Requests for admission in California unlawful detainer cases are useful tools for landlords wishing to narrow down the case and to help prepare for the eviction unlawful detainer trial. A request for admission in a California unlawful detainer asks the other party (in this case, the tenant), to admit the genuineness of specified documents or of certain facts. For example, a landlord can ask the tenant to admit that the tenant received the termination notice. The landlord can also ask the tenant to admit to subleasing. In the former example, a tenant who admits receiving the 3 day notice may alleviate the need to have the process server testify at trial. In the latter example, if the eviction is based on illegal subleasing, and the tenant admits to the illegal subleasing, it makes the landlord’s case that much easier.
Notwithstanding the merits of requests for admission in California unlawful detainer cases, oftentimes landlords will choose not to serve requests for admissions on the tenant because of the cost and time involved.
If a landlord sends a tenant a request for admission in California and the tenant fails to answer the request for admission, the landlord can request a court order to have the unanswered questions deemed admitted. The court needs to grant the motion unless a response is giving before the hearing on the motion. Furthermore, a monetary sanction must be imposed on the tenant if they fail to serve a timely response, unless the tenant acted with substantial justification or proves to the court that they had a good reason for not serving the response on time.
In addition, if the tenant denies a request for admission and the landlord later proves the genuiness of the document or the truth of the matter, the landlord can ask the court for an award of reasonable expenses incurred in making the proof, including attorney fees.