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Discovery – Requests for Admissions

Like my article on requests for documents, this is going to be a brief article. For a fuller discussion and samples, look in the Debt Defense System. Still, you should be able to create your own after reading this.

As with other discovery, Requests for Admissions are controlled by the rules of civil procedure for your jurisdiction. And there are two sets of rules you must consider: your state rules in general and, if you are in some sub-court of the state, the rules regarding your court; and your “Local Rules” if your court has them.

Sub-Courts

An example of what I mean by “sub-court” might be what we have in Missouri, Associate Circuit courts – courts that are designed to handle smaller amounts of money, or small claims courts (even less money). Many states have similar types of arrangements, and these sub-courts will have their own special rules, and these rules always control when and how much discovery you can conduct.

Even if you’re not in that sort of sub-court, your court may have “local rules,” which are rules designed to elaborate on your state’s rules of civil procedure. The rules of civil procedure will create the general structure of discovery and set the penalties for not cooperating – the local rules will establish certain limits: only a certain number, for example, or that they must be in a certain format (not “compound,” usually, meaning without sub-parts).

Whatever the situation, you must find the rules controlling your discovery, or you may do something wrong, giving the debt collector an easy out. To find your rules of civil procedure, follow this link. Any special rules may be mentioned in your rules of civil procedure or in your court’s web-page. I am not aware of these rules – but you must be.

What Admissions Are

I have done my best to warn you throughout this series, in my Debt Trouble series, and elsewhere, about the risks of admissions. Whereas requests for admissions are covered in the rules of discovery, they really are not discovery: they are a sort of agreement that certain issues do not need to be argued about. You aren’t seeking information or evidence, you are asking the other side not to dispute the issue – to make evidence unnecessary. That means that while you can argue about what documents or interrogatory answers mean and whether they “establish” any fact, once an admission is made, the issue is resolved and decided. When it comes to answering their requests for admissions, that means you should be very, very cautious. One reason I encourage people to send out discovery first is that I want you to see how they handle yours before you try to answer theirs.

Content

If you have unlimited requests for admissions, you should make sure, at least, to ask them to admit to no knowledge or information regarding each part of their petition. For example, if their first allegation is that you owe them money, you ask them to admit that you do not. And then you ask them to admit they have no evidence that you do. (That’s two separate requests, because requests for admissions must never be “compound” – they can’t have more than one part.)

Special Warning Regarding Requests for Admissions

It should be obvious from the above that requests for admissions are basically just traps for suckers. They will deny or object to every single request you make on any basis, however flimsy. If your rules limit your total discovery to a certain number of requests and include requests for admissions in that number (so that for every request for admission, you lose an interrogatory), I suggest you skip the requests for admissions altogether. On the other hand, many jurisdictions do not limit them this way. The reason you use requests for admissions is that you want to have the materials you need for a motion for summary judgment even if they don’t respond to your discovery at all.

Testimonial from Cheryl

Testimonial from a User of the Litigation Materials

 

The following is an email from a user of the Litigation materials. This customer used our materials to file a response, discovery. She was ready for trial, but the debt collector gave up rather than fight at that point. Note the way Cheryl’s view of herself has changed – and she deserves every bit of her success.

Hi Ken,
First, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me in my time of need. Your selflessness is such a gift to all of us who find ourselves at the mercy of the debt collectors. Working with you and on your site has been a wonderful and empowering experience. I see myself in a different light – I am capable of overcoming that which seems impossible – and I have you to thank for that.
I am passing the word on.
Here’s my testimony to anyone who has a debt lawsuit and is fairly new to your site:
The amount the debt collector was suing me for was not only unfair, but ridiculous – the cost of a high end car. Still, I was so afraid, I was ready to  pay them as long as they would make the monthly payment plan reasonable.  I just wanted my stress to go away, even if it meant I’d get a bad deal. The lawyer/debt collector had already filed a lawsuit and got a judgment to garnish my wages. I was able to get that vacated, but still believed I would have to pay them this ridiculous amount of money.
This was my starting point. From here, I found Your Legal Leg Up.
I have to admit that the information on the site was ‘overwhelming’ at first.  I not only didn’t know where to start, I did not know where I was in the process. This was a fight or flight moment for me, and there were many times when I just wanted to give up. I spent my days being nervous and concerned about my finances, and my nights losing sleep. It was just too much.
But, I remembered Ken’s words telling me I have to put in the effort and do the research. In other words, I needed to toughen up, grow up, and deal with this, for ME. In time, the documents I read started to make sense. I began answering my own questions. I finally had a grasp on what was going on. Still, i was nervous, but at least now I knew what was coming, what the court documents meant, and what I needed to do to respond.
I did my research and found something that could worked in my favor. I submitted my document to the court, and to my surprise, the lawyer/debt collector opted to dismiss the case with prejudice.
I was STUNNED!!! I went from owing $$$$ to owing 0. I cannot thank Ken and his services enough.
Sincerely,
Cheryl