Legal Difference Between an Affidavit & a Declaration

Generally, the information in both a sworn affidavit and a statutory declaration is the same. A sworn affidavit contains facts that are written and the affiant swears that the contents are all true before an individual that is authorized to administer the oaths in a court setting.

A statutory declaration is usually used outside of a court setting, but generally has the same effects as a sworn affidavit. The declaration is a statement of facts that a person says is true. A legal notary public who can certify the person signing the document is the correct person and might have several other witnesses to the signature usually signs these documents.

Drafting the Documents

Both an affidavit and a declaration need to be drafted with the appropriate factual information in them. Each document includes a list of items that the affiant (person swearing to an affidavit) or the declarant (person making a declaration) states to be true. All items and statements listed must be relevant to the proceeding in court or another venue where the document will be used.

Each statement should list only one to two facts and start with a numbered list for each clause or statement. Concise statements include dates, times and names of persons if possible to convey facts in the proceedings.

Stating the Venue

The top of the affidavit should list the venue where the proceeding will be taking place in court and before a judge. It lists the judicial district and the court level on it.

The Backer

The last page of a document lists the action number and the style of cause for any document that is filed at the court in the form of an affidavit. It lists the action or case number as well at the address to contact an individual or an attorney handling the case. The format differs from each jurisdiction, so consult with the local clerk of the court for details as to how to design the backer.

The ID number

The ID or case number is generally an alphanumeric number of the case that is assigned to it. It should be on the upper right, front page of an affidavit as a civil action number, case number or docket number to identify the court document.

Exhibits

An exhibit is an additional document attached to an affidavit and is referred to in a clause as evidence to support the evidence of a sworn statement. The affidavit must state that the affiant has attested to the exhibit being true as a clause. The first exhibit shall be Exhibit A and each additional one is the next letter of the alphabet. The clause should include this verbage “now produced and shown to me and marked as Exhibit A” in the statement.

Signing Date

A signing date must be attached at the bottom of the affidavit as to when the document was signed in front of a notary public.

Advantages of a Declaration

If permitted in your state, as in the federal courts, a declaration is normally much more expedient, because it does not require a notary public, which can take time to find.

If permitted in court in your state a declaration from an out of state person is easier to produce in a more timely manner on a case. It may take additional hours or days to get an affidavit notarized and in litigation, time can mean a world of difference.

For more information, contact Same Day Process today. We have a team that performs various skip tracing and process serving services, so we guarantee we have an answer for you. 

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