After the complaint is filed, and the complaint is served (see our earlier Blogs) you most wait for the defendant to file a response.  Usually, the defense files an Answer, which is a direct response to the facts stated in the complaint.  For each fact alleged, the defense must admit, deny or state that they lack enough information to either admit or deny at that time. Not surprisingly, most allegations in the complaint are denied.  The defense is also required to list any affirmative defenses they believe may apply in the case.

The defense can also file various motions instead of an Answer.  Rule 12, of the Rules of Covil Procedure, actually set out a number of defenses that must be filed before an Answer or they are deemed waived.  In most of these instances, the defense is arguing there is a defect in the complaint, or that the court lacks jurisdiction, to hear the case.