Once an official summons has been issued to a Defendant, the Defendant is required by law to file an answer to the summons. The answer is where the Defendant either admits or denies all or part of the claim against him. The Defendant also presents defenses to the claim in the answer that can include any or all affirmative defenses outlined in Rule 8(C) West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.

In West Virginia, the Defendant has 20 days to serve an answer to the Plaintiff or the Plaintiff’s attorney. If the Defendant fails to serve an answer within 20 days, then the Plaintiff wins by default and a judgment will be entered against the Defendant for the relief requested by the Plaintiff in the initial complaint. Also, the Defendant loses his right file a counterclaim against the Plaintiff for the matter asserted in the original complaint.