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What is an affidavit

An affidavit is a signed statement of fact made under oath. It is one of the main ways to present evidence to the court.

If you are filing an affidavit, you are a deponent. You must swear or affirm that the affidavit is true before a Commissioner for Oaths (CFO).

When are affidavits needed

Affidavits may be required for a variety of court proceedings.

Common examples of affidavits include:

  • Affidavits in support of a summons or Originating Summons.
  • Affidavits of Evidence-In-Chief, through which a witness presents evidence for a trial.

How to prepare an affidavit

Refer to the following on what you need to do to prepare an affidavit.

What to include

Some types of affidavits follow a prescribed form. You need to follow the template provided by law on what you must include.

Tip
Refer to the self-help guide for your topic for more information.

You also need to prepare the affidavit according to the practice directions of the court in charge of your case:

The court may reject your affidavit if it does not comply with the requirements.

General guidelines for affidavits

In general, your affidavit should include:

  • Your residential address and occupation.
    • If you are giving evidence in a professional or business capacity, you may state your office or other work address, the position you hold and the name of your firm or employer.
  • Whether you are a party to the case in which the affidavit is to be used, or whether you are employed by a party to the case.
  • Facts relevant to the case that are within your knowledge.
    • You should identify your information sources.
    • You should take great care before stating matters that you believe in or that others have informed you of.
  • Exhibits: documents or supporting evidence that you wish to use together with your affidavit.
    • Exhibits may include documents such as photographs, or objects such as CDs or samples of merchandise.
    • Refer to the respective courts' practice directions for the specific guidelines for exhibits.
Note
You should not sign the affidavit before it is sworn or affirmed. You need to sign it in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths.

Note: Legal arguments should not be included in affidavits. If you are not sure what a legal argument is or need help preparing your affidavit, you should seek independent legal advice.

How to swear or affirm an affidavit

You will need to swear or affirm the affidavit before a CFO. Find out how to arrange for CFO services.

You may then file the sworn or affirmed affidavit to the court in charge of your case.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes:


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