Default for failure to answer properly is dealt with in Rule 10 of these rules.
By operation of Rule 1 of these rules, questions regarding service by "delivery" to the plaintiff, proof of service, the effect of failure to file, etc., are governed by the provisions of Mass. R. Civ. P. 5; however, service by mail is complete upon receipt rather than upon mailing.
The requirement that answers be filed and served no later than the first Monday after the Monday entry day establishes that day as the last day for filing and service of the answer.
An answer form, as promulgated by the Chief Administrative Justice of the Trial Court, may be obtained in the offices of the clerks of the Housing Court, District Court, Boston Municipal Court and Superior Court Departments.
The requirement of a caption and hearing date on the answer was inserted to assist the clerks in identifying summary process papers. Because of the commencement provisions in Rule 2, a clerk may choose not to assign docket numbers to answers until after the entry day. Except for the answer, however, all papers filed with the clerk must contain the docket number. See Rules 6 and 7; see also, Mass. R. Civ. P. 10(a).
Clerks should not refuse to accept answers filed before the entry date.