The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT CARSON'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW DEEMED ADMISSIONS
On November 5, 2008, Defendant Robert Carson ("Carson") filed the instant motion to withdraw deeded admissions. The matter was heard on December 12, 2008, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. Thornton Davidson appeared on behalf of Carson. Mandy Jeffcoach appeared on behalf of Defendant Craig Davis ("Davis").
This action for declaratory and other relief to establish the ownership rights in 12 limited partnership units was filed on August 25, 2006. To date, most of the claims have been resolved by prior summary judgment motions and settlements. The only remaining claims are cross-claims between Carson and Davis. Carson has brought cross-claims against Davis for malpractice and breach of contract, and Davis has brought cross-claims against Carson for fraud-related causes of action.
Davis filed a motion for summary judgment on October 17, 2008, based on newly discovered facts from Carson's deemed admissions. The motion will be heard after the instant motion to withdraw the admissions is decided.
Carson filed this motion to the deemed admissions on November 5, 2008.
Davis filed his opposition on November 25, 2008. No reply has been filed.
The pre-trial conference is set for January 8, 2009, and trial is set for February 24, 2009.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a) states that a matter is deemed admitted "unless, within 30 days after service of the request ... the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or by the party's attorney." Once admitted, the matter "is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission" pursuant to Rule 36(b). Rule 36(b) provides, in pertinent part:
[T]he court may permit withdrawal or amendment if it would promote the presentation of the merits of the action and if the court is not persuaded that it would prejudice the requesting party in maintaining or defending the action on the merits.
Rule 36(b) is permissive, not mandatory, with respect to the withdrawal of admissions. Conlon v. United States, 474 F.3d 616, 621 (9th Cir. 2007). The rule permits the district court to exercise its discretion to grant relief from an admission made under Rule 36(a) only when (1) "the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved," and (2) "the party who obtained the admission fails to satisfy the court that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice that party in maintaining the action or defense on the merits." Conlon, 474 F.3d at 621-622. Although these two factors are central to the analysis, in deciding whether to exercise its discretion when the moving party has met the two-pronged test of Rule 36(b), the district court may consider other factors, including whether the moving party can show good cause for the delay and whether the moving party appears to have a strong case on the merits. Conlon, 474 F.3d at 625.
Rule 36 "seeks to serve two important goals: truth-seeking in litigation and efficiency in dispensing justice." Conlon, 474 F.3d at 622; see ...