City of San Jose v. MediMarts, Inc.

Defendant could not plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid his obligation to collect and pay business taxes to City of San Jose for his marijuana co-op.  A corporate officer may not rely on the Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination in order to avoid producing corporate records.  As an officer of a marijuana co-op, defendant was required to collect and pay business taxes to San Jose on the co-op’s behalf.  Defendant could not avoid that obligation by invoking the Fifth Amendment in his own individual capacity since the tax was imposed on the co-op, not on him personally.  Defendant had claimed that paying the taxes would incriminate him by forcing him to admit he had possessed marijuana for sale and had sold it.

California Court of Appeal, Sixth District (Elia, Acting P.J.); July 21, 2016; 2016 WL 3960165

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