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Garity Ruling
Supreme Court Garrity Ruling of 1967

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The Supreme Court Garrity Ruling of 1967 interprets this amendment by rejecting an officer's right to request counsel when ordered to write a report by internal affairs or other legal police supervisors even though the report may incriminate the officer.

The only protection the ruling affords is that the report may only be used for internal police investigations. This ruling has exposed many officers to abuses by overzealous internal affairs officers. To insure the report is used properly, a statement should be written on the report itself. Officers should always contact their PBA Rep, and a union rep should be present anytime he is interviewed by Internal Affairs or any other departmental supervisor in any disciplinary interview.

This statement should be written ABOVE ANY report an officer is ordered to write by the internal affairs division of the police department. This insures that the report can only be used against the officer in internal investigations and not used later should criminal charges of any type follow:

It is my understanding that this report is made for administrative, internal police department purposes only and will not be used as part of an official investigation. This report is made by me after being ordered to do so by lawful supervisory officers. It is my understanding that by refusing to obey an order to write this report that I can be disciplined for insubordination and that the punishment for insubordination can be up to and including termination of employment. This report is made only pursuant to such orders and the potential punishment / discipline that can result for failure to obey that order.

The Public Employment Relations Commission has determined that a union has a staturory right to represent a greivint at any meeting or interview which the employee reasonably expects to receive discipline (NLRB v. Weingarten Inc. 88 2689, 420 U.S. 251 [1975]) PERC No. 89-31, 5 NJPER 10206, viewed the unfair practice provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

NJSPBA Local #152 Middlesex County Corrections Officers

NJ State PBA