Your formal response to the court is a document called an Answer. You will have to fill out and file this document with the court within 5 days, not counting Saturdays, Sundays, or court holidays. Even if you have a good defense to the eviction, it won’t matter if you don’t tell the court your side by filing a response on time
. If you don't file a response, your landlord can ask the judge to decide the eviction case without hearing your side.
In the same way your landlord is required to properly serve you with a copy of their Complaint and Summons, you’ll have to properly serve them with your Answer. Here’s some information on the requirements: “How to Serve your Answer