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Civil Procedure: Rule 11 - When to File Responsive Pleadings

RULE 11
When to File Responsive Pleadings

Section 1. Answer to the complaint. — The defendant shall file his answer to the complaint within fifteen (15) days after service of summons, unless a different period is fixed by the court. 

Section 2. Answer of a defendant foreign private juridical entity. — Where the defendant is a foreign private juridical entity and service of summons is made on the government official designated by law to receive the same, the answer shall be filed within thirty (30) days after receipt of summons by such entity. 

Section 3. Answer to amended complaint. — When the plaintiff files an amended complaint as a matter of right, the defendant shall answer the same within fifteen (15) days after being served with a copy thereof.

Where its filing is not a matter of right, the defendant shall answer the amended complaint within ten (l0) days from notice of the order admitting the same. An answer earlier filed may serve as the answer to the amended complaint if no new answer is filed.

This Rule shall apply to the answer to an amended counterclaim, amended cross-claim, amended third (fourth, etc.)—party complaint, and amended complaint-in-intervention. (3a)

Section 4. Answer to counterclaim or cross-claim. — A counterclaim or cross-claim must be answered within ten (10) days from service. 

Section 5. Answer to third (fourth, etc.)-party complaint. — The time to answer a third (fourth, etc.)—party complaint shall be governed by the same rule as the answer to the complaint. 

Section 6. Reply. — A reply may be filed within ten (10) days from service of the pleading responded to. 

Section 7. Answer to supplemental complain. — A supplemental complaint may be answered within ten (10) days from notice of the order admitting the same, unless a different period is fixed by the court. The answer to the complaint shall serve as the answer to the supplemental complaint if no new or supplemental answer is filed. 

Section 8. Existing counterclaim or cross-claim. — A compulsory counterclaim or a cross-claim that a defending party has at the time he files his answer shall be contained therein. (8a, R6)

Section 9. Counterclaim or cross-claim arising after answer. — A counterclaim or a cross-claim which either matured or was acquired by a party after serving his pleading may, with the permission of the court, be presented as a counterclaim or a cross-claim by supplemental pleading before judgment. 

Section 10. Omitted counterclaim or cross-claim. — When a pleader fails to set up a counterclaim or a cross-claim through oversight, inadvertence, or excusable neglect, or when justice requires, he may, by leave of court, set up the counterclaim or cross-claim by amendment before judgment. 

Section 11. Extension of time to plead. — Upon motion and on such terms as may be just, the court may extend the time to plead provided in these Rules.

The court may also, upon like terms, allow an answer or other pleading to be filed after the time fixed by these Rules. 


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PERIODS OF FILING PLEADINGS

1. Answer to the Complaint
  1. Natural person - 15 days from service of summons, UNLESS a different period is fixed by the court
  2. Foreign private juridical entity -
i. 15 days - if it has a resident agent
ii. 30 days - if no resident agent


2. Answer to Amended Complaint
  1. As a matter of right - 15 days from service
  2. Not a matter of right - 10 days from notice of the order

3. Answer to Counterclaim or cross-claim - 10 days from service


4. Answer to Third (fourth, etc.)-party Complaint - 15 days from service of summons, UNLESS a different period is fixed by the court


5. Reply - 10 days from service


6. Answer to Supplemental Complaint - 10 days from notice of the order


7. Counterclaim or cross-claim after answer - before judgment


8. Omitted counterclaim or cross-claim - before judgment


9. Answer to Complaint-in-Intervention - 15 days from notice of the order admitting it


10. Bill of particulars - 10 days from notice of the order


Within 10 days
  1. Amended Complaint, not as a matter or right 
  2. Counterclaim 
  3. Cross-claim
  4. Reply 
  5. Supplemental Complaint
  6. Bill of Particulars

Within 15 days
  1. Answer to the Complaint
  2. Answer to the Third (fourth)-party complaint
  3. Answer to the Complaint-in-Intervention

Within 30 days

      Answer to the Complaint if defendant is a foreign private juridical entity


Before Judgment
  1. Counterclaim or cross-claim after answer
  2. Omitted counterclaim or cross-claim

Balance of 15-day period but not less than 5 days
  1. In a case of a complaint which was the subject of a motion to dismiss which was denied, the defendant has a period representing the balance of the original period he has to answer. But in no event should the period be less than five (5) days.
  2. In the case of a bill of particulars, the defendant whose motion for bill of particulars was denied or where the bill of particulars was granted, the period within which the defendant must file the answer would be the balance of the 15-day period within which he should have filed the answer but in no event less than five (5) days.

Can defendant be declared in default if he fails to file a new answer or supplemental answer to the supplemental complaint?

No. The ANSWER TO THE COMPLAINT shall serve as the answer to the supplemental complaint if no new answer or supplemental answer is filed.


May the court shorten the term to file an answer?

No. The granting of additional time to the defendant to file an answer is a matter largely addressed to the sound discretion of the court. They may extend the time to file the pleadings but may not shorten them.

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