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The court papers served on the tenant shd ustate that the tenant may answer either

orally

or

in

writing

within

seven

(7)

days

fr the

date

of

service.

If

the

seventh

day

is

a

Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the answer is required to be filed on the next day that is not

a

Saturday,

Sunday,

or

a

legal

holiday.

The

coprapers

should

state

the

last

day

to

file

an

answer and the court in which the answer should be filed. If the tenant fails to respond at the end

of the seventh day, the lawsuit is in default.The court can then grant the landlord a writ of

possession

and

the

sheriff

can

remove

the

ten immediately.

If

the

tenant

answers

the

summons, a trial of the issues will be held in accordance with the procedures of the court.

I have been served with a dispossessory warrant. It states that I can file an answer. What is an answer?

An answer is your response to your landlord's dispossessory warrant. It can be written or

you can tell your response to the court clerk and have it written for you. The filing of an answer

may not be conditioned on paymentof rent. Payment of the rentalleged to be owed does not

have to be made with the answer. The answeis your opportunity to state why you do not feel

your landlord is legally entitled to have you evi d.e If your landlord isseeking to evict you

alleging that you violated your lease, your ans er should state why you believe that you did not

violate the lease. If an answer is filed, the ourt will schedule a hearing in which the tenant and

landlord

can

each

present

their

case.

Anyone

who

knowingly

and

willingly

makes

a

false

statement

in

an

answer

could

be

found

guilty

oaf

misdemeanor.

Where

an

answer

has

been

filed, even if it does not contain an adequate legadefense, the clerk must treat it as an answer

until a judge determines otherwise. Before a judge can strike an answer as legally inadequate the

tenant must be given notice and opportunity for a hearing on whether the answer filed has legal

merit.

How long do I have to file an answer?

58

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