United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Determine Sufficiency of
Defendants' Supplemental Answers to Plaintiff's Third
Request for Admissions (Doc. 181) filed by pro se
Plaintiff Marco Damon Duncan (“Duncan”)
(#37679-048). Duncan is an inmate in the custody of the
Federal Bureau of Prisons incarcerated at the United States
Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado.
Defendants' response is partially deficient, Duncan's
Motion to Determine Sufficiency of Defendants'
Supplemental Answers to Plaintiff's Third Request for
Admissions (Doc. 181) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
initiated this litigation pursuant to Bivens v. Six
Unknown Agents of the Federal Bureau of
Narcotics (Docs. 1, 16, 20) alleging that he was
subjected to excessive force when he was incarcerated at the
United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana.
previously filed a Motion to Determine the Sufficiency of
Plaintiff's Third Request for Admissions
(“RFA”) (Doc. 154) arguing that Defendants'
responses to certain requests did not comply with Rule
36(a)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A hearing
was conducted on July 8, 2019, at which the Court denied in
part and granted in part Duncan's Motion. Defendants were
specifically ordered to supplement their responses to RFA 3,
4, 5, 10, and 24. (Doc. 164).
Motion (Doc. 181), Duncan claims that Defendants'
supplemental responses to RFA 5 and 10 are still insufficient
and should be deemed admitted.
Law and Analysis
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows parties to
request admissions regarding the truth of any matters within
the scope of Rule 26(b)(1), including ultimate facts, as well
as applications of law to fact, or opinions about either.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 36; see also In re Carney, 258 F.3d
415, 419 (5th Cir. 2001). The scope of Rule 36 “allows
litigants to winnow down issues prior to trial and thus focus
their energy and resources on disputed matters.” In
re Carney, 258 F.3d at 419. However, Rule 36 does not
provide for requests for admission regarding pure legal
conclusions. Id. (citing Playboy Enterprises,
Inc. v. Welles, 60 F.Supp.2d 1050, 1057 (S.D. Cal. 1999)
(“Requests for admissions cannot be used to compel an
admission of a conclusion of law.”)).
responding to requests for admission, a party must
“specifically deny [them] or state in detail why the
answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(4). “A denial must fairly respond to
the substance of the matter; and when good faith requires
that a party qualify an answer or deny only a part of a
matter, the answer must specify the part admitted and qualify
or deny the rest.” Id. “The answering
party may assert lack of knowledge or information as a reason
for failing to admit or deny only if the party states that it
has made reasonable inquiry and that the information it knows
or can readily obtain is insufficient to enable it to admit
or deny.” Id.
RFA 5 states:
Please admit that there were inmates on the prison recreation
yard at USP-P on 1-13-2017, while plaintiff was briefly
escorted in front of the B-2 housing unit ...