Step 6

Watch the video on how to respond to the Summons

Video 2B on this page below, will help you understand the eviction process, and particularly how important it is to file your Answer on time.  If you have already filed an Answer, skip this video, and come back to it when you have time.

You have 5 working days to respond to the Summons with your Answer.

After filing your Answer you have an additional 10 days to file an Amended Answer in order to correct any errors, such as missing critical defenses you can argue at your trial to the jury.  File your Answer on time or you will have problems in Court.

The deadlines are different if you are not served personally, or if you are not named in the Complaint.  In those cases you may get more time to respond.

Even if you have more time, file your Answer within 5 working days of when you became aware of the lawsuit. 

Process Servers often lie, and judges are very inpatient with tenants that delay in filing an Answer. Judges tend to believe the process server.

For help filing an Answer either, go to the Self-Help Center at your court, or use the free on-line tool called the Tenant Power Tool Kit. 
If you choose the Self-Help Center, arrive early (7:30AM) to be the first in line.  Make sure you demand a jury, which requires you to file both the FW001 and the FW002 fee waiver forms, if you are eligible for a fee waiver.  If you are not eligible for a fee waiver, make sure you pay the $150 jury fee deposit at the time you file your jury demand. For more information about the Self-Help Centers go to

If you choose the Tenant Power Tool Kit, you can either use it on your own or attend one of their in-person workshops.  Workshops are Tuesday from 4-7PM at the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Central Library or Friday 9:30-12:30PM at the LA Law Library.  You must register to attend.

The video below will give you more information.

Video 2B

How to Respond to a Summons and Complaint

When you are ready, proceed to Step 7, on the next page...

Or for the complete Index to our 18 Steps to Victory, click here.