A tenant who responds to a summons and complaint has appeared in the eviction action and is entitled to notice. Victory by default is no longer possible and the landlord must set a hearing in order to evict the tenant.
Though courts have held phone calls to an attorney constitute an appearance, there has been no clear and unambiguous legal authority for appearance by fax until now. A new law makes it explicit that a tenant may serve the response to the summons and complaint by fax. The new law also changes the mandatory language in the summons so notice is given to the tenants that they may respond by fax.
Failure to use the new summons form could result in the eviction being dismissed. Contact landlord attorney Scott Eller for more information.