Once the plaintiff commences an action by filing a complaint, certain timetables for various forms of pleading kick in.
Filing of the complaint will normally occur before it is served upon the defendant. However, service of the summons and complaint must be made within 120 days after the initial filing.
2. Answer and Rule 12 motions
The answer must be served within 20 days after service of the complaint. However, if the defendant chooses to file a Rule 12 motion and the court denies his motion, he will have an additional 10 days after the court has denied the motion in which to file his answer.
3. Reply to Counterclaim
If the answer contains a counterclaim then the plaintiff must serve his reply within 20 days after service of the answer.