Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Case Law Development: In Testimony Regarding Vailidty of Marriage, New Jersey Court Limits Party's Ability to Invoke the Fifth Amendment Privilege against Self-Incrimination
The New Jersey Appellate Court reversed a trial courts order granting a judgment of divorce and dismissing Husband's claim for an annulment as the judge had suggested and then allowed wife to assert her 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The court held that, because Wife's testimony was also being given in support of her counterclaim for divorce, she had waived any protection afforded by the privilege. Moreover, there was no evidence that Wife actually faced potential criminal prosecution based on her testimony. Thus, the court held that Husband had been denied meaningful cross-examination on the issue of the validity of the marriage.
Attor v. Attor, 2006 N.J. Super. LEXIS 84 (March 24, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited March 28, 2006 bgf)