Capitol Heights, MD asked in Family Law for Maryland

Q: My question is, how can I answer this Interrogatory question with a proper objection for the State of Maryland

State whether you have had sexual relations with a person other than your spouse since the date of your marriage, and if your answer is in the affirmative, state the name and address of each person with whom you have had sexual relations, the date of each such activity, the location and address where each such act took place, and whether or not you contend that your spouse condoned same. If you refuse to answer this interrogatory as framed because the answer would ten

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: If the answer is "No," simply answer "No." If the truthful answer is "yes," then you decline to answer on the grounds that your answer would tend to incriminate you, and you assert your right to remain silent under the Maryland and US Constitutions. Acts that meet the definition of adultery (sexual intercourse involving some penetration of the vagina by the male sexual organ between a married person and someone not their spouse) qualify as a misdemeanor criminal offense in Maryland, which carries a whopping $10 fine per act (which I suppose could add up for some people). If you assert your privilege, your oppoent is still allowed to use that assertion in a civil court case (e.g., your divorce case) as an admission on your part that you did, in fact, commit adultery; however, that admission alone is insufficient to carry the burden of proof that adultery occurred--there must be some other corroborating affirmative evidence to support the finding. Your assertion of the privilege cannot be used against you in a criminal prosecution, so you are safe from the risk of conviction on that offense, as infinitesimally unlikely as it is that any proseutor would ever prosecute the charge.

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