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When a lawsuit is served on many defendants (some in-state, some out-of-state), what is the time frame required for responses?

Portland, OR |
Filed under: Litigation

The normal time mandated for in-state defendants to respond to a complaint is within 20 days. for those named who live out-of-state, the time extends to 60 days. So if one complaint lists some defendants who live in-state and some who live out-of-state, does this affect the response requirements for the in-state defendants? i.e. does an in-state defendant who would normally be required to file a response within 20 days get given an extension by virtue of the fact that he/she is named alongside out-of-state defendants, or do the same 20 days (in-state) and 60 days (out-of-state) response timeframes stay in tact? if they remain in place, then is it permitted (and normal/common place) for complaints that have both in-state and out-of-state defendants respond at different times? if that were the situation, what does that do to the case overall? like what happens to the in-state defendants responses? do they just sit there and wait for the other out-of-state defendants responses too? or does the rules change, and the out-of-state defendants become forced to respond sooner than what they would otherwise be allowed if they were exclusively listed?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I am not licensed in your state, so this is for general information only. The time to answer runs for each defendant served. You could move as to one of the defendants separately; they do not get an automatic extension just because there are others who have more time. The reality is though, you would need to then treat that part of the case differently and separately and move the case along different routes for each defendant. Depending on how many people you are dealing with, this could be a task. The out of state persons do not have to respond sooner, their time runs at the 60 days. Good luck to you.


  2. I would agree, generally, with Ms. Levine's response in that each defendant should be considered on an independent basis.

    *Disclaimer: This is not legal advice; please do not consider it as such.*

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