If you get served with civil papers do you have to sign?

I'm not an attorney but don't sign anything until you know what it's about. If you can ...seek counsel, but definitely educate yourself and contact the clerk of the court for the court where these civil papers came from and ask about the complaint, allegations, pleadings, etc. and get all the court forms or the packet for that issue that are available from the clerk of the court. And find out what " motions " are and where and when to use them.

You do not have to sign them, however the person serving them on you will file an affidavit saying that he/she did serve you and that will be proof enough that you were served. Your signature is not required to prove to a court that you were served otherwise people would just refuse to sign. Some courts require that some type of description of the person being served be included in the affidavit, just in case that person lies about not being served.