficult To Overcome

Once a default judgment has been issued you can ask to have the judgment set aside and the default opened. This becomes more difficult the more time passes between the default judgment and the attempt to reopen the case. It also costs money. Even if you do not hire an attorney to handle it, you must pay the filing fees for the other side to reopen your case. In Georgia, Superior Court filing fees run around $200 to $220 depending on the county where the lawsuit was filed.

Hire an Attorney to Guide You Through the Court Process

An experienced attorney will guide you through the litigation process, beginning with the filing of your Answer. Doing it yourself can be time consuming. Further, court process can be confusing and daunting. There are a number of rules that attorneys know and follow that end up being traps for the unwary defendant.

I will describe in future posts what you should include in your Answer.

As always, if you have been sued by a credit card or other creditor, or by anyone, I highly recommend you consult with an attorney. Good luck, and have a great day!