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In some courts or tribunals, you may be ordered to prepare a statement. A statement is written evidence which may be used to support a case. A statement must be signed and dated but does not have to be sworn like an affidavit. It can be witnessed, although this is not always necessary.
Statements are used in the civil claims division of the Local Court and in some tribunals, including the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). In the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, statements are used instead of witnesses attending a hearing. In the General Division of the Local Court, statements are served on (given to) each party but witnesses usually still have to attend the hearing. Statements are also sometimes used in criminal, traffic and Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) cases.
For a helpful tool to use when writing a statement, see Checklist: Writing statements.
When making a statement you should consider the following:
There is no strict form a statement should take, but generally all statements will follow a similar format.
A statement can be made by:
Whether a statement is needed will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you are not sure whether you need to prepare a statement you should get
A statement should start out with a heading that describes what case or reason the statement is being made for.
There should then be a sentence where the person making the statement states:
Then, in numbered paragraphs, the person making the statement should write, in a chronological order, their evidence.For example:
If the statement is being made to police in relation to a crime, the end of the statement, before the signature, may also have a sentence that is similar to the following:
It is sometimes helpful to attach a document to your statement if it supports the evidence you are giving in the statement. This document is called an 'annexure'.
Each annexure that is attached must be identified. 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 statement.
Each annexure can also have a statement written on its front page that says something like:
If you are not sure what to write in a statement, or whether to attach any documents you should get
The person making the statement should sign and date it. The statement doesn't have to be witnessed.
If the court has ordered you to file and serve your statements, you should do so by the date the court ordered. The court might not accept the statement as evidence if it is filed or served late.
For an example of how to prepare a statement for the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), see:
Instructions: Instructions for preparing a witness statement for NCAT
Sample: Witness statement for NCAT