Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Citation: 2008 WY 90
Docket Number: S-07-0115
Certified Question from the
Representing Appellant: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Ryan R. Roden, Deputy Public Defender; Tina N. Kerin, Appellate Counsel; Kirk Allan Morgan, Assistant Appellate Counsel; Scott Mitchel Guthrie, Senior Assistant Public Defender.
Representing Appellee: Bruce A. Salzburg, Attorney General; Terry L. Armitage, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Dana Jill Lent, Assistant Attorney General.
The district court certified this question:
Can an alleged victim spouse be compelled by the State of Wyoming to testify against his or her spouse or does the witness-spouse alone have a privilege to refuse to testify adversely and that the witness may neither be compelled to testify nor foreclosed from testifying?
In the federal system, the application of marital privilege is generally governed by federal common law. Congress has not expressed a particular policy preference regarding marital privilege. The
Holding: The marital privilege does not apply when one spouse is charged with a crime against the other. When the exception applies as set forth in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-12-104, the witness spouse may be compelled to testify.
J. Burke delivered the decision.
Link: http://tinyurl.com/6ysm6r .
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