RULE 36. REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION
Request for admission Scope and
Procedure. A party may serve upon any other party a written request
for the admission, for purposes
of the pending action only, of the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) set
forth in the request that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law
to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request. Copies of
documents must be served with the request unless they have been or are otherwise furnished
or made available for inspection and copying. The request, without leave of court, may be
served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with
or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party.
(1) Scope. A party may serve on any other party a written request to admit, for purposes of the pending action only, the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b) relating to:
(A) facts, the application of law to fact, or opinions about either; and
(B) the genuineness of any described documents.
(2) Form; Copy of a Document; Timing. Each matter must be separately stated. A request to admit the genuineness of a document must be accompanied by a copy of the document unless it is, or has been, otherwise made available for inspection and copying. A party may serve the request on the plaintiff after commencement of the action and on any other party after service of the summons and complaint on it.
Each matter of which an admission is requested must be
separately set forth. The matter is
admitted unless, within 30 days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer
time as the court may allow or as the parties may agree to in writing, subject to Rule 29, the
party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a
written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or by the party's
attorney. Unless the court shortens the time, a defendant is not required to serve answers or
objections before the expiration of 45 days after service of the summons and complaint upon
that defendant. If objection is made, the reasons therefor must be stated. The answer must
specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot
truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial must fairly meet the substance of the requested
admission, and if good faith requires that a party qualify an answer or deny only a part of the
matter of which an admission is requested, the party shall specify so much of it as is true and
qualify or deny the remainder. 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 the party has
made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable by the party
is insufficient to enable the party to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter of
which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial may not, on that
ground alone, object to the request; the party, subject to the provisions of Rule 37(c), may
deny the matter or set forth reasons why the party cannot admit or deny
(3) Time to Respond; Effect of Not Responding. A matter is admitted unless, within 30 days after being served, the party to whom the request is directed serves on the requesting party a written answer or objection addressed to the matter and signed by the party or its attorney. A defendant is not required to serve its answer or any objections until 45 days after service of the summons and complaint on it. A shorter or longer time for responding may be stipulated to under Rule 29 or be ordered by the court.
(4) Answer. If a matter is not admitted, the answer must specifically deny it or state in detail why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny it. A denial must fairly respond to the substance of the matter; and when good faith requires that a party qualify an answer or deny only a part of a matter, the answer must specify the part admitted and qualify or deny the rest. The answering party may assert lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failing to admit or deny only if a party states that it has made reasonable inquiry and that the information it knows or can readily obtain is insufficient to enable it to admit or deny.
A party who has requested admissions may move to
determine the sufficiency of the
answers or objections. Unless the court determines that an objection is justified, it shall order
that an answer be served. If the court determines that an answer does not comply with the
requirements of this rule, it may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended
answer be served. The court, in lieu of these orders, may determine that final disposition of
the request be made at a pre-trial conference or at a designated time before trial. The
provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the
(5) Objections. The grounds for objecting to a request must be stated.
(6) Matter Presenting a Trial Issue. A party must not object to a request solely on the ground that it presents a genuine issue for trial. The party may deny the matter or state why it cannot admit or deny.
(7) Motion Regarding the Sufficiency of an Answer or Objection. The requesting party may move to determine the sufficiency of an answer or objection. Unless the court finds an objection justified, it must order that an answer be served, On finding that an answer does not comply with this rule, the court may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served. The court may defer its final decision until a pretrial conference or a specified time before trial. Rule 37(a)(4) applies to an award of expenses.
(b) Effect of an Admission; Withdrawing or Amending It.
Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively
established unless the court on motion
permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. Subject to the provisions of Rule 16
governing amendment of a pretrial order, the court may permit withdrawal or amendment
when the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the party who
obtained the admission fails to satisfy the court that withdrawal or amendment will be
prejudicial in maintaining action or defense on the merits. Any admission made by a party
under this rule is for the purpose of the pending action only and is not an admission for any
other purpose nor may it be used against the party in any other
A matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the court, on motion, permits the admission to be withdrawn or amended. Subject to Rule 16, the court may permit withdrawal or amendment if it would promote the presentation of the merits of the action and if the court is not persuaded that it would prejudice the requesting party in maintaining or defending the action on the merits. An admission under this rule is not an admission for any other purpose and cannot be used against the party in any other proceeding,
Rule 36 was amended, effective March 1, 1990; March 1, 1997; March 1, 2011.
Rule 36 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee
Minutes of January 29-30, 2009, page 31; September
28-29, 1995, page 15; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; November 29-30,
1979, page 7;
Rule Fed.R.Civ.P. 36 ,
Affected: Superseded: N.D.R.C. 1943
Rules N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 (Pre-Trial Procedure - Formulating
N.D.R.Civ.P. 26 (General Provisions Governing Discovery), N.D.R.Civ.P. 29
Regarding Discovery - Procedure), and N.D.R.Civ.P. 37 (Failure to Make Discovery -
Sanctions) , N.D.R.Civ.P.