State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 804 > 804.11

804.11

804.11 Requests for admission.

804.11(1)

(1) Request for admission.

804.11(1)(a)

(a) Except as provided in s. 804.015, 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 s. 804.01 (2) 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 shall be served with the request unless they have been or are otherwise furnished or made available for inspection and copying. The request may, without leave of court, 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.

804.11(1)(b)

(b) Each matter of which an admission is requested shall 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, 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 attorney, but, unless the court shortens the time, a defendant shall not be required to serve answers or objections before the expiration of 45 days after service of the summons and complaint upon the defendant. If objection is made, the reasons therefor shall be stated. The answer shall specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission, and when 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 he or she had 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 may, subject to s. 804.12 (3) deny the matter or set forth reasons why the party cannot admit or deny it.

804.11(1)(c)

(c) The party who has requested the 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 this section, it may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served. The court may, in lieu of these orders, determine that final disposition of the request be made at a pretrial conference or at a designated time prior to trial. Section 804.12 (1) (c) applies to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.

804.11(2)

(2) Effect of admission. Any matter admitted under this section is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. 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 prejudice the party in maintaining the action or defense on the merits. Any admission made by a party under this section 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 proceeding.

804.11 - ANNOT.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 682 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1977 c. 447 s. 210; 1983 a. 192; Sup. Ct. Order No. 95-04, 191 Wis. 2d, xxi (1995); 1997 a. 133.

804.11 - ANNOT.

The trial court erred in ruling that requests for admissions were limited to matters not denied in the pleadings. Schmid v. Olsen, 111 Wis. 2d 228, 330 N.W.2d 547 (1983).

804.11 - ANNOT.

Summary judgment can be based upon a party's failure to respond to a request for admissions, even if an admission would be dispositive of the entire case. Bank of Two Rivers v. Zimmer, 112 Wis. 2d 624, 334 N.W.2d 230 (1983).

804.11 - ANNOT.

A negligence claim's total value was not a proper subject of a request for admission. Kettner v. Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Co. 146 Wis. 2d 636, 431 N.W.2d 737 (Ct. App. 1988).

804.11 - ANNOT.

A court may permit withdrawal of admissions if both statutory conditions under sub. (2) are met, but it is not required to do so. A court may consider a party's history of discovery abuse when deciding whether to permit withdrawal or amendment of admissions, when determining prejudice under sub. (2) and when otherwise exercising the court's authority to control the orderly and prompt processing of a case. Mucek v. Nationwide Communications, Inc. 2002 WI App 60, 252 Wis. 2d 426, 643 N.W.2d 98, 00-3039.

804.11 - ANNOT.

The prejudice contemplated by sub. (2) is not simply that a party obtaining the admissions would be worse off without the admissions. Prejudice in maintaining the action or defense on the merits relates to the difficulty a party may face in proving its case, e.g., caused by the unavailability of key witnesses, because of the sudden need to obtain evidence with respect to the questions previously answered by the admissions. The fact that a trial must be adjourned, or that the time for discovery must be enlarged, does not necessarily mean that the non-moving party will suffer prejudice in maintaining the action or defense on the merits. A party will not be prejudiced in maintaining a defense on the merits if they are placed in the same position they would have been in had the admissions not been mistakenly made. Luckett v. Bodner, 2009 WI 68, 318 Wis. 2d 423, 769 N.W.2d 504, 07-0308.

804.11 - ANNOT.

It is the burden of the party obtaining the admissions to demonstrate that withdrawal or amendment of the admissions will prejudice that party in maintaining their defense on the merits. Under sub. (2), excusable neglect is not a prerequisite for withdrawal or amendment of an admission. A court must consider the effect upon the litigation and prejudice to the resisting party, rather than focusing on the moving party's excuses for an erroneous admission. Luckett v. Bodner, 2009 WI 68, 318 Wis. 2d 423, 769 N.W.2d 504, 07-0308.

804.11 - ANNOT.

Requests For Admissions in Wisconsin Civil Procedure: Civil Litigation's Double-Edged Sword. Kinsler. 78 MLR 625.