Responding to a civil lawsuit

General information

Civil Court Rules 8 and 12 for Superior Court and for District Court talk about defenses, including affirmative defenses. Affirmative defenses need to be proven by the person who is claiming them. A successful affirmative defense can mean that the defendant has no liability, even if all of the allegations in the complaint are true. The Court Rules also specify the time period for serving an answer (responding) to the other party.

Forms and instructions

Washington LawHelp has guides with instructions to help you respond to a debt collection lawsuit. The material is general enough to use in many other types of cases:

More information and forms are available at the Law Library.

Self-help kit from the law library

self-help form kits

The law library sells a Respond to a Civil Lawsuit in Superior Court kit with forms and instructions to respond to a civil lawsuit in Superior Court filed against a person. It includes affirmative defenses and counterclaims, but does not include cross claims. Kits can be purchased at the library or online and mailed out.

Additional resources

Washington LawHelp has:

Free eBook about representing yourself in court

Represent Yourself in Court book cover

How to find the eBook about representing yourself in court

Pages 74-80 pertain to the defendant's response to a lawsuit

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