In a Civil Trial, can either party invoke the 5th Ammendment when testifying?

It can be used in a criminal trial, but not sure about Civil.

1 Answer

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You have the right, but there are consequences in a civil trial.

    From Wiki:

    The Supreme Court has held that “the Fifth Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions when they refuse to testify in response to probative evidence offered against them.” Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308, 318 (1976).

    “[A]s Mr. Justice Brandeis declared, speaking for a unanimous court in the Tod case, ‘Silence is often evidence of the most persuasive character.’” Id. at 319 (quoting United States ex rel. Bilokumsky v. Tod, 263 U.S. 149, 153-154 (1923)). “‘Failure to contest an considered evidence of acquiescence...if it would have been natural under the circumstances to object to the assertion in question.’” Id. (quoting United States v. Hale, 422 U.S. 171, 176 (1975)).

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