Pursuant to Rule 36 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, any party to a lawsuit may serve written “Requests for Admissions” on any other party. Many Plaintiffs’ attorneys will serve Requests for Admissions with the Complaint and Summons. This happens frequently in debt defense, breach of contract, and other business law disputes. If the receiving party fails to respond within the time allowed the Requests for Admissions are “deemed admitted.” If you are the Defendant, this failure to respond can ruin any chance to successfully defend the lawsuit. Therefore, it is important that you contact an experienced litigation attorney if you receive Requests for Admissions. To discuss your case with the Raleigh civil litigation attorneys of Maginnis Howard, call the firm at (919) 526-0450 or 919.480.8526. You may also send confidential email inquiries using our contact page.
Requests for Admissions are sometimes called Requests to Admit, and, generally, a party receiving them has 30 days to respond. Often, represented parties will request and receive an Order from the Clerk of Superior Court extending the time to respond an additional 30 days. If a Plaintiff chooses to serve Requests for Admissions with the Complaint, it should be noted on the Summons. When Requests for Admissions are served with the Complaint, the Defendant has 60 days to respond unless that time period has been shortened by the Court.
There are several important uses of Requests for Admissions, but one is to limit the scope of the litigation. That is, many attorneys will use Requests for Admissions to see what the parties do agree on. If an attorney thinks the other party is unlikely to respond, he may even use Requests for Admissions as to determinative issues such as who was at fault or who breached the contract. Another important use of Requests for Admissions is gaining admissions as to the genuineness of a document. This procedure is often times used in cases involving written contracts, change orders, etc.
Even if you fail to timely respond to Requests for Admissions, all is not lost. With the help of experienced counsel, you may persuade the Court under Rule 36(b) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure to withdraw or amend your response, or lack thereof, to the Requests for Admissions. This Rule basically allows you to call upon the Court’s equitable authority to allow you to defend the case on the merits and respond to the Requests for Admissions beyond the normal time limits.
The Raleigh law firm of Maginnis Law represents both individuals and businesses and has experience in a wide array of litigation matters. We offer free consultations from our downtown Raleigh office and regularly represent clients from around the Triangle area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Morrisville, Garner, and Holly Springs. As a small law firm, we are able to offer multiple billing arrangements, including hourly, flat rate, and mixes thereof.
If you have received Requests for Admissions and find yourself defending against a lawsuit, contact the Raleigh business attorneys of Maginnis Howard at (919) 526-0450. You may also send an email directly to our lawyers using our contact page.