Requests for admission

Primary tabs

A request for admission is a discovery device that allows one party to submit a written request for another party to admit the truth of matters set forth in the request, or admit the genuineness of described documents under oath. Generally, requests for admission include multiple statements that can be admitted or denied by the other party. If a party doesn’t respond to the request within a specified time frame, the statements are treated by the court as admitted. Requests relating to documents should be accompanied by the relevant documents unless the documents have been made available through some other means. A request for admission may also be referred to as a request to admit.

In federal court, under Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as part of discovery, a party may serve a request for admission upon any other party. The main purpose behind this rule is to authenticate information, and once a party provides information, it is binding. However, a court can permit an admission to be withdrawn or amended and admissions are not binding against a party in other proceedings.

Requests for admissions also exist in state procedural law. For example, New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules §3123 allow that “a party may serve upon any other party a written request for admission by the latter of the genuineness of any papers or documents, or the correctness or fairness of representation of any photographs, described in and served with the request, or of the truth of any matters of fact set forth in the request, as to which the party requesting the admission reasonably believes there can be no substantial dispute at the trial and which are within the knowledge of such other party or can be ascertained by him upon reasonable inquiry.”

[Last updated in April of 2024 by the Wex Definitions Team]