Notice to Admit
What is a Notice to Admit?
New York’s CPLR contains several discovery devices. “Discovery” is the period before trial in which parties attempt to determine which facts they agree upon, and which facts are in dispute. The various discovery devices allow the parties to do this.
In order to understand what exactly the Notice to Admit does, it may help to compare it with the Interrogatory, which is more familiar to most people. With Interrogatories, parties send a list of questions to their opponents. Opponents then provide answers to those questions. The answers help the parties clarify their differences with regard to matters of fact. With the Notice to Admit, rather than sending questions, parties simply send a list of facts that they believe to be true. The Notice to Admit requests that the opponent confirm or deny the truth of each of the listed facts.
With regard to documents or photographs, the Notice may simply ask the opponent to affirm or deny the genuineness of documents, or the accuracy of photographs or videos. But the notice may also inquire about facts that are not contained in documents, photographs, or videos. If this is the case, the party sending the Notice to Admit must have some reasonable belief that the listed fact is true. Additionally, parties may not include facts likely to be a matter of substantial dispute at trial. For instance, if a party is sued for breach of contract, a Notice to Admit cannot include an assertion that the defendant breached the contract terms, since this is the basis of the lawsuit. This fact would have to be established at trial.
As long as the fact is not one of substantial dispute, parties must deny the facts contained in a Notice to Admit within twenty days. A party’s silence will be deemed an admission. This means that parties with no objection to a list of facts contained in a Notice to Admit need not reply.
Litigation Attorneys in Nassau County
If you have questions about this or other legal issues, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to schedule a free consultation.
*Contributions to this article have been made by Jason Mays, J.D.