(a) When Presented. If a complaint is duly served, the defendant shall serve an answer within 30 days after the issuance of the summons, except when a different time is prescribed by the court. The court shall prescribe the time for service of the answer when service of a complaint is made by publication or upon a party in a foreign country. A party served with a pleading stating a cross-claim shall serve an answer thereto within 21 days after service. The plaintiff shall serve a reply to a counterclaim in the answer within 21 days after service of the answer or, if a reply is ordered by the court, within 21 days after service of the order, unless the order otherwise directs. The United States or an officer or agency thereof shall serve an answer to a complaint within 35 days after the issuance of the summons, and shall serve an answer to a cross-claim, or a reply to a counterclaim, within 35 days after service upon the United States attorney of the pleading in which the claim is asserted. The service of a motion permitted under this rule alters these periods of time as follows, unless a different time is fixed by order of the court: (1) if the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until the trial on the merits, the responsive pleading shall be served within 14 days after notice of the court’s action; (2) if the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleading shall be served within 14 days after the service of a more definite statement.
(b) Applicability of Rule 12(b)–(i) F. R.Civ.P. Rule 12(b)–(i) F.R.Civ.P. applies in adversary proceedings. A responsive pleading shall include a statement that the party does or does not consent to entry of final orders or judgment by the bankruptcy court.
(As amended Mar. 30, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009; Apr. 28, 2016, eff. Dec 1, 2016.)
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983
Subdivision (a) continues the practice of former Bankruptcy Rule 712(a) by requiring that the answer to a complaint be filed within 30 days after the issuance of the summons. Under Rule 7004(f), the summons must be served within 10 days of issuance. The other pleading periods in adversary proceedings are the same as those in civil actions before the district courts, except that the United States is allowed 35 rather than 60 days to respond.
Rule 12(b)(7) and (h)(2) F.R.Civ.P. refers to Rule 19 F.R.Civ.P. Pursuant to Rule 7002 these references are to Rule 19 F.R.Civ.P. as incorporated and modified by Rule 7019.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment
The amendment to subdivision (b) requires a response to the allegation that the proceeding is core or non-core. A final order of judgment may not be entered in a non-core proceeding heard by a bankruptcy judge unless all parties expressly consent. 28 U.S.C. §157(c).
Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment
The rule is amended to conform to the changes made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure through the restyling of those rules effective on December 1, 2007.
Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment
The rule is amended to implement changes in connection with the amendment to Rule 9006(a) and the manner by which time is computed under the rules. The deadlines in the rule are amended to substitute a deadline that is a multiple of seven days. Throughout the rules, deadlines are amended in the following manner:
• 5-day periods become 7-day periods
• 10-day periods become 14-day periods
• 15-day periods become 14-day periods
• 20-day periods become 21-day periods
• 25-day periods become 28-day periods
Committee Notes on Rules—2016 Amendment
Subdivision (b) is amended to remove the requirement that the pleader state whether the proceeding is core or non-core and to require in all proceedings that the pleader state whether the party does or does not consent to the entry of final orders or judgment by the bankruptcy court. The amended rule also removes the provision requiring express consent before the entry of final orders and judgments in non-core proceedings. Some proceedings that satisfy the statutory definition of core proceedings, 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(2), may remain beyond the constitutional power of a bankruptcy judge to adjudicate finally. The amended rule calls for the pleader to make a statement regarding consent, whether or not a proceeding is termed non-core. This amendment complements the requirements of amended Rule 7008(a). The bankruptcy judge’s subsequent determination of the appropriate course of proceedings, including whether to enter final orders and judgments or to issue proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, is a pretrial matter now provided for in amended Rule 7016.