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matrimonial confessions

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by bacalhau, Aug 13, 2002.

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  1. bacalhau

    bacalhau Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi, I saw once a story about a couple where the husband confesses a crime, to his wife, while they were laying down in their own bed, and later she tries to take him to court but nothing can be done, because such confession was made in their own house, inside their bedroom and while in bed.
    is there any truth to this ?

    please note, that I haven't commited any crime or have intent of so :)

    thanks

    C. Ferreira
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    It is commonly called the "marital privilege" in the rules of evidence. In order to foster certain relationships which would be destroyed if cofidences could not be kept, some confidences are "privileged" and not subject to be subpoenaed in court.

    The easiest one is the Doctor-Patient privilege -- if the court could subpoena the doctor, psychiatric patients would be afraid to be honest with their doctors. With regard to the marital union, if something is said from a husband to wife or vice versa during the course of their relationship as husband and wife, e.g. while they are in bed together, if a court could subpoena them to disclose everything they said, which might include items that have little to do with the crime, it would seriously strain the marital relationship.

    However, the privilege does not extend in several circumstances, e.g. if the couple was separated, there was the presence of a third party which would make the conversation not really "confidential." I believe that it also does not apply in certain circumstances where the couple planned to commit a crime together.
     

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