Rav Dovid Josilowsky Question: Typically, if one party has the money under dispute in his…
Rav Dovid Josilowsky
Question: If a dayan has reason to suspect that one of the litigants is lying, what should do about it?
Answer: The Gemara describes how dayanim would sometimes pasken according to “umdenah”, i.e., their own evaluation of the situation, even if it was not fully in line with the letter of the law. The Rambam, however, says that today’s batei din are not on the level of being able to do that. He says that if a dayan believes that the defendant is evading the truth, he can interrogate him to try to get to the bottom of the matter or he can suggest a pshara.
The Rosh goes a step further and says that if a dayan feels that a party is not being truthful, he can make his own evaluation and determine what he thinks is right, and enforce a pshara accordingly.
In any event, the dayan has to be extremely careful and only enforce a ruling if he is convinced that what he is doing is right and that it will lead to a peaceful outcome.