Plead the Fifth

The Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and protects against unfair treatment in legal processes.┬áThe Amendment requires that felonies be tried only upon indictment by a grand jury. The grand jury is a pre-constitutional common law institution, and a constitutional fixture in its own right exclusively embracing common law. The process applies to the states to the extent that the states have incorporated grand juries and/or common law. Most states have an alternative civil process. “Although state systems of criminal procedure differ greatly among themselves, the grand jury is similarly guaranteed by many state constitutions and plays an important role in fair and effective law enforcement in the overwhelming ┬ámajority of the States.” Branzburg v. Hayes (No. 70-85) 1972. The Amendment also provides several trial protections, including the right against self-incrimination (held to also apply to custodial interrogations and before most government bodies) as well as the right to be tried only once (“double jeopardy”) in federal court for the same offense. The Amendment also has a Due Process Clause (similar to the one in the 14th Amendment) as well as an implied equal protection requirement (Bolling v. Sharpe). Finally, the Amendment requires that the power of eminent domain be coupled with “just compensation” for those whose property is taken.

Parties may bring suit for a refund of taxes paid. Explicitly excluded are suits in which a claim is based on a tort by the government.

Advocacy Against Judicial Immunity

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