Article XII, of the Declaration of Rights to the Massachusetts Constitution states:
No subject shall be... compelled to accuse, or furnish evidence against himself.
Massachusetts has long held that a party in a civil case seeking shelter under the privilege against self-incrimination of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Art. 12 of the Declaration of Rights of the Constitution of Massachusetts may be the subject of a negative inference by a fact finder. TOWN OF Falmouth V. Civil Service Commission, 447 Mass. 814, 826 (2006); citing: Lentz v. Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 437 Mass. 23, 26 (2002), citing Kaye v. Newhall, 356 Mass. 300, 305-306 (1969), and Phillips v. Chase, 201 Mass. 444, 450 (1909).
Therefore in order to avoid self incrimination in a civil case a witness may answer potentially incriminating questions as follows:
"Pursuant to the right afforded to me under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article Twelve of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, I respectfully refuse to answer."
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