does a child have to appear in court to testify against parent in domestic violence case?

I live in North Carolina and my son was a witness to domestic violence against another minor. My son is 17 and has been subpoenaed but does not wish to speak against his father. Is it his right to refuse or does he have to go?

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    That is a state by state thing, so ask the sitting or presiding judge for legal advise before any testimony is given.

    While defendants are entitled to assert that right, there are consequences to the assertion of the Fifth Amendment in a civil action.

    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)).

    I remember that case...

    I do not know that states laws, he can maybe plead the fifth.

    But ask an attorney which means ask the judge to appoint one or hire one.

  • 8 years ago

    If he has been subpoenaed he has to go. Its the court telling him to be there. If he doesn't show he could have a bench warrant put out for his arrest.

  • Zeltar
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    If your son signed an affidavit, then he probably wouldn’t have to go. But, since he’s already been subpoenaed, it’s the law that he must show up.

  • Reena
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    If he has been subpoenaed then he must go. He can plead the 5th but he still needs to show up. This is not "optional".

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    no he can say plea the 5th ...but other then that yes,thats the only way

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