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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78857 Find in a Library
Title: Discovery Rights for the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Plaintiff (From Techniques in the Investigation and Prosecution of Organized Crime - Materials on RICO, P 816-857, 1980, G. Robert Blakey, ed. See NCJ-78839)
Author(s): S Pickens
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 42
Document: PDF
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The scope of discovery rights for the plaintiff in civil proceedings under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is discussed, and how the privilege against self-incrimination will affect private civil actions under RICO is considered.
Abstract: Private plaintiffs bringing a RICO treble-damage action have broad discovery rights under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The rules authorize discovery regarding any matter not privileged which is relevant to the subject matter of the pending action. One limitation on the scope of discovery is the privilege against self-incrimination. The privilege applies to facts which directly or indirectly involve a criminal liability. Any information within the privilege is precluded from discovery. Because the facts that establish civil liability under RICO also involve criminal conduct, RICO defendants are likely to assert the privilege against self-incrimination during pretrial discovery. As a result, the plaintiff may be prevented from ever discovering the defendant's misconduct. If a stay is granted, discovery may be delayed until the termination of possibly lengthy criminal proceedings. The most effective alternative in such a case is a protective order under Rule 26(c). A protective order would allow discovery to go forward but would ensure that information is revealed only for the use of parties to the action. Selected provisions from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are appended. A total of 141 footnotes are appended. For additional material on RICO, see NCJ 78839. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Pretrial discovery; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act; Right against self incrimination
Note: Available in microfiche from NCJRS as NCJ-78839
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