Respond to a summons by reading the instructions outlined on the document, says Washington Law Help. The summons outlines how much time the court is allotting for the defendant to respond, and where to serve the answer.
If a defendant does not tell the court in writing that he disagrees with the statements outlined in the complaint, the judge assumes the defendant agrees with those statements and generally gives the plaintiff what he's asking for, advises Washington Law Help. The plaintiff wins by default if the defendant does not answer. The summons outlines the time limit, and the defendant must file a written response to avoid default judgment.