Although defendant Mahoney did not respond to defendant Davis Roofing Group’s requests to admit, the master-in-equity did not abuse his discretion when he declined to deem the requests admitted. Mahoney, who was proceeding pro se at the time, denied ever receiving the requests to admit and was hospitalized for a serious medical condition at the time Davis Roofing sent the requests. After his hospitalization, Mahoney obtained counsel, who contacted Davis Roofing and inquired whether any further responses were requested; nothing further was requested. Davis Roofing did not move to compel and waited until the eve of trial to move for summary judgment based on Mahoney’s failure to respond. Likewise, a copy of the requests was not provided to plaintiff until the eve of trial. Finally, Davis Roofing examined Mahoney at trial, defeating a claim of prejudice.
Under these circumstances, we affirm the master’s refusal to deem the requests admitted.
We also find Davis Roofing’s corollary arguments regarding whether the master erred by allowing Mahoney to withdraw the admissions under Rule 35(b), SCRCP, and by failing to rule consistently with the form and substance of Rule 36 are encompassed within the issue addressed above. Further, nothing in the record indicates the master made a finding Mahoney could withdraw his admissions; rather, the master found the requests were not admitted at all.
Nexstar Media Group v. David Roofing Group, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-068-20, 11 pp.) (Aphrodite Konduros, J.) Appealed from Spartanburg County (Gordon Cooper, Master-in-Equity) John Clifford Strickland for appellant; Craig Horger Allen for plaintiff; James Stone Craven for respondent. S.C. App.