During a lawsuit, you may receive a document from the opposing side asking you to respond to their “requests for admission”. These are part of the “discovery” phase of the lawsuit. During discovery, each side generally is allowed to obtain certain information from the other side about the issues in the lawsuit. However, Florida courts limit or even prohibit discovery in certain situations. For example, in Florida small claims court (a division of county court) a lawyer for one side generally is prohibited from sending discovery requests to a person on the other side who is not represented by a lawyer.
Requests for admission can be very important. Under Florida court rules, you can respond in at least four different ways to every single request for admission: you can file a legal objection, you can admit it, you can deny it, or you can indicate why you cannot admit or deny it. Here’s a critical point: if you simply fail to respond, the requests are deemed admitted. In credit card debt lawsuits, for example, credit card companies can file requests for admission that ask you to admit the debt is valid, that you owe the full amount they are suing you for, and that you have no legal defenses. If you don’t respond, you may have lost the opportunity to defend the case. The debt collector can then file a motion for summary judgment or motion for summary disposition and use your admissions to win the case before you even get your day in court. Don’t let this happen to you!