Arkansas District Court Rules

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A complaint commences a civil action after it is filed with the clerk. The complaint contains the names of the parties, the nature of the claim, and the relief sought. It instructs the defendant to file a written answer within thirty (30) days of being served, and warns the defendant that failure to respond could lead to a default judgment. The defendant must be served with the complaint within 120 days of filing.

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An answer is the defendant’s written response; it contains the reasons for denial of the plaintiff’s claim(s). The defendant also has the opportunity to make a claim for affirmative relief. The defendant must file an answer with the clerk within thirty (30) days after the service of the complaint. A copy of the answer should be served on the opposing party.

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Small Claims Courts allow individuals to settle certain disputes of $5,000 or less without attorneys. These disputes typically involve recovery for damages to personal property or for money owed. Actions in the small claims division are commenced by a complaint filed with the clerk. The defendant should be served by certified mail, sent by the clerk, unless service by sheriff is requested by the plaintiff.

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A small claims answer is a defendant’s response to a complaint filed by a plaintiff in Small Claims Court. It includes reasons for denial of the plaintiff’s claim(s), as well as affirmative relief requested, and the grounds for the requested affirmative relief. The answer must be filed within thirty (30) days of service. The defendant should serve a copy of the answer to the plaintiff by mail.