Notice to Admit
A notice to admit is an extremely useful tool. Many lawyers rely heavily on Notices to Admit to prepare for trial. A notice to admit is a document where you ask the other side to admit that a fact is true or that a document is accurate (you can ask either that the facts in a document are true, or that the document is what it says it is).
Notices to admit can be delivered to any other party in the proceeding. They are dealt with in Rule 7-7 and Form 26. Parties have 14 days to respond to a notice to admit.
If you are served with a Notice to Admit you must respond within 14 days. There is a very important time limit in Rule 7-7(1). If you do not reply to a notice to admit within 14 days, you are deemed to have admitted the facts contained in the notice to admit. Those facts may be very important and it is difficult to withdraw an admission, even a deemed one, once it is made.
Once a fact is admitted, it is no longer at issue in the proceeding. A Notice to Admit can save you from having to prove facts at trial. This can lead to a huge savings of time and effort.
The practical part of a notice to admit is straightforward.
You prepare Form 26, in which you set out facts and attach documents. You ask the other party to admit the truth of the facts and the authenticity of the documents. The person receiving the notice to admit can either admit or deny the facts or documents. For example, if a term of the contract is in dispute, you can ask the other party to admit that the contract is the one that both parties signed.
Like a list of documents, set out each fact and document in separately numbered paragraphs. This makes it easier to respond to the notice to admit. The other party can answer each question by setting down the number of the question and then stating one of these two answers: admitted or denied. If the answer is admitted, that single word is all that is required. If the answer is denied, you need to set out the reason why it is denied. There is no official form for a response to a notice to admit, but you can simply take the form of the notice to admit and include the one-word response in that form.
Notices to admit are a very good tool to help you prepare for trial. A well-drafted notice to admit makes preparing for trial much easier, so you may want to consult with a lawyer once you have prepared your notice to admit, to make sure that it is in good form and will get the results you want.
If a party denies a fact and the Court later finds that the refusal to admit was unreasonable, the Court may order the party to pay the costs of proving the truth of the fact (see Rule 7-7(4)).
For this reason parties might admit facts in response to a Notice to Admit even if they previously denied the fact in their Response to Civil Claim. If you think a party is unreasonably denying something in their response, it may then make sense to send a notice to admit.
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