Wasted Requests for Admission

Several posts on this blog discuss the scope of requests for admission and examples of requests that exceed that scope.[1]  Personally I believe it is a better practice to object to requests for admission that are not actually requests for admission.

This topic was also addressed in Barrera v. W. United Ins. Co.[2]  The analysis started at the same point as my other posts.  “Requests for admissions are not principally discovery devices.”[3]  “Strictly speaking Rule 36 is not a discovery procedure at all, since it presupposes that the party proceeding under it knows the facts or has the document and merely wishes its opponent to concede their genuineness. A party who desires to discover what the facts are should resort to other discovery rules rather than Rule 36.”[4]

It seems the requests for admission breached these tenets.  Even if they had not, the requests sent were still defective because they “are over broad and many of them are ambiguous.”

For example, Request No. 5 asks Defendant to admit that Plaintiff’s medical bills are reasonable within the community standard. However, it does not identify what medical bills Plaintiff claims are related to the accident involved in this case. Request No. 6 asks Defendant to admit that Plaintiff’s medical treatment was reasonable and necessary, but does not specify what medical treatment Plaintiff claims she received as a result of this accident.

I can think of several other problems with these two requests, but the court did not need to analyze further as the issue was moot. In practical terms, Barrera is another example of why lawyers should really stop sending these types of requests for admission.  They are a complete waste of time.

[1] June 30, 2012, September 8, 2015
[2] No. 2:09-cv-02289, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131781, 2010 WL 4973762 (D. Nev. Nov. 19, 2010).
[3] Quoting Safeco of America v. Rawstron, 181 F.R.D. 441, 445 (C.D. Ca. 1998).
[4]  8A Charles Allen Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Richard L. Marcus, § 2252 at 524-525.