What is an Affidavit?
An affidavit is a statement made under oath that some fact, or set of facts, is true to the best of knowledge of the affiant. Affidavits are usually used to provide sworn statement of facts to the Courts or any other government agencies. Affidavits are usually sworn to before a Notary Public or before any other officer that has authority to administer oath. If false testimony was given in an affidavit form, the affiant or the person who executed said affidavit, exposes himself against prosecution for the crime of perjury or giving false statement under oath.
How to write an affidavit?
The following are the steps in writing an affidavit:
- Determine the title of the affidavit. If the affidavit is a sworn statement, then the name and address of the person giving the testimony or the affiant must be included in the title, e.g. Affidavit of Jane Doe. If the affidavit will be submitted before the court, the caption of the case must be stated at the top. The case caption may be found on any of the pleadings filed by the parties in said case. The caption must include the name of the court, the county and the state, the names of the parties and the case number.
- In the first paragraph of the affidavit, include the name and personal circumstances of the affiant. This shall include his address, place of work, age or date of birth of the affiant, occupation, immigration status and relationship of the affiant to any of the parties in the case.
- Write an opening sentence which must be in the first person. The same must state that the affiant is swearing under oath or affirming the information in the affidavit.
- Make an outline of the facts to be stated in the affidavit. Determine, which among the listed facts, are relevant and important and disregard those which are not. Arrange the facts in a coherent manner.
- State each fact in one paragraph. Number the paragraphs so that it will be easier to read it and to refer to it in court.
- Described each fact concisely and clearly by providing names, dates, addresses and other information as needed.
- Reference supporting documents by marking them as "exhibits".
- Make a statement that the affidavit is a complete representation of the facts to which the affiant is swearing. Also spell out the oath that the affiant is taking.
- Create the signature block. This is the space where the affiant shall sign his name.
- Lastly, provide a notary signature block.