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What Is a Request for Admissions?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2014
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A request for admissions or request to admit is a list of short statements which are sent from one party in a suit to the other. The responding party is required to admit or deny the statements in writing and to return the list to opposing counsel. Requests for admissions can be used in many different types of cases. This process occurs during discovery, the period in which all parties to a case have an opportunity to gather supporting documentation and information which they will use in the trial.

There are several reasons why a request for admissions may be used. In the first place, it can be used to reduce controversy in the courtroom by establishing a baseline series of facts which are not in dispute. For example, a request for admissions might include a statement like “Jane Doe watered her garden at 10:00 on Monday morning.” If this statement is admitted as a fact, it cannot be disputed later in the trial and this saves time in court.

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Another purpose of the request for admissions can be to gather a series of facts which can be used as evidence to establish incontrovertible information pertaining to the case upon which a position can be supported. This will be used to build up a case or to undermine a case, depending on who is filing the request for admissions. People may also find that the data they gather can also be used to structure part of their strategy for court, depending on how people respond.

Theoretically, each statement in a request for admissions should be discrete, allowing the person to confirm or deny the list statement by statement. However, sometimes a request for admissions is presented in the form of statements like “Jane Doe watered her garden at 10:00 on Monday morning, had a conversation with her neighbor Celia Smith, and then walked down the driveway to check her mail.” In this case, the respondent can admit or deny the whole statement, or can break it down into component parts. For example, the response might be “Jane Doe admits that she watered her garden at 10:00 on Monday morning and then went to check her mail, but she denies that she spoke with Celia Smith.”

It is also possible to object to a statement in a request for admissions. If someone wishes to file an objection, she or he must provide grounds for the objection, and the judge will rule on whether or not the statement in question must be answered.

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