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Is a good idea to use the 5th amendment in family court when accused to call cops on ex girlfriend?

Boonton, NJ |

My friend bumped into his ex in a night club. Ex was drinking a lot. At the exit, my friend saw ex warming her car while talking to a guy. He approached her to tell her “do not drive u r drunk”. Ex tell him to go to hell. Then my friend while walking on the street spot a cop and advised the cop that ex is sitting in her car drunk ready to drive. Cop goes to investigate as a result she gets DWI. Now she filed a TRO claiming he followed her, called the cops on her etc.Q1: If the judge ask him “did you call the cops?” can he use the 5th amendment?. Q2:since he called the cops, ex lost her job as a school driver and went to jail. Can Judge take his child custody away because he is acting in bad faith putting ex in trouble?.

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Attorney answers 6


An attorney can't advise on trial strategy without extensive meetings and review of all discovery. The fact pattern here is complex. Further, it is about someone else. A formal review is required.

Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


This is not a criminal defense question. He will not be incriminating himself by answering whether he called the cops. The judge probably would not consider that he was acting in bad faith by reporting a potential crime.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.


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More information is needed but I do not see what he did wrong. From your post he did not follow her and he reported her for everyone’s good. I do not think the TRO will fly. First of all she was drunk so her perception is in question. Calling the cops is not an illegal act unless it was a false report which it was not. Have him retain an attorney. He has to have the cops there and the DWI reports.


I imagine the scenario is more complex than that. I cannot advise you whether to plead the fifth unless it have had an in person meeting and know all the facts.


In a civil proceeding, using the 5th has different application than a criminal one. Q2 is a statement not a question. Q3, Yes judge could, but the question is what would a judge do. Your question starts out describing the conduct as being in good faith and ends with it being in bad faith. This is why you need an attorney.

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