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March 12, 2014

Requests to Admit Can Be Reviewed on an Interlocutory Basis

Can the validity of responses to a Request to Admit be reviewed on an interlocutory basis?  Yes, according to a recent motion decision.

In Glover v. Gorski, 2013 ONSC 6578 (S.C.J.), the minor plaintiff was struck by a Waste Management truck while crossing a highway.  The defendants served a Request to Admit prior to disclosure and discoveries.  The plaintiffs made a global refusal, "to admit the truth of the facts...on the basis that the truth or falsity of the facts alleged is not entirely clear, calls for a conclusion to be determined by the trier of fact or the statement(s) alleged is vague".  The defendants brought a motion to compel the plaintiff to provide answers.  One issue was whether a motions judge could make an Order or whether the matter must be left to a trial judge.

Justice Gauthier held that a Request to Admit can be reviewed on an interlocutory basis.  She held that the plaintiffs' blanket refusal and reasons offered for the refusal were not responsive, and ordered they deliver a Response within 20 days.

A Request to Admit is most often served prior to trial to narrow down issues, but Glover shows that it can also be useful at earlier stages of the litigation to narrow issues.

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