A silly example: "Do you or anyone close to you prefer pancakes to waffles?"

Does the phrase refer to

  • my immediate family (spouse, children, parents, or siblings)?
  • My extended family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins)?
  • Friends?
  • Work associates?

Google just gave me a bunch of example questions but no definition, so I'm just wondering if there is a generally accepted interpretation.

1 Answer 1


This is not a technical legal term. If you hate your mother and haven't spoken to her for years, she's not "close to you". It's someone you like a lot; not just tolerate. If your wife, who you love, prefers pancakes over waffles and you say "No", you have committed perjury and if they find out you can be sent to prison. You can try to defend yourself against the perjury charge by proving that you hate her, unless there's convincing evidence that you don't.

  • So is it just a question of endearment or is a certain level of interaction implied? If my high school best friend (whom I speak with maybe a couple times a year but see all their Facebook/Instagram/etc updates) prefers pancakes, would that be considered "close"? Jul 6, 2020 at 0:03
  • 1
    The question is intended to gauge probability of improper influence on a juror. For example, "Do you have a close friend who was accused of sex abuse?" could be asked to find out whether you would have improper resistance to convicting on that account; or "...who was the victim of sex abuse?" to get at bias against the accused. I would say "yes" in the case of a high school best friend especially if high school was 10-15 years ago. As I said, it is not a technical term. You can always say "I knew a guy, let me describe my relation to him".
    – user6726
    Jul 6, 2020 at 1:13
  • 3
    @maybe_a_juror You're overthinking this. The question isn't a must-understand-the-law query. It's a simple question; imagine you were asked by an acquaintance, and just answer it. All done. Jul 6, 2020 at 1:40

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