Can you plead the 5th in civil court on questions I don't want to answer?

Asked over 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

I am being sued by a creditor for default credit card payment but I have my suspicion that he's trying to get more personal information to share to others about my financial situation. If I feel that the lawyer is prying without sticking to his lawsuit, how should I address to court so I don't have to answer SPECIFIC questions? Can I plead the 5th on certain questions asked by the judge as well?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Benjamin J Lieberman

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You may only invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent if you could be implicated in a crime. From what you describe you wouldn't be able to "plead the fifth." There may be other options available to you such as objecting on relevency grounds if applicable. You may want to run this by a civil litigation attorney. This really isn't a criminal question.

  2. Larry Jerome Couture

    Contributor Level 13

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If your are being deposed you can refuse to answer the question until the court makes a decision on your obligation, subject to terms. Usually, you are not allowed to object to question in deposition.

    If you are in court you can object to the question on relevancy grounds and the judge will tell you whether or not you have to answer. You are obliged to follow the court's instructions.

    If you have received interrogatories you can object to the quesiton. You can also seek a protective order in court.

    If this is "Supplimental Proceedings" I am sure the judge or commissioner told you that you could refuse to answer questions and to return to court for a decision.

    Under any circumstance, you should be represented by a lawyer because your question shows you don't understand the procedure and are lost in the legal system.

  3. Tai Christopher Bogan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You can't plead the fifth. In a deposition setting the best you can do is put the objection on the record but since there is no judge present to rule, then you answer it after the objection.

    On the other hand, you may want to consult with both a civil attorney or a bankruptcy attorney.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.

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