How to Answer Requests for Admissions
If you are defending yourself from a lawsuit brought by debt collectors, you should be aware that Requests for Admissions are an extreme danger to you.
What is a request for Admission?
A request for admission is a request by either party to the other side requesting that you admit some fact. If you fail to deny the request or effectively object during the time provided (30 days in Missouri), the request is considered admitted. This means that the fact is established as true for the lawsuit.
Debt collectors typically ask defendants to admit every allegation of the complaint, right down to the damages. So failure to respond to a request will result in losing the case very quickly.
Requests for admissions are rare in attorney-represented cases for one very simple reason. Attorneys will generally deny or object to every single request. If you object to a request to admit a fact, and that fact is later proven true, you may have to pay the “costs” of proving the fact. I’ve never seen a plaintiff seek costs, although I’m sure they must sometimes. But this is a very minor risk, and the “costs” of proving things are both difficult to prove and not very large. So lawyers generally deny all but the most basic requests.
How Do You Respond?
The Rules provide that a request for admission must be in good form and not ambiguous. If the request can be read in more than one way, it can be objected to as ambiguous. If there is anything you disagree with in a request, the rules allow you to deny the whole thing. It should be obvious that there is little incentive to admit anything, much less anything about which you are not completely sure.
I provide sample Requests for Production and Answers in the supplementary materials in Your Legal Leg Up Litigation Manual at YourLegalLegUp.com