​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Affidavits

An affidavit is a written statement where the contents are sworn or affirmed to be true. Affidavits mu​st be signed in front of a witness who is an "authorised person". An authorised person is usually a justice of the peace (JP), a solicitor or barrister. After witnessing your signature, the witness must also sign the affidavit.

Affidavits are used in ​court as evidence. In some cases, if you make an affidavit you may not need to give evidence in person. In other cases you may still have to go to court to answer questions about the information in your affidavit.

Hint icon For a helpful tool to use when writing an affidavit, see Checklist: Writing affidavits​.

When writing an affidavit you should consider:

    Who can make an affidavit

    The person making an affidavit is called the 'deponent'. An affidavit can be made by:

    • a plaintiff or applicant
    • a defendant or respondent
    • a witness
    • an expert who has knowl​edge relevant to a case.

    What should be in the affidavit

    In many civil court cases in NSW, the same form is used to make affidavits. The following example shows the first page of an affidavit used in a civil case in NSW.

    Image of first page of an affidavit

    The details in 'Court details' and 'Title of proceedings' will be the same on all documents used in a particular case. The 'Filing details' will depend on which party the affidavit is made on behalf of. Usually this will be the plaintiff or the defendant. For example, if a witness is giving affidavit evidence for the defendant, the filing details would be:

    • the defendant's name and role in the case (that is, defendant)
    • the defendant's lawyer (if there is one)
    • the defendant's lawyer's reference (if the defendant has a lawyer)
    • the name and telephone number of the lawyer who is handling the running of the case (not always the same as the defendant's lawyer, but usually someone who works for or with the defendant's lawyer)​, or if the defendant has no lawyer, the defendant's telephone number.


    ​​​The next page of an affidavit contains the evidence. Affidavits should be divided into numbered paragraphs. Each paragraph should be in date order, from the oldest event to the most recent event.

    Imge of section of an affidavit setting out the statement of facts

    Affidavits should be written in the first person: that is from the point of view of the person making the affidavit, and using the word 'I'. If the affidavit refers to a conversation, you should write down the exact words used by the parties.

    For example:

    ​4. I said, "I need you to supply me with 2000 crates of apples"

    He
    said: "Sure that should be no problem. We'll have them delivered to you by Thursday 28 December 2009".

    If you can't remember the exact words that were used you can say:

    5. He said words to the effect of: "Sure that should be no problem. We'll have them delivered to you by Thursday 28 December 2009".​

    The affidavit should state things that the person making the affidavit has direct knowledge of. This means what they saw and heard.

    Affidavits should not be too long. Some courts may reject an affidavit if it contains too much irrelevant information. Remember when you make an affidavit:

    • keep it in date (chronological) order
    • keep it brief
    • a judge or magistrate, lawyers and others will be reading it.

    Alert Icon An affidavit should not include:

    • ​the opinion of the person making the affidavit (unless it is an affidavit by an expert)
    • statements that are based on information someone else has told you that they heard or saw (known as 'hearsay' evidence)
    • views on the law and how it applies in the case.

    ​​Hint icon Affidavits should be typed (double line spaced and 12 point font) or clearly hand written. The websites for most courts and tribunals will have affidavit forms.

    Attaching documents and other evidence

    It is sometimes helpful to attach a document to the affidavit if it supports the fact you are trying to prove. The document is then called an 'annexure'.

    Each annexure that is attached must be numbered. For example; Annexure 'A', Annexure 'B', Annexure 'C'. You should also give a brief description of what is being attached in the text of your affidavit.

    For example:

    1. On Thursday 29 December 2009, I received an email from Mr Lennison. Annexed and marked 'A' is a copy of that email.​

    ​​Each annexure must also have a statement written on its front page that says:

    This is the document referred to as Annexure A in the affidavit of Joseph Thomas Byrne, sworn at Sydney on 18 September 2011 before me Barry Butler, Solicitor.
    Barry Butler

    The authorised person signs each annexure after this statement.

    If there are a large number of documents, or another item that would be difficult to attach to the affidavit, you can make it an 'exhibit'. An exhibit is referred to in an affidavit by a number or letter (for example "Exhibit A"). An exhibit is served (given) with an affidavit on the other party, but is not usually filed with the court.

    If you are not sure what to write in an affidavit, or whether to attach any documents you should get legal advice.

    Signing the affidavit

    You need to take the affidavit to an authorised person before you sign it. The authorised person will ask you to 'swear' or 'affirm' that the content of the affidavit is true, and then ask you to sign the end of the affidavit, and the bottom of each page of the affidavit.

    After they have witnessed you signing the affidavit, the authorised person will also sign the end of the affidavit, the bottom of each page and any annexures or exhibits.

    Hint icon If you need to correct any errors, cross out the error and put your initials next to the change. The witness must also put their initials next to the change.

    Swearing or affirming the affidavit

    The person making the affidavit can choose whether to 'swear' or 'affirm' the truth of the affidavit.

    Swearing is also known as swearing an oath. A person who believes in a god can swear by their god that the affidavit is true. The authorised person may offer them a Bible or other relevant holy book to hold while they swear the oath.

    An affirmation is a solemn declaration of truth, without any reference to a god.

    For example:

    Image of section of an affidavit where it is sworn or affirmed and witnessed

    Filing and serving the affidavit

    You only need to file and serve the affidavit when you are ordered to do so by the court. If you are ordered to file an affidavit you can do this at the court where the matter is being heard.

    Alert Icon Make sure the affidavit is filed and served by the date ordered by the court. The court might not allow the affidavit to be used as evidence if it is filed or served late.