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Alaska Information

Answers And Counterclaims Under Alaska Law

Answering a Complaint:

(a) Time Period:
Pursuant to Rule 12 of the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, a defendant must serve an answer within 20 days after the service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant, unless otherwise directed when service of process is made pursuant to Rule 4(e).

(b) Format/Content:
Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counter-claim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, (2) lack of jurisdiction over the person, (3) improper venue, (4) insufficiency of process, (5) insufficiency of service of process, (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, (7) failure to join a party under Rule 19.


Procedures relating to counterclaims are set forth in Rule 13 of the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure.

Some counterclaims are "compulsory". This means that they must be set forth in the answer, or are otherwise deemed to have been waived. In general, a compulsory counterclaim is one that arises out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim that does not require, for its adjudication, the presence of a third party of whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction.

Counterclaims that are not compulsory are referred to as "permissive" (or optional). A pleading may (but does not have to) state as a counterclaim any claim against an opposing party not arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party’s claim.


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