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Can supporting exhibits be attached to an answer without filing a motion to IL S Ct Rule 216?

Hoffman Estates, IL |

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?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

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.

Good luck!

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.

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Luke Allen Thomas

Luke Allen Thomas

Posted

*the above should read Genuineness

Asker

Posted

Would please clarify the reason "you cannot include such a request in an Answer"? Rule 216 clause (b) allows copies of documents to be furnished separate from the request. No where in the statute does it indicate exhibits cannot be furnished with the answer. "(b) Request for Admission of Genuineness of Document. A party may serve on any other party a written request for admission of the genuineness of any relevant documents described in the request. Copies of the documents shall be served with the request *unless copies have already been furnished." I filed the request 2 weeks after furnishing the documents. Plaintiff is admitting to most of the documents under the condition that a certain word is defined. Yes, i did include the "warning" on the front page. Initially, I had not considered filing one fact per request. Would you please explain how it would aide my defense to file one fact per request if I have more than one to file. Seems like an exhaustive and inefficient process to me. As I see it, the only rationale for filing one fact per request is it may limit exposing a strategy in the defense from the outset.

Luke Allen Thomas

Luke Allen Thomas

Posted

If the Plaintiff felt that you properly identified the documents such that they could answer your request, then I guess you are fine in not attaching it to the Request. However, most of the time a party will object that you have not sufficiently identified the document unless you have attached it as an exhibit. As far as properly writing a request to admit facts, one fact per request. This does not mean you have to serve them with several documents, but rather, include several numbered requests in the same document. For example: 1. Admit it rained in Springfield, Illinois at 2:00 p.m. on March 5, 2013. 2. So on and so forth. What I was suggesting is do no include multiple facts in a numbered request. Ex. The pavement was dry and the light was green on March 5, 2013 at the subject intersection. In this example, there cannot be a simple admit or deny if the party only believes that part of the request is true. The party is not required to re-write the question so that they can respond. They may be willing to admit the pavement was dry, but not admit the light was green. They are not required to explain there answer and will simply object that the request is compound. Good luck!

Asker

Posted

Thanks.

Posted

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.

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Posted

I do appreciate your advice. Exactly, that's what I am doing, gathering evidence. I did raise affirmative defenses partially based on evidence relied on my exhibits attached in the answer; affirmative defenses on material fact yet to be submitted; and, speculative and conclusory evidence. "exhibits in support would not be improper as a matter of law". That's what I thought. However, I requesting the court grant the admission of the exhibits as genuine fact because Plaintiff is striking my Aff. defs. and CCs --if in case it goes to trial and I need to rely on these documents. The docs are public record. I do plan to amend my answer, aff defs and CC according to statute 615 clause d; to better clarify and base my argument on the existing and new material fact from the on-going investigation. No, it has not been dismissed with prejudice. I would vacate if they tried it and sanction both counsels pursuant to rule 137 for bad faith. The material fact plaintiff's counsels rely on is fraudulent documents even upon prima cie, I just yet have to point it out to counsels and the judge. What happened to following the code of ethics? I am sure I haven't waived my rights to add more defenses and counterclaims, even those under 1504 "request for relief". If I were denied it, that's prejudice. Thank you for the wishes.

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