Affidavit and Statutory Declaration FAQ - United States

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This product FAQ was reviewed on Feb , 2011 .

Contents

What is the difference between an affidavit and a statutory declaration?

An affidavit is a sworn statement of facts that has been written down and sworn to by the affiant before individuals who are authorized to administer oaths. A statutory declaration is similar to an affidavit except that a statutory declaration is usually used outside of court settings. For example, proof of death to be used for land transfer when one of the grantor dies. These types of declarations are made subject to the provisions of certain legislation. Generally, a statutory declaration has the same force of effect as if made under oath.

Who is the affiant?

The affiant is the person who swears to an affidavit.

Who is the declarant?

The declarant is the person who makes a declaration.


What is a notary public?

A notary is similar to a commissioner for oaths. But in addition of being able to administer oaths, take affidavits, and declarations, a notary public can also attest or certify documents.

How should the paragraphs be drafted?

The list of facts sworn by the affiant or declarant must be his or her personal knowledge and the facts must be relevant to the proceeding in which the affidavit or statutory declaration will be used. The list the facts should be listed in a concise manner.

Please write in simple and complete sentences and limit each numbered clause to include only one or two ideas to ensure clarity. The goal is to convey the relevant facts clearly so it can be used support your argument or position in a proceeding. Listing dates and what you heard and saw happened should play an important part of your affidavit.

For example:

  1. I, Jane Doe, am an employee of ABC Inc.
  2. I started working at ABC Inc. on March of 2008, and John Doe has been my supervisor since the beginning of my employment at ABC Inc.
  3. John Doe has previously made sexually inappropriate comments and advances towards other female staff.
  4. Jane Doe II is a secretary whom I work with in the shipping department.
  5. The first instance of the said sexual harassment by John Doe occurred on April 1, 2008 when I heard him making lewd comments about Jane Doe II’s beast size in the lunch room.
  6. Jane Doe II was clearly uncomfortable about John Doe’s comments and had asked him to stop, however he persisted and attempted to touch grope her breasts, at which point, Jane Doe II ran out of the room.


For example:

  1. I, Jane Doe, am one of the registered owners of the property with the following legal description: insert legal description here.
  2. The Property was registered in my name and the name of my husband, John Doe, as joint tenants.
  3. Attached is the death certificate for John Doe, the same joint tenant as above, issued in the State of Texas on Jan 1, 2009.

What is a venue?

The venue is the place chosen by the parties, where the court proceeding will be taking place. Generally, all affidavits created for court and used before a judge will show the judicial district and court level on it. For example:


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

or

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO EASTERN DIVISION

What is a backer?

A backer is attached as the last page of a document that lists the action number, style of cause as well as the contact address of yourself or your lawyer. In most jurisdictions, a backer needs to be attached to any document to be filed at the court. However, since the format of the backer is different across jurisdictions, it is not included in our product. Please consult with your local clerk of the court for details.

What ID number needs to be entered?

The ID assigned to the case by the court needs to be entered into the box. It is used to identify the case and its documents in the court's filing. The ID can be numerical or alphabetical and numerical depending on the jurisdiction. It can be found in the upper right hand corner area of your court documents from the same case.

e.g. CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:99cv-705 or DOCKET NO. 269 MDS001.

Please contact your local courthouse clerk for further details.

What is an exhibit?

It is a document that is attached to and incorporated into an affidavit. Usually, the exhibit is referred to in the affidavit and will serve as evidence to support the statement/s in an affidavit. For example, in a trial with contract dispute, the contract itself would often be used as an exhibit.

How does one include an exhibit?

The exhibit needs to be identified and shown to the affiant before the individual who will be swearing the affiant. After referencing the document in the affidavit, insert “now produced and shown to me and marked as Exhibit A” in the sentence. Each subsequent exhibit will be labeled with the next letter. (i.e. B, C, D etc.) And once all letters of the alphabet are used up, a number will be inserted after the letter. (A1, A2, A3, etc).

What is the signing date of the affidavit?

It is the date when the affidavit will be signed by the affiant in front of the notary public.