Answer to Eviction (Interactive Form)
Authored By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)
Before you start
You only have 10 business days after you were served with eviction court papers to file an Answer to Eviction. You must file the Answer with the Clerk of Court where the eviction lawsuit was filed. The interactive Answer to Eviction will fill in the forms based on the answers you give in an online interview.
When you’re done, you’ll need to download, print, and file the forms with the Clerk of Court where the eviction lawsuit was filed. The forms will come with instructions on top to help you file them and serve your landlord or their attorney. Follow the link at the bottom of this page to start the interactive Answer to Eviction.
Coronavirus Defenses for Eviction
Near the end of the form, it will ask if you are aware of any other legal reason the court should not evict you. It’s a good idea to read through our article “What Protections for Renters Exist in Montana Because of the Pandemic?” to see what legal protections you might qualify for before filling out your Answer to Eviction. Once you read through that article, you can come back to this page to complete the Answer form. If you qualify for any legal protections due to coronavirus, you should answer “Yes” when the form asks if you are aware of any other legal reason the court should not evict you. You’ll then need to type out why you qualify for any legal protections due to coronavirus. You don’t have to try to sound like a lawyer when you state your defense. But you do want to clearly describe your situation. You only want to state the truth. You should also attach to your Answer a copy of your signed CDC Declaration or letter if you qualify for protection from eviction under Governor Bullock’s directive.
What you’ll need to complete the form
The forms will take you about 10 to 25 minutes to complete. You may use your smartphone to fill out the forms but you may need to print them off to file them with the Clerk of Court. After you complete the forms you have the option of saving your form in an account or emailing the form. Don’t email the form to your landlord, email it to an account you can access.
When completing the forms, you’ll need the following information:
- You and any other Defendant's name and address;
- Your landlord’s contact information;
- Your landlord’s attorney’s contact information (if they have one);
- A copy of the eviction court papers you were served with.
- It is a good idea to carefully read through the eviction court papers you were served with before starting your form. The Answer to Eviction form will ask you specific questions about what is in the papers you were served with.
- These forms are not right for everyone. The interview may tell you to talk to a lawyer based on the information you give.
- You can complete this form on your smart phone but you’ll need to print it out before you can file it with the Clerk of Court. At the end of the form, you’ll have the option to save it to a secure website or email it to yourself for later.
Need more information?
If you have any questions about your rights or this form, it would be a good idea to read our 5 Steps to Take When Served with Eviction Court Papers. You may also want to read our other article, What You Should Know about Evictions in Montana.
If you have questions about your COVID-19 legal rights, read our article “What Protections for Renters Exist in Montana Because of the Pandemic?”.
Need legal help?
Montana Legal Services Association provides free civil legal help to eligible clients. Learn more about how to apply for free legal help.