Summons & Complaint For Unlawful Detainer

Before you can evicted (unless you are a sole lodger sharing the dwelling with your landlord), you must get your day in court, where you can argue that the eviction is unwarranted. An eviction reaches the court stage when you receive a “Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer.” This is a set of official looking court papers served to you. 3 day notices, 60 or 30 day notices of eviction are not the Summons and Complaint. (You must usually get a 3, 60, 30, 90 or 120 day notice prior to getting a Summons and Complaint For Unlawful Detainer.)

You have the right to contest your eviction in court and to challenge your landlord’s motives and facts. You have the right to a jury trial before you are evicted. If you want to exercise these rights, you cannot ignore this Summons and Complaint and you must deal with it immediately if you want to continue to fight your eviction.


If you fail to file an Answer in five days, you will automatically lose your eviction case and be forced from your home by the sheriff within a very short time. If you file an Answer in time, you will get additional time in your home and the chance to fight the eviction.

To File an Answer, Take All of Your Papers to:


Beware of solicitations from individuals and paralegals offering similar services. No credible tenant organization or tenant attorney is sending such solicitations. Tenants who have used these services have found their work costly and often defective.
Updated 6/15.

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