Guide to Preparing and Formatting an Affidavit
Preparing an affidavit
The specific legal requirements which need to be followed when preparing affidavits for use in the Supreme Court of Victoria are set out in Order 43 of Chapter 1 Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005.
The contents of the affidavit should be true according to personal direct and factual knowledge. As affidavits are a form of evidence, there are criminal consequences for making false statements to the court and the court's willingness to believe in the case may be affected if an untrue statement is made, either knowing that it is untrue, or without properly checking to make sure it is true.
Try not to refer to information received from others in an affidavit. Where something is not based on personal direct knowledge, this should be stated in the affidavit as, for example: "I have been informed by (insert particular person's name) that…and I believe that to be true". If relying on evidence of another person (witness) it is appropriate that they prepare their own affidavit based on their own knowledge and that this affidavit is filed on your behalf. It is important to remember however that an affidavit from a witness should only be filed if the affidavit will be relevant to a particular issue or issues raised by your own affidavit.
Before preparing an affidavit, think about what needs to be said. When preparing an affidavit you should:
- start by planning it under a number of headings, as this will make the completed document easy to follow
- make sure that each paragraph should set out a specific fact relating to the issue concerned and each paragraph should follow on logically from the previous one
- keep the affidavit as brief as possible, but do not leave out anything which may be important to the particular issue concerned
- write in the first person - that is, it must talk about 'I' (or 'we' if there is more than one person involved as Plaintiff or Defendant) and not about 'he/she' or 'you/they'
An affidavit should not:
- set out an opinion (save for those of an expert such as a licensed valuer or medical practitioner or scientist) - if, exceptionally, a personal opinion is expressed, the reasons (grounds) for holding that opinion should be set out in the affidavit
- contain a comment for example "the judge did not give me a chance to say all I wanted to say"
- contain conclusions based on observations for example "because he/she shouted at me he/she is a violent person"
- contain information that is not relevant to the particular issues in dispute.
If it is necessary to correct an affidavit in any way, by the addition of new or different factual material, it is necessary to prepare, file and serve another affidavit. The new affidavit should clearly indicate whether it adds to, or replaces, the previous affidavit.
Affidavits start with the person's name, address and occupation, for example "I, Joan Smith, of 4 Canny Street, Kingston, Public Servant, make oath and say as follows:"
The rest of the affidavit sets out the relevant facts in numbered paragraphs, with the first paragraph starting with, for example "1. I am the Plaintiff (or Defendant or Applicant or Respondent) in this proceeding and I make this affidavit from my own knowledge unless otherwise stated."
- Affidavit Template
- Affidavit in Support of Application for Bail Template (FORM)
- Bail Applications
- Before and After an Application for Leave to Appeal a Decision of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
- Court Documents
- Court Fees
- Disputing Your Solicitor's Bill
- Exhibits to an Affidavit
- Form 5A Writ Template
- Form 6-2H Application for Extension of Time to File-Serve Notice of Appeal or Notice of Application to Appeal
- Information Sheets
- Notice of Appeal Against Order of Associate Judge Template (Form)
- Preparing an Application for Bail
- Swearing or Affirming an Affidavit
- What is an Affidavit and What is its Purpose
- When Bail is Granted and Surety
- Affidavit in Support of having Default Judgment Set Aside Guide
- Checklist for Preparing and Filing an Affidavit
- Civil Litigation Flowchart
- Form 43A Certificate Identifying Exhibit Guide
- Form 8A Notice of Appearance Guide
- Important Information for People in a Civil Dispute
- Notice of Appeal Guide
- Notice of Change of Address for Service Guide (PDF)
- Notice of Discontinuance Guide
- Notice of Intention to make Application for Bail Guide
- Summons for Taxation of Costs Guide
- Summons to have Default Judgment Set Aside Guide