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Request for Admissions in a Texas Family Law or Divorce Case

The Discovery phase is the fact finding and evidence gathering process of a case. During Discovery, a Party can send or receive many types of discovery requests. One tool a Party may use is the Request for Admission.

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What is a Request for Admission?

A Request for Admission is when one Party asks the Other Party to “admit” or “deny” the truth or accuracy of a certain fact, opinion, or statement. A Party’s answer, known as the admission, must either be responded to in the form of “admit” or “deny.” There may be circumstances where a Party admits a portion of the request while denying another portion. It could also be the case that a Party cannot “admit” or “deny” so they explain why. A Party may also object to the Request for Admission with a valid objection or privilege claim.

Vague vs Clear and Concise Request for Admissions

The fact, opinion or statement of the Request for Admissions must be clear and concise. That way the Party seeking confirmation of a statement can gain the most accurate information. Below are three varying Request for Admissions, one vague and one concise, so you can see the difference:

Vague Request for Admission

Concise Request for Admission

Admit or Deny: A car hit John Doe. Admit or Deny: A Blue BMW hit John Doe. 
Admit or Deny: You smoked weed.  Admit or Deny: You smoked weed on December 6, 2022. 
Admit or Deny: You were arrested.  Admit or Deny: You were arrested in 2020 for Possession of a Controlled Substance. 

Though the vague Request for Admission still draws an admission, clarifying admissions will need to be asked or raised in order to get the full picture.

Good lawyers will ask clear and direct admissions. That way an answering Party lacks wiggle room to get out of the question. There are times when a fact may not lend so favorable to a Party. For example, an admission like, “Admit or Deny: You were arrested for DWI with all three children in your car in May 2018” would be a damaging fact in a custody case. The Party answering the admission also cannot avoid the answer. If the allegation is in fact true and the Party “Admits” the fact, it is damaging to that Party. Even worse, if the allegation is true and the Party “Denies” the admission, then it looks worse before the Court that the Party lied – especially if the attorney can prove the Party lied.

Can I Avoid Answering a Request for Admission?

The circumstances are rare in which a Party can avoid answering a Request for Admission. Unlike an Interrogatory where you can object and not answer, there are serious consequences for not admitting or denying an answer without a valid objection or privilege. An objection requires a legal objection such as:

  • Hearsay
  • Outside the scope of discovery
  • Vague and ambiguous

A privilege claim is that of a protected relationship, like a doctor-patient relationship or attorney-client relationship, and that answering the admission would compromise that protected relationship.

An example of a vague and ambiguous Request for Admission would be, “Admit or Deny: You’ve drank before.” You’ve drank what…Water? Iced Tea? Alcohol? Diet Coke?  This request would be vague and not to the point.

An example when a privilege claim could be made is, “Admit or Deny: Your lawyer told you to hide the kids from your spouse.” Answering this admission would put a dent in your attorney-client privilege.

Partial Admissions

As mentioned above, there may be times when a Party provides a partial admission. An example of this would be, “Admit or Deny: You failed to pick up your minor children during your scheduled possession times during the month of May 2022.” With this admission, a Party may have several different periods of possession in the month of May 2020. There is a high likelihood this admission would receive an objection or partial admission instead of a clearly answered “admit” or “denied”.

If you want to know more about Request for Admissions, please give one of our knowledgeable attorneys a call or contact us online.

Request for Admission FAQs

How Long Do I Have to Respond to a Request for Admission?

When a party receives a Request for Admission, they have thirty days to answer. Failing to respond to the Request for Admission automatically means the answer will be “admitted” even if the facts deem it to be denied in your specific case. Answering and timely responding to Request for Admissions requires diligence by the lawyer and the party to ensure admissions do not go unanswered.

What Happens if I Fail to Respond to a Request for Admission?

If you fail to respond and all the requests are deemed admitted, it is not an end all be all. A party can withdraw or amend their admissions at the discretion of the Court. The Court will, however, require a party to jump through hoops given that the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure require certain procedures to “un-admit” an admission.

Is There a Limit on the Amount of Request for Admissions?

There is no limit on the amount of Request for Admissions a party can send. Sometimes it may be a Party’s tactic to burden the other side with hundreds of requests for admissions.

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