Hello againCustomerand thanks for the clarification.
A suit for $19,920 would be in Superior Court and does require that you file an answer to the complaint by the due date (unless the opposing party or counsel agrees to an extension of time), so your deadline for filing an answer is Monday, November 9th. The 30 day deadline runs from the date of service, which would actually make the answer deadline in your situation November 7th. However, because that is a Saturday, you have until the next court day to file, which is Monday the 9th.
Which answer form you have to use depends on the nature of the case. If you go to the webpage I linked in my previous response, you can see the available answer forms.
If the complaint is for contract
damages, the answer form is PLD-C-010 and you can find it by choosing "All Forms Listed by Number" and scrolling down to that number. If the complaint is for a personal injury or property damage case, the answer form is PLD-PI-003 and is a little further down the list of forms.
The cross-complaint form for personal injury or property damage is form PLD-PI-002. There is no standard form cross-complaint for contract cases, so you would have to adapt the appropriate complaint form, depending on the nature of your cross-complaint.
If you decide to file a cross-complaint, you will also have to serve a summons on the cross-complaint, for which you will need form SUM-110*, which is further down the list of forms.
Edited by RunTam38 CA lawyer on 11/5/2009 at 12:06 AM EST