Discovery Tool: Request for Admissions

Request for admissions are governed by Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.370 and Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.370. Request for admissions are used to request the other party to admit the truth of any matters that relate to statements of opinion or fact, application of law to fact, or genuineness of any document described in the request. Any request for admissions must be within the scope of general discovery rules. They are served without leave of court. If request for admissions are served with the initial process, then the responding party has 45 days to answer or object. If the request for admissions is served after initial process, then responding party has 30 days to respond or object. If an answer or objection is served later than 30 days (or 45 days if served with initial process), then the failure to answer or object results in the matter being deemed admitted.

If any portion of the request for admissions remains unanswered, that may also properly be deemed admitted. The trial court can allow a belated response under certain conditions. The court will do so if it will serve to facilitate the presentation of the case on its evidentiary merits. The more lenient standard applies for relieving the party from the affect of technical admissions where the other party has not been prejudiced because the law favors this position on the merits. The party may not withdrawal an admission without a Motion to Amend Admissions where the other party has not been prejudiced because the law favors this position on the merits. The party may not withdrawal an admission with a Motion to Amend Admissions.

In answering Request for Admissions, if an objection is made, the reason must be stated. It should also specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the responding party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. If, parts of the statement are true, however the whole statement is not true, the answering party still must specify that some of the requested matter is true and then qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party cannot give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit to deny unless they have made a reasonable inquiry in that the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable the party to admit or deny. Additionally, a party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial may not object to that request on that ground alone. The party who has requested the admissions may move to determine the sufficiency of the answers or objections. Unless the court determines that an objection is justified, it must order that an answer be served. Additionally, if the court determines that an answer does not comply with the requirements, it may order either that the matter is admitted or an amended answer must be served. Alternatively, the court may also determine that the final disposition of the request be made at a pre-trial conference or at some other designated time before trial.

The discovery process in any lawsuit can make or break a case. Knowledge of the specific rules is an invaluable tool when litigating. Request for admissions in family law is incredibly underused. If you would like more information about this or any other aspect of Florida family law matter, contact Kenny Leigh & Associates at Kenny Leigh & Associates is a Florida law firm that exclusively specializes in family law for men in the State of Florida.

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