Similar to interrogatories and requests for the production of documents, requests for admission provide another tool to gather information, and potentially establish liability, in your lawsuit. In part 10 of this series, we will discuss the importance of these requests and why it is imperative that you timely respond to any requests you receive.
Michigan Court Rule 2.312 allows a party to file a request for the other party to admit to the truth of any discoverable matter. The purpose is simple: to establish an otherwise disputed fact as true in order to assist in establishing liability and limiting the scope of issues for trial.
For example, if a couple is suing their realtor for breaches of contract and duty related to a real property purchase, the plaintiffs may send requests similar to the following:
- Admit that you contracted with plaintiffs to act as their real estate agent.
- Admit that you assisted plaintiffs in securing financing to purchase their home.
- Admit that you affirmatively informed plaintiffs that they would be unable to secure financing anywhere else besides John Doe Financing.
- Admit that you did not inform the plaintiffs you were also acting as an agent of John Doe Financing.
- Admit that you did not disclose to the plaintiffs that you were also acting as the seller’s agent.
If admitted, these requests help establish that the defendant breached the contractual and fiduciary duties it owed to the plaintiffs. If they are not admitted, but there is evidence they are true, that evidence can be used to impeach the defendant in a later proceeding. Thus, these requests are great tools for establishing liability and holding the other party accountable in later proceedings.
Importantly, each request is deemed admitted unless a party files and serves written responses to each request within 28 days after service of the request, even if the actual answer to the request is not true. This makes promptly answering these requests crucial to prosecuting or defending your case.
MCR 2.312(B)(2)-(4) prescribes acceptable answers, as follows:
The answer must specifically deny the matter or state in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny it. A denial must fairly meet the substance of the request, and when good faith requires that a party qualify an answer or deny only part of the matter of which an admission is requested, the party must specify the parts that are admitted and denied.
An answering party may not give a lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless the party states that he or she has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable the party to admit or deny.
If an objection is made, the reasons must be stated. A party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial may not, on that ground alone, object to the request. The party may, subject to the provisions of MCR 2.313(C), deny the matter or state reasons why he or she cannot admit or deny it.
In short, be sure to follow the timelines and procedures prescribed in Michigan Court Rule 2.312 when responding to another party’s requests for admission.
If you have been sued or subpoenaed to testify at a deposition and need to understand your options, please contact Grewal Law PLLC online to schedule a free consultation with a Michigan attorney.