I filed some exhibits (public docs and letters) along with my answer to the complaint. Do I need to file a separate paper (request to admit facts) asking the opposition to answer or deny?
If faced with an Answer with documents attached, I would move to strike those documents from the answer if I were opposing you. A Rule 216 Request to Admit facts or Request to Admit Genuiness of Documents would be initiated by a separate pleading filed upon the opposing party. You would attach whatever you are asking the other party to admit as genuine as an exhibit.
You should be mindful that there is specific language that now must be contained in a Rule 216 Request in order for it to be effective. Also, you should take your time to craft your requests in small steps, setting forth only one fact per request.
Rule 216 can be a very effective trial tool if used appropriately. You cannot include such a request in an Answer though.
This response is being provided for information purposes only and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Furthermore, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. While there are oftentimes similarities between States' laws, there can also be large differences. You should not rely on this response as legal advice and are highly encouraged to speak to an attorney licensed in your State for an accurate legal answer.
You have mixed two unrelated concepts.
Rule 216 is a discovery tool [i.e., mechanism for gathering evidence]
An response is part of the process of "pleading" [complaint, response, reply, affirmative defense]. Although you indicate that you filed an "answer," an answer offers nothing more than admissions/denials...you admit to having done more.
If you had raised an affirmative defense to strike/dismiss, or if your "answers" raised "affirmative allegations" in addition to simply stating "admit" or "deny," exhibits in support would not be improper as a matter of law.
It's difficult to give you comprehensive advice without seeing the complaint, your "answer," or the exhibits you incorporated.
Without more, my best advice is that you should petition the court for leave to amend what you call your "answer"--there is just too much confusion already in place.
Given that this is the beginning of the lawsuit, and you have already displayed a very confused understanding of CRITICAL concepts, I would caution you againt continuing on a pro se basis.
As far as I am concerned, the entire litigation may already have been dismissed with a single motion to dismiss with prejudice. The fact is, you don't know what you already may have waived or perhaps whether you already lost the lawsuit by admitting something you should not have...or failing to raise a motion to strike and dismiss.
Oftentimes, it may appear that you are saving money because you never write out a check to an attorney. But if the litigation stretches out for years and/or you end up losing, will you have saved money?
I offer this advice not to alarm you, but to encourage caution. I wish you all the success in your continued litigation efforts.
The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above, should not be considered legal advice. An initial attorney-client conference, based upon review of all relevant facts/documents, will be necessary to provide legal advice upon which the client should then rely.