Prior to a final hearing, discovery may be completed to allow the parties to gather information relevant to the pending matters. Discovery can be conducted in many forms, including written questions (interrogatories), requests for production of documents, depositions, third party discovery, and requests for admission.
The discovery process allows for several means of gathering information, and being able to request documents and information from opposing and third parties. Requests for admission are governed by Indiana Trial Rule 361. Requests for admission are served upon an opposing party, and seek the truth of the matters requested, including the genuineness of documents described.
For example, in a child support modification matter, potential requests for admission to an opposing party may read as follows: Parent has been voluntarily underemployed since 2004 or Parent has failed to make any child support payments for eight months. These requests for admission are seeking the truth of these assertions, and the other party must answer in the time prescribed.
If the party served with requests for admission does not answer or answer properly within the time allotted, the requests are deemed admitted. This means that in the above example, if the parent did not answer or answer in the proper format these requests for admission on time, the requesting parent could submit to the Court that it is a fact that the parent has been underemployed and the parent has not paid child support for eight months.
The time frame for responding/answering requests for admission is a strict time frame. Again, even if they are answered a day late, they may be deemed admitted and used as a fact in pending hearings. This can be a positive for the requesting party’s case. That information is considered fact and proven. It can be a huge detriment for a party that fails to answer same, as it may admit facts that the party contests.
If requests for admission are served, it is encouraged to seek the assistance of an attorney to avoid missing a deadline or answering in an improper format. We hope that this blog has been helpful in exploring requests for admission as a part of the discovery process. This blog is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.