Sworn statements, like affidavits, constitute a legal document and record of facts pertaining to an event. Courts use them for witnesses in cases, homeowners use them for contracting home repairs, and state agencies use them for safeguarding original documents such as birth and death certificates. Unlike written affidavits, most sworn statements are not witnessed and signed by a public notary, although states like California do require it when requesting documents. Government and state agencies publish different forms specific to each state, department and purpose of the statement or declaration.
Obtain the correct forms by checking online or with your legal counsel. For example, if you are a contractor and live in Michigan, download a form from the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth at the state's website. If you witnessed a car accident and need to sign a statement of witness, download it from forms.gov.
Fill out the forms completely. For legal proceedings, write down all the specific details, dates and facts pertaining to the incident or trial. When requesting birth, death or marriage records in California, you must state the name of the registered person and your relationship to the person, as directed by the California Department of Public Health.
Check for other criteria or requirements. When requesting personal records, you may need a public notary to witness and notarise your statement. With a statement of witness, you need to draw a diagram of the accident. If you are a contractor for a home remodelling project, fill out the itemised list of labourers, type of improvement, cost and outstanding balances.
Sign and date the statement. Your signature must include a declaration that the information is true, such as: "I declare that the foregoing is true and correct, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state," and include the state you reside in. This constitutes your oath that all the information contained in the statement is true.
Lying in a sworn statement can incur criminal penalties, according to the laws of your state. If you are confused or unsure about your declaration, seek legal counsel.
Tips and warnings
- Lying in a sworn statement can incur criminal penalties, according to the laws of your state. If you are confused or unsure about your declaration, seek legal counsel.