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.
- tonalc2Lv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
You have the right, but there are consequences in a civil trial.
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 assertion...is 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)).