A group of nonprofits and grassroots groups have built an online toolkit, the Tenant Power Toolkit, for people in California. It includes an online document assembly tool to create an Eviction Answer that tenants can file with the courts, to respond to an eviction lawsuit.
If a tenant has been sued in California for an ‘unlawful detainer’, then they can use this tool to fill in the Unlawful Detainer answer tool, file it with the court, and get a hearing to respond to the lawsuit.
More about the tool, from the website:
This tool does two important things:
The Eviction Answer Tool allows tenants facing legal eviction (who have been served with a Summons and Complaint-Unlawful Detainer) to respond to their eviction by filing what’s called an “Answer” through the court system. If tenants receive a Summons and Complaint-Unlawful Detainer but don’t file a legal response in time, they can be evicted within weeks. This tool is designed to keep people in their homes long enough to fight back.
With consent, this tool gathers basic information about your eviction situation in order to link you with legal resources, tenants’ rights groups, and to inform our housing justice work, for example: to find super-evictor-landlords and slumlords, to negotiate repairs, fight for rent cancellation, eliminate tenant debt, and identify winnable legal cases to strengthen tenants’ rights. In order to do this work, we ask for tenant consent to share some information about themselves and their case with organizers, anti-eviction lawyers and researchers.https://tenantpowertoolkit.org/faqs.html#question-three