(a) Response by the defendant. After service of summons in a small claims action, the defendant may:
(1) notify the Clerk of the Court, in writing, at least seven (7) days prior to the appearance date on the summons, stating that he wishes to contest the claim and set forth the title and number of the case, his or her name, address, telephone number, and name and address of the plaintiff and his attorney, if any, or
(2) file a written motion or answer, or
(3) appear in person or by attorney on the appearance date, and admit or deny the allegations of the complaint. If a defendant fails to respond as stated above, a default may be taken and judgment for the amount claimed, plus costs, may be entered.
(b) Setting of trial date. Upon being notified that the claim is contested, the court may:
(1) fix a trial date and cause all parties to be notified of the time, date and place of trial, or
(2) set the matter for docket call and pretrial conference before the trial date.
(c) Summons appearance date not considered the trial date.Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the appearance date as noted on the summons shall not be the date of trial.
(d) Demand for trial by jury. Upon defendant's demand for trial by jury and payment of the jury fee, the court shall set the cause for trial and cause notice to be given. If jury demand is made by the plaintiff, the date for trial shall not be set until after the appearance date as noted on the summons.
(e) Notice of small claims rule. The Clerk of the Court shall transmit with each summons a copy of this rule and any other information deemed appropriate by the court. Subsection (c) and the last sentence in subsection (a) of this rule shall be in bold type in such notice.