How to File a Counterclaim in Maryland District Court

By Jessica McFall
Maryland law states that you have to answer a civil complaint in writing.

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The Maryland rules of civil procedure, specifically Maryland Rule 3-331, governs the requirements and rules for filing a claim and a counterclaim in a civil dispute. A counterclaim is filed in response to a civil lawsuit with a claim for money of your own. Maryland law even allows for the counterclaim to be based on money owed from a different dispute. The law gives a defendant 10 days to file a counterclaim after filing an answer to the civil lawsuit, called a notice of intent to defend.

Answer the civil complaint. The Maryland rules of civil disclosure require that a defendant in a civil lawsuit respond with a written response to a civil complaint. The answer, or notice of intent to defend, states your response to the allegations and whether you agree or disagree with the allegations.

Include in your answer a counter-complaint form. Go to the clerk's office where the complaint was filed and ask for a counter- or cross-complaint form. The Maryland court system does not charge to file a counter-complaint.

Complete the form stating your claim and the amount of money you are seeking. The Maryland rules of civil procedure allow a respondent 15 days to file an answer and an additional 10 days to file the counter-complaint.

Turn the completed forms over to the clerk and have them stamped, filed, and entered in the record. The clerk will provide you with the date of the hearing. Take a copy of your counterclaim and send it to the plaintiff by certified mail. Keep the green return receipt card when it is mailed back to you.

Attend the hearing and present your claim and the evidence to support your allegations.

About the Author

Jessica McFall began writing professionally in 2011. She has authored legal briefs as a paralegal, specializing in insurance law and related litigation. McFall earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Cleveland State University.

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