Certain motions must be brought before a responsive pleading is filed. In these cases, a defendant may file a motion and wait for further court action before filing their answer. You can find information about these motions in this practice guide. For example, numerous courts have held that the filing of a Rule 12 motion for partial dismissal postpones the deadline for filing an answer to all claims, not just those subject to the motion itself.
Effect of a Motion on Answer Deadline in Federal Court
Specifically, Rule 12(a)(4) provides that “unless the court sets a different time, serving a motion under this rule alters these periods as follows”:
(A) “if the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until trial, the responsive pleading must be served within 14 days after notice of the court’s action”; or
(B) “if the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleading must be served within 14 days after the more definite statement is served.”
Rule 12(a)(4), Fed. R. Civ. P.