Texas Roadhouse, Inc. et al v. Texas Corral Restaurants, Inc. et al
OPINION AND ORDER: The Court hereby GRANTS Defendant Paul Switzer's 222 Motion to Have Requests Previously Deemed Admitted by Law Be Withdrawn and/or Amended and ORDERS Defendant Paul Switzer to serve on Plaintiff his Answers, which were filed as an exhibit to the instant motion, on or before 6/21/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Paul R Cherry on 6/14/17. (jss)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TEXAS ROADHOUSE, INC., et al.,
) CAUSE NO.: 2:16-CV-28-JVB-PRC
TEXAS CORRAL RESTAURANTS, INC., et al., )
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on a Defendant Paul Switzer’s Motion to Have Requests
Previously Deemed Admitted by Law Be Withdrawn and/or Amended [DE 222] filed on May 19,
2017. Plaintiffs filed a response on June 2, 2017, and Defendant Switzer filed a reply on June 8,
2017. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the Motion.
On July 18, 2016, Defendant Switzer filed a Motion to Dismiss the claims pending against
him. On August 3, 2016, Plaintiffs served Requests for Admissions on Defendant Switzer. The
Motion to Dismiss was denied on March 31, 2017. On April 4, 2017, in ruling on a Motion to
Compel, the Court informed the parties that, due to Defendant Switzer’s failure to respond to the
Requests for Admission and by operation of Rule 36(a)(3), Defendant Switzer had admitted the
matters addressed in the Requests for Admission. Defendant Switzer now asks to withdraw those
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a), if a matter is requested to be admitted
pursuant to that Rule, the matter is deemed admitted if the party to whom the request is directed does
not serve on the requesting party a written answer or objection to the request within thirty days. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a).
A party may seek relief from matters deemed admitted by filing a motion with the Court
asking to permit the withdrawal or amendment of the admissions. Id. at 36(b); see also Banos v. City
of Chi, 398 F.3d 889, 892 (7th Cir. 2005). According to Rule 36, “[a] matter admitted under this rule
is conclusively established unless the court, on motion, permits the admission to be withdrawn or
amended.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(b). Rule 36(b) further provides that “the 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
It is pursuant to Rule 36(b) that Defendant Switzer files his Motion to Withdraw Admissions.
Defendant Switzer admits that he did not serve timely responses to the Requests for Admission and
indicates that he did not respond to the Requests for Admission because of his pending Motion to
Dismiss. As the Court made clear in its April 4, 2017 Opinion and Order, Defendant Switzer was
mistaken in his assumption that the pending Motion to Dismiss relieved him of any need to
participate in discovery.
Regarding presentation of the merits, Defendant Switzer argues that permitting the
withdrawal of his admissions would promote the presentation of the merits of this action. The
matters addressed in the Requests for Admission are central to the issues in dispute. Plaintiffs
counter that they believe the admissions likely to be the truth, and therefore withdrawal of the
admissions is not necessary in order to present the merits of this action. That Plaintiffs and
Defendant Switzer disagree about matters central to the case is unsurprising. Despite Plaintiffs’
contention to the contrary, allowing Defendant Switzer to withdraw his admissions will promote the
presentation of this action on the merits.
Regarding prejudice, “[h]aving to prove one’s case on the merits is not the type of prejudice
that satisfies Rule 36(b).” Wells v. EMF Corp., 757 F. Supp. 2d 796-97 (N.D. Ind. 2010) (quoting
Van Hoose v. Nucor Corp., No. 1:06-cv-01565, 2007 WL 2898697, at *1 (S.D. Ind. Apr. 13, 2007)).
In support of a finding of prejudice, Plaintiffs point to the deposition scheduled for Defendant
Switzer for June 30, 2017, and the July 31, 2017 fact discovery deadline. Plaintiffs also assert,
without further detail, that they have relied on the admissions in formulating their discovery and
summary judgment strategy following the Court’s April 4, 2017 Opinion and Order. Plaintiffs
provide no specific matters in which they would be prejudiced. For example, Plaintiffs do not state
that they have already prepared for Defendant Switzer’s deposition. The Court is not persuaded that
Plaintiffs will be prejudiced by allowing the admissions to be withdrawn.
Because both prongs of the Rule 36(b) standard for permitting the withdrawal of admissions
are met, the Court has the discretion to decide whether to permit Defendant Switzer to withdraw his
admissions. Plaintiffs argue that the Court should not exercise this discretion because Defendant
Switzer made the intentional choice to disregard the Requests for Admission and because Defendant
Switzer waited six weeks after the Court’s April 4, 2017 Opinion and Order to file the instant
Defendant Switzer’s reliance on his pending Motion to Dismiss in deciding to ignore the
Requests for Admission was ill-placed but not necessarily made in bad faith. Defendant Switzer’s
lack of response is more intentional than instances where a party inadvertently misses a deadline to
respond, but there is no evidence or argument before the Court to indicate that Defendant Switzer
was deceptively withholding information from Plaintiffs in order to gain an unfair advantage in this
litigation. Further, the Court does not regard the six weeks between the issuance of the Court’s
Opinion and Order and the filing of the instant Motion to provide reason to withhold permission to
withdraw the admissions. Defendant Switzer’s deposition is over two weeks away, and the fact
discovery deadline is several weeks in the future. The Court, in its discretion, will allow Defendant
Switzer to withdraw his admissions.
Plaintiffs argue that they should be awarded their expenses and costs of relying on the
admissions in planning their discovery and summary judgment strategy. This case is unlike Van
Hoose, which Plaintiff cite in support of an award of expenses and costs. No. 1:06-cv-01565, 2007
WL 2898697 (S.D. Ind. Apr. 13, 2007). In Van Hoose, the requesting party had relied on the
admissions in filing a motion for summary judgment, and the Van Hoose court awarded expenses
and costs to eliminate prejudice to the requesting party. Plaintiffs do not indicate that they have
already relied on the admissions in preparing for Defendant Switzer’s deposition or any other matter
other than the forming of strategy, about which Plaintiffs provide no further details. The Court finds
that an award is not warranted here.
Based on the foregoing, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendant Paul Switzer’s Motion to
Have Requests Previously Deemed Admitted by Law Be Withdrawn and/or Amended [DE 222] and
ORDERS Defendant Paul Switzer to serve on Plaintiffs his Answers, which were filed as an exhibit
to the instant motion, on or before June 21, 2017.
So ORDERED this 14th day of June, 2017.
s/ Paul R. Cherry
MAGISTRATE JUDGE PAUL R. CHERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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