1The topic of this issue of the newsletter will be the use of requests for admission in California civil litigation

. Requests for admission are a vital tool for getting certain admissions or denials of issues relevant to the lawsuit on record before the trial, as well as authenticating certain documents. There are two types of requests for admission, truth of facts, and genuineness of documents. Parties in California dissolution (divorce) proceedings can utilize the same discovery procedures that are used in California civil litigation as the same rules and procedures are applicable unless another statute or rule has been adopted by the California Judicial Council. See Family Code § 210. The rules governing requests for admission are found in Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.010, et seq. Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.010 states that, “Any party may obtain discovery within the scope delimited by Chapters 2 (commencing with Section 2017.010) and 3 (commencing with Section 2017.710), and subject to the restrictions set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2019.010), by a written request that any other party to the action admit the genuineness of specified documents, or the truth of specified matters of fact, opinion relating to fact, or application of law to fact. A request for admission may relate to a matter that is in controversy between the parties.” A defendant may propound requests for admission at any time, however a plaintiff may not do so until at least ten (10) days have passed since service of the summons on the defendant, or the general appearance by the defendant, whichever occurs first. See Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.020. There is a numerical limit of thirty five (35) on the number of requests for admission as to the truth of facts. However if a supporting declaration stating that any additional requests for admission are warranted due to the complexity of the case and other certain factors is attached, then any party may propound additional requests for admission. See Code of Civil Procedure §§ 2033.030 and 2033.040. There is no numerical limit on requests for admission of the genuineness of documents except as justice requires to protect the responding party from unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden and expense. See Code of Civil Procedure §§ 2033.030 and 2033.050. These rules only apply in an unlimited civil case, in which the amount being demanded in the lawsuit is more than $25,000. There are certain format restrictions on requests for admission. No request for admission may contain subparts, or a compound, conjunctive or disjunctive question. See Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.060. This means that a request for admission cannot contain part a, b, c, etc., nor can it contain a question with more than one part, and it cannot contain the word “and” which is conjunctive, it also cannot contain the word “or” which is disjunctive. Although many requests for admission do violate these format rules any party using such a

format runs the risk of the responding party objecting on those grounds. To use an example as to how requests for admission can be used, consider a breach of contract case alleging a breach of a written contract. A copy of the written contract should be attached as document number 1. The responding party should be asked to admit that the document is genuine, and also asked to admit that they signed the document, to admit that they breached the terms of the contract in some way, that plaintiff performed all terms and conditions required under the contract, etc. The defendant should be asked to admit that all of the elements required for a breach of contract action are true. A complaint for breach of contract must include the following: (1) the existence of a contract, (2) plaintiff's performance or excuse for non-performance, (3) defendant's breach, and (4) damages to plaintiff therefrom. Acoustics, Inc. v. Trepte Construction Co. (1971) 14 Cal.App.3d 887, 913. In an unlimited civil case the use of the Form Interrogatories-General, Judicial Council Form DISC-001 is recommended as it should be prepared and served concurrently with the requests for admission. In addition to checking all of the other relevant boxes on the Form Interrogatories including box 15.1, a party should be sure to check box 17.1 as this will force the responding party to provide a detailed response for each response to a request for admission that is NOT an unqualified admission. Also check boxes 50.1 through 50.6 as those boxes relate to a breach of contract action. This is just another way to force the defendant to provide the details of any possible defenses that they are claiming, who has personal knowledge of the facts relating to their defenses, what documents support their defenses, and who has possession of said documents. In other types of cases ask the defendant to admit all of the necessary elements of whatever particular cause(s) of action are included in the complaint. Details of the elements for most causes of action can be found in the California Civil Jury Instructions, if they are not found there a search through legal treatises such as Witkin® or California Forms of Pleading and Practice® by Matthew Bender may be necessary. Note that a party may not amend or withdraw their response to any request for admission without requesting leave of Court to amend or withdraw their admission. See Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.300. This is in contrast to responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents which in most cases may be amended or supplemented. If you enjoy this newsletter, tell others about it. They can subscribe by visiting the following link: http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm Have a great week and thanks for being a subscriber. Yours Truly, Stan Burman The author of this newsletter, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California litigation since 1995.

The author's website: http://www.legaldocspro.net View numerous sample documents sold by the author: http://www.scribd.com/legaldocspro Copyright 2012 Stan Burman. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: Please note that the author of this newsletter, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this newsletter is NOT intended to constitute legal advice. These materials and information contained in this newsletter have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this newsletter is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the sender and receiver. Subscribers and any other readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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