A party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending action only, of the genuineness and authenticity of any relevant document described in or attached to the request, or for the admission of the truth of any specified relevant matter of fact.
Each matter of which an admission is requested is admitted unless, within thirty (30) days after service of the request or such shorter or longer time as the administrative law judge may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves on the requesting party:
A written statement denying specifically the relevant matters of which an admission is requested;
A written statement setting forth in detail the reasons why he or she can neither truthfully admit nor deny them; or
Written objections on the ground that some or all of the matters involved are privileged or irrelevant or that the request is otherwise improper in whole or in part.
An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless the party states that he or she has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable by him or her is insufficient to enable the party to admit or deny.
The party who has requested the admissions may move to determine the sufficiency of the answers or objections. Unless the administrative law judge determines that an objection is justified, he or she shall order that an answer be served. If the administrative law judge determines that an answer does not comply with the requirements of this section, he or she may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served. The administrative law judge may, in lieu of these orders, determine that final disposition of the request be made at a prehearing conference or at a designated time prior to hearing.
Any matter admitted under this section is conclusively established unless the administrative law judge on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission.
Any admission made by a party under this section is for the purpose of the pending action only and is not an admission by him or her for any other purpose nor may it be used against him or her in any other proceeding.
A copy of each request for admission and each written response shall be served on all parties, but shall not be filed with the Office of Administrative Law Judges unless the presiding judge so orders, the document is being offered into evidence, the document is submitted in support of a motion or a response to a motion, filing is required by a specialized rule, or there is some other compelling reason for its submission.
[48 FR 32538, July 15, 1983, as amended at 59 FR 41877, Aug. 15, 1994]