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How long do out of state parties have to Answer a Complaint in Arizona?

Gilbert, AZ |

I'm aware that parties have 20 calendar days to answer a complaint in Arizona, however, does that same time limit also apply to Defendants that were served out of state, or do out of state parties to a Complaint get 30 calendar days to file an Answer (assuming that there were no waivers filed at any point)? Also, if Defendants fail to Answer a complaint within the time limit and the Plaintiff files a motion for default entry, how does the Court determine the amount of damages in a personal injury case where the Plaintiff didn't enter a specific amount (other than stating that the damages are appropriate for the jurisdiction)? Is there a default hearing to determine damages?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Yes, you have 30 days per Rule 4.2(m), Ariz.R.Civ.Proc., to respond to a complaint when served outside the State of Arizona.

Yes, if the damages are not stating in the Complaint, and sometimes even when they are, the Court will hold a hearing to determine damages. It is not a "default hearing," because by that time default will have already been established. It is simply a "damages hearing" where the plaintiff's put on basic damages evidence and request a judgment for the specific amount. Unless it is contested, the Court will generally accept reasonable requests at these hearings.



Thank you for the response. To follow up, if an out of state Defendant's statutory agent was actually served in Arizona as opposed to somewhere out of the state of Arizona, would that then mean that the Defendant would only have the 20 days to answer since they were served through an Arizona based agent? In other words, does serving an out of state Defendant through their statutory agent in Arizona have any bearing on their time allotment for filing an Answer to a Complaint?


While I am not licensed in Arizona, my colleague has nailed the Arizona law as it relates to the timing allowed an out of state defendant and default hearings. The process is similar across the counrty.

I wanted to add a comment -- it a default hearing indeed takes place, if the out of state defendant comes in relatively soon thereafter to contest to findings, there is a chance the court would re-open the case and vacate the default judgment.

Best of luck.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


You have thirty days. Good luck.

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30 days to answer.

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