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Requests for Admission
In addition to requesting that a party produce certain documents or other pieces of evidence, a party may request that the opposing party make certain factual admissions regarding the pending litigation.
According to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-36(a):
“A party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending action only, of the truth of any matters … which are set forth in the request and that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request.”
Like requests for the production of documents, requests for admission may be served on the plaintiff after the commencement of the action, and requests for admission may be served with or after the complaint and summons upon the defendant.
Practice Pointer - Respond Promptly!
It is important for parties who have been served with requests for admission to reply promptly to such requests because any matter that is not replied to within 30 days of service of the request is deemed admitted.
In order to constitute a valid response, the responding party must serve upon the requesting party a written response or objection to the request or requests. All admissions or denials must be definitive and an answering party may not give lack of knowledge as a response unless he/she has made all reasonable inquiry into the matter probed and the information discovered is not sufficient to allow her to respond. Any objection made must include the reason for objection. The responses must be signed by the party or his/her attorney and, in general, must be served on the requesting party within 30 days after service of the request. However, if served with the summons and complaint, a defendant has 45 days from the time of service in which to respond. See OCGA § 9-11-36(a)(2). Failure to respond to request for admissions can be deemed an admission by the responding party that the request is true.
Upon application by the requesting party, a court may inquire into the sufficiency of a party’s answers or objections. If the court determines that an objection is not justified, it can order the answering party to furnish an answer to the requesting party. Additionally, “if the court determines that an answer does not comply with the requirements of this subsection, it may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served.” O.C.G.A. § 9-11-36(a)(3).
Not only is it important to respond to requests for admission to prevent inadvertently admitting any important and/or relevant case fact, it is also important to respond in a timely manner, because “any matter admitted under this Code section is conclusively established unless the court, on motion, permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission.” O.C.G.A. § 9-11-36 (b).