I am a judgment debtor in a civil case and have been served interrogatories and I have been asked to answer some interrogatories regarding my wife even though she is not a part of the case nor is she mentioned in the case at all. She was sent separate interrogatories and refused to answer them as she is not a part of the case. The District court ruled she did not have to answer her interrogatories as she was not a part of the case but also ruled I needed to answer any interrogatories regarding her in my interrogatories. I am going to appeal the court's decision as the case is entirely mine, and not hers. Is this not a case of spousal privilege, and what citation should I use in my appeal to the appellate court?
you may appeal the order, but in many cases, answering questions about your spouse are neccessary, as they may be asked in order to see if you transferred assets of yours into her name.
Also, if you are in a Community Property state it would be relevant.
Is there a Federal Rules citation I can use in my appeal
The Federal law does not support you not answering, but in regards XXXXX XXXXX judgments, their is an innocent spouse defense which makes spouses not liable for tax judgments of a spouse.
It is not an IRS judgment and the interrogatory in question is regarding my wife's employment which is none of their business as she is not a party to the civil judgment which is strictly mine. Is there a Spousal Privilege citation similar to attorney-client where I am not compelled to release her information? This is what I need to know before I file the Notice to Appeal with the Appellate Court here in Colorado
No, not for Interrogatories, but you can forget the appeal and answer "do not know" "do not know at his time" or "forgot" in regards XXXXX XXXXX regarding your wife, but your attorney should give you the appropriate language.
Mr. Paturi, if I gave those answers they would be untrue. Surely there must be some legal grounds I can base my appeal on to not answer interrogatories about my wife who is not a party to this case? If you were a judgment debtor and your wife was not at all involved in your debt, would you answer interrogatories regarding her?
then your answer would be true if you state in the negative, the role of the discovery process in civil cases, is to establish all the evidence, i have sent discovery questions regarding spouses, as people do hide assets in their spouses names, if you ave questions such as that you would state no.
This is not a case of hiding assets, there are none to hide, it is a case of privacy for my wife and not having her information available in a case she is not involved. My apologies, I am confused, I'm not sure if I understand your answer 'if you state in the negative', please explain further. When the question is asked 'Where is your wife employed?' you are suggesting my answer should be ?
you would state the truth, if their are any questions besides simple questions such as that you would answer truthfully. I understand the privacy issue, but understand an appeal would be costly and the law is not on your side in this regard.
If they ask questions you feel are not relevant, state "not relevant" your attorney should do that also.
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