Filing an Appearance

Filing an appearance is the next step for the respondent to a civil court case to take after the petitioner to the case files a petition and serves the respondent with a notice of summons

An appearance is a document that confirms the respondent will either be represented by an attorney, or represent themselves as their own attorney (pro se) during the court case or on a court date.   


  • Once you have received a notice of summons or a notice of petition/motion, you will have 30 DAYS to file your appearance

  • You can can file your appearance electronically on the Clerk of Court's website here, or you can do so in person at whatever location the notice specifies. 

  • If possible, make sure to keep a copy of the appearanced you filed for yourself 

  • The filing fee for an appearance for a new case depends on the type of case, but is typically $96 for family law matters. If you believe you cannot pay the filing fee, you may be able to qualify for a fee waiver

  • If you do not plan on attending court for a case or a given court date, you do not have to file your appearance.