Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Certified Affidavit Definition:

A simplified form of affidavit in which the affiant self-certifies the truthfulness of his or her written statement under penalty of perjury.

Related Terms: Affidavit

This form of an affidavit does not require the additional step of a formal officer, often called a commission of oaths or such other similar title. The affiant himself or herself certifies his or her affidavit as correct and true, under penalty of perjury.

Some jurists, legal experts would suggest that a certified affidavit is not an affidavit as it were because, by definition, an affidavit requires second-party authentification. It is a certified statement admissible in Court as if it were an affidavit. Still, these forms of admissible evidence are referred to as certified affidavits because certified affidavit impose upon the affiant the penalty of perjury, an exposure he or she would not have in regards to any other unsworn written statement.

The 2013 California Code of Civil Procedure provides an example of one jurisdiction's innovation with certified affidavits:

"§2015.5. Whenever, under any law of this state or under any rule, regulation, order or requirement made pursuant to the law of this state, any matter is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making the same (other than a deposition, or an oath of office, or an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public), such matter may with like force and effect be supported, evidenced, established or proved by the unsworn statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, in writing of such person which recites that it is certified or declared by him or her to be true under penalty of perjury, is subscribed by him or her, and (1), if executed within this state, states the date and place of execution, or (2), if executed at any place, within or without this state, states the date of execution and that it is so certified or declared under the laws of the State of California. The certification or declaration may be in substantially the following form (if executed within this state): I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. (Date, Place and signature)."

Even in jurisdictions that do not, as it were, provide for affidavit evidence in the form of a certification, this process is nonetheless often present. Take, for example, the presentation, receipt and consideration at trial of an expert's report which, and by way of example only, in accordance with the rules of court of the British Columbia Supreme Court, need not be in the form of an affidavit but need only be signed and certified by the expert and include specific facts.1



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