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Matter of A.G – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Matter of A.G., 6 Misc 3d 447, 785 NYS2d 313 Sup Ct, Broome County 2004) the court held that the Fifth Amendment and CPLR 4501 provided a privilege to a respondent in an article 81 guardianship proceeding to refuse to testify as a witness against himself:

"It is inherently offensive to our Constitution and due process to require a person to testify against himself or herself in a proceeding where that person's liberty is at stake. The Fifth Amendment triumphantly says it cannot be done in criminal prosecutions. The Supreme Court has held it cannot be done in juvenile proceedings. (In re Gault, 387 US 1, 87 S Ct 1428, 18 L Ed 2d 527 (1967).) The same has to be true of proceedings where a person's life and liberty is at risk due to allegations of mental illness or incapacity." (6 Misc 3d at 453.)