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Chapter 3 - Filing and Service of Pleadings

3.5 - Filing an Answer

(a) Requirement to File an Answer

Any respondent contesting any material fact alleged in a complaint, or contending that the amount of a proposed penalty or award is excessive, or contending entitlement to judgment as a matter of law must file an answer within 30 days after service of the complaint.

(b) Failure to File an Answer

Failure to file an answer within the time provided may be deemed a waiver of the respondent’s right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint. If a respondent fails to file an answer, the ALJ may enter a judgment by default. See Chapter 4.9 (b) (Default).

(c) Contents of an Answer

The respondent’s answer must include:

  • a statement of facts supporting each affirmative defense; and
  • a statement that the respondent admits, denies, or does not have (and is unable to obtain) sufficient information to admit or deny each allegation.
    • A statement of lack of information will have the effect of a denial.
    • Any allegation not expressly denied will be deemed to be admitted.

(d) Reply to the Answer

Complainants may file a reply to an answer, responding to each affirmative defense asserted in the answer.