Requests for Admission (RFA) are part of the discovery process in civil litigations. Remember, discovery is how parties to a litigation obtain and disclose information prior to trial. Also, keep in mind that there may be some differences between RFA in federal court and among state courts. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36 provides for RFA in federal cases. Notably the Rule does not impose a limit on the number of RFA a party can use in a litigation.
In an RFA, one party in a civil litigation asks another party to admit that something is true. A party can ask that another party admit a fact; the application of a law to a fact; and the genuineness of a document. RFA are somewhat special because their primary purpose is to save time.
For example, let’s say in a civil litigation between Perry and Ira there is an important document. We’ll say Ira created the important document. At trial, David could take the time to prove that Ira created the document but that might not be necessary. Instead, before trial, David could ask Ira to admit that the document is genuine, or that he created the document. Once Ira admits that he created the document, in most cases, that will be enough. Now, the parties do not have to take time proving that Ira created the document.
Sometimes parties get over-excited about the use of RFA. For example, an attorney might demand that another party “Admit that you committed fraud.” The other party is almost certain to object to the RFA or to simply deny it.
Below is a video on RFA.