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Affidavit Sworn Medical Statement

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Affidavit Sworn Medical Statement Powered By Docstoc
					            GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORISED WITNESSES

COMMONLY-USED TERMS

Affidavit          A written document that is sworn on oath or affirmed, and made
                   before a person who is authorised to take an oath or affirmation.

Affirmation        A verbal, solemn declaration, which is made instead of an oath, if a
                   person objects to the taking of an oath or if an oath is contrary to a
                   person's religious beliefs.
Authorised         A person who is authorised by Section 107A or 123C of the
                   Evidence Person Act 1358, to witness statutory declarations or to
                   receive affidavits.

Declarant          A person who makes a statutory declaration.

Deponent           A person who makes an affidavit.

Jurat              A memorandum at the end of an affidavit, stating when and where
                   the affidavit was sworn, followed by the signature, address and title
                   of the witness before whom the affidavit was sworn or affirmed.

Oath               A verbal, solemn promise made in the name of God, or some other
                   revered deity, that statements which have been made are true.
                   Oaths are made while holding up the Bible or other religious book,
                   or otherwise in accordance with a person's religious beliefs.

Statutory          A written statement that a declarant signs, before an authorised
Declaration        witness, and solemnly declares to be true and correct.


FEES:
It is an offence to receive or demand a fee for taking an affidavit or declaration.


PART A. AFFIDAVITS

Affidavits are made in writing and are mainly used in legal proceedings. Anyone
signing an affidavit must make an oath or affirmation, in the presence of an
authorised witness, saying that he or she believes that its contents are true and
correct.

If you are asked to receive an affidavit, you should consider the following points:

1.      Examine the affidavit quickly to ensure that it is neat and legible and that it
        doesn't contain any blank spaces which could be completed after swearing.
        You are not required to read the document in detail; in fact it could be
        inappropriate to do so.

2.      The deponent must understand its contents and understand the nature of the
        oath.

3.      The deponent must sign the affidavit before the oath is taken.
4.    With the Bible or the New or Old Testament held in his or her uplifted hand, the
      deponent should say or repeat words to the following effect:

OATH:
"I swear by Almighty God that this is my name and signature, and that the
contents of this my affidavit are true and correct.
[If there are exhibits] and these are the exhibits referred to therein. "

5.    After the affidavit is sworn, the jurat at the end of the document must be
      completed. This sets out the place of swearing and the date on which it was
      sworn.

      It usually takes the following form:
      Sworn at [Suburb/town] in the State of Victoria, this...............day of.........
      20.... before me......................................
      [Name, Address and Title of Witness]

6.    Where a person objects to swearing oaths or his or her religious beliefs prevent
      the making of an oath, an affirmation should be made instead.

An affirmation usually takes the following form:

AFFIRMATION:
"I, [name of person], do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that
this is my name and signature and that the contents of this my affidavit are
true and correct.
[If there are exhibits] and these are the exhibits referred to therein."

The jurat should now read 'Affirmed at', instead of 'Sworn at'.

7.    You must legibly write, type or stamp your name and address below your
      signature where it appears on the affidavit and endorse your title showing your
      authority to receive the document e.g. "An officer of the Victorian Public Service
      [show classification], being a prescribed classification for receiving affidavits",
      "Justice of the Peace [Reg. No.]"

IMPORTANT NOTES
Multi-page Affidavits
You should number and sign the bottom of each page of the affidavit.

Exhibits and Annexures (Attachments)
Affidavits often refer to exhibits or annexures marked with letters or numbers e.g.
 "A" "B" “Jl-1" etc. Note the references, then check the annexed supporting
documents, which must be produced, ensuring that they are marked correspondingly.
The deponent need not sign the exhibits or annexures.

Where an exhibit or annexure document is attached to an affidavit, it must be
endorsed by the person taking the affidavit. A common endorsement is:

This is the exhibit (or annexure) marked "..............
referred to in the affidavit of [Name]
Sworn this..............,.... day of ................., 20…….
Before me.                 [Signature]
[Name, Address and Title of Witness]
Alterations to affidavits

In addition to signing each page and exhibit or annexure of the affidavit, you should
write your initials next to any alterations or additions.

If it is necessary to make an alteration after the swearing of an affidavit, the affidavit
must be re-sworn, and a new jurat added. For example:

Re-sworn at ……..···in the State of Victoria this............ day of........, 20…..,
Before me....................., [Signature]
[Name, Address and Title of Witness]

The affidavit does not have to be re-sworn before the same person who originally
received it. The first jurat should not be struck out.

Whilst statutory declarations must be signed in front of an authorised witness, there
is no legal requirement for affidavits to be signed in front of an authorised witness.


PART B. STATUTORY DECLARATIONS

Statutory Declarations are made in writing and may be used for a variety of
purposes, e.g. to verify insurance claims, proof of age, applications for sick leave or
various types of benefits and for many other day to day business or personal matters.
The person making a statutory declaration must sign it in the presence of an
authorised witness and make a solemn declaration that its contents are true and
correct.

If you are asked to witness a statutory declaration you should consider the following
points:

1.    A statutory declaration must contain an acknowledgement that it is true and
      correct and is made in the belief that a person making a false declaration is
      liable for the penalties of perjury.

2.    It is to be signed in your presence by the person making it and the contents
      must be declared to be truthful. It is usual to have the declarant repeat the
      following words:

DECLARATION:
I solemnly and sincerely declare, that this declaration is signed with my true name
and signature, and that the contents of this declaration are true and correct. "

3.    After witnessing the signature you must legibly write, type or stamp your name
      and address below your own signature and include your authority to witness
      documents e.g. "Justice of the Peace, "Pharmacist", "Manager of the [name]
      Rank at [place]" etc.

4.     Failing to endorse these details could result in you being fined.

5.    It is appropriate that you adopt the principles of signing and initialing affidavits
      to statutory declarations.

6.    A Bible is not used when making a statutory declaration.
CERTIFYING COPIES

To certify true copies of original documents, the body or person who is receiving the
copies, determines which categories of aurhorised persons they will accept.
Generally, they will accept a person who can witness statutory declarations and
affidavits, if the copies are for use in Victoria. For documents going interstate or
overseas, see the note on page 7 about these requirements.


PART C. GENERAL MATTERS

NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING PERSON
If a deponent does not understand or speak English adequately, he or she may make
the oath or affirmation through an interpreter. First, the interpreter should swear an
oath or make an affirmation that he or she will well and truly interpret all matters.
The following is an example of the oath:

INTERPRETER'S OATH:.
"I swear by Almighty God that I well and truly understand the English language and
the [name of other] language, and I will truly interpret the contents of this affidavit to
the deponent, [name of person] and also the oath about to be administered to
him/her and all other matters and things required of me in connection with this
affidavit, according to the best of my skill and ability."

Then, after the affidavit is read to the deponent by the interpreter, the usual oath is
administered to him or her through the interpreter (the deponent repeats the oath in
the other language).

When an interpreter has been used, it must be noted on the jurat. For example:

Sworn at ..................... in the State of Victoria this ............. day of............ 20.... by
the deponent [Name] through the interpretation of [Name of interpreter], the said
interpreter having first sworn that he or she would truly, distinctly and audibly
interpret the contents of this affidavit to the deponent and also the oath which
was administered to the said [Name of the deponent]
Before me...................................... [Signature]
[Name, Address and Title of Witness]


HEARING-IMPAIRED PERSON
Where an affidavit is to be made by a hearing-impaired person who converses in sign
language, an interpreter should be used. In those instances, the normal interpreter's
oath is used, with modifications.

Where an interpreter is not available, or the hearing-impaired person cannot
converse in sign language, he or she should sign the affidavit and be handed the
Bible with a piece of paper on which is written: "Is this your name and signature?"

Upon making an affirmative gesture, the person should then be asked, in writing:
“Do you swear by Almighty God that the contents of this affidavit are true and
correct?" Again, an affirmative gesture is required.

The jurat must be modified to show that an interpreter was used.
A hearing-impaired person, who is not also speech-impaired, may be sworn by being
asked to raise the Bible and to read the oath aloud.


VISION-IMPAIRED PERSON OR PERSON WITH READING /WRITING
DIFFICULTIES
The affidavit is read aloud to the deponent, by the person who is taking the oath, and
the jurat is endorsed to state this. The deponent should place his or her signature or
mark in your presence. If a mark is used the form of oath is:
"I swear by Almighty God that this is my mark, and that the contents of this, my
affidavit, are true and correct. "

PERSON WITH A PHYSICAL DISABILITY
A deponent who is unable to sign his or her name or make a mark or hold the Bible,
may still take an oath. The jurat should be endorsed to reflect this, e.g.
“[Normal details] .... without the deponent affixing any mark or signature, he or
she being incapable by reason of physical disability…"

PERSON UNDER 14 YEARS
A deponent under the age of 14 years may swear an oath if you are satisfied that:
1.     He or she understands the nature of the oath, and
2.     He or she understands the contents of the affidavit.
The jurat should be noted to show the age of the deponent and that he or she
understood these aspects.

FIRMS, PARTNERSHIPS, COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS
An affidavit or statutory declaration may only be made by a natural person, not by a
company. However, an officer of a body corporate, association or the like, can make
an affidavit or statutory declaration on behalf of the company or body.
The affidavit or declaration must state the person's position in the organisation, e.g.
“ I [Name] Managing Director of…..."

INTERSTATE AND OVERSEAS DOCUMENTS
NOTE: Some Australian States and some countries do not recognise all classes of
witnesses under the Victorian Evidence Act. As a general rule, Justices of the Peace
and solicitors are recognised Australia-wide and Notaries Public are recognised
overseas.

Some overseas countries also accept Justices of the Peace, but most require the
seal of a Notary Public. Check with the relevant Consulate in the phone book, if in
doubt.

Lists of Notaries are kept by the Law Institute; phone (03) 9607 3311. Some Notaries
are also listed under "N" in the Yellow Pages. Notaries may charge fees for their
services, except for documents witnessed under the Victorian Evidence Act.
                   State of Victoria--Evidence Act 1958
PERSONS WHO CAN WITNESS STATUTORY DECLARATIONS

   A Justice of the Peace or a Bail Justice
   A Notary Public
   A barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court
   A clerk to a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court [barristers' clerk]
   The Prothonotary or a Deputy Prothonotary of the Supreme Court, the Registrar
    or a Deputy Registrar of the County Court, the Principal Registrar of the
    Magistrates' Court or a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates' Court
   The Registrar of Probates or an Assistant Registrar of Probates
   The Associate to a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the County Court
   The Secretary of a Master of the Supreme Court or of the County Court

   A person registered as a Patent Attorney under Part XV of the Patents Act 1352
    of the Commonwealth
   A member of the police force
   The sheriff or a deputy sheriff
   A member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
   A member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of the
    Commonwealth
   A councillor of a municipality
   A senior officer of a Council as defined in the Local Government Act 1989
   A registered medical practitioner within the meaning of the Medical Practice Act
    1994
   A dentist
   A veterinary practitioner
   A pharmacist
   A principal in the [State] teaching service
   The [branch] manager of a bank
   A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the Australia
    Society of Accountants or the National Institute of Accountants
   The secretary of a building society
   A minister of religion authorised to celebrate marriages [not a civil celebrant]
   A person employed under Part 3 of the Public Sector Management and
    Employment Act 1998 with a classification that is prescribed as a classification
    for statutory declarations or who holds office in a statutory authority with such a
    classification
   A fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)
PERSONS WHO CAN RECEIVE AFFIDAVITS

   Any Judge or the Associate to any Judge
   A Master of the Supreme Court or the County Court or the Secretary of such a
    Master
   A Justice of the Peace or a Bail Justice
   The Prothonotary or a Deputy Prorhonorary of the Supreme Court, the Registrar
    or a Deputy Registrar of the County Court, the Principal Registrar of the
    Magistrates' Court or a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates' Court
   The Registrar of Probates or an Assistant Registrar of Probates
   The Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Legal Profession Tribunal
   A member or former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
   A member or former member of either House of the Parliament of the
    Commonwealth
   A Notary Public
   [Solicitor]: A natural person who is a current practitioner or registered interstate
    practitioner within the meaning of the Legal Practice Act 1996
   A member of the police force of or above the rank of sergeant or for the time
    being in charge of a police station
   A person employed under Part 3 of the Public Sector Management and
    Employment Act 1998 with a classification that is prescribed for receiving
    affidavits
   A senior officer of a Council as defined in the Local Government Act 1989
   A person registered as a Patent Attorney under Part XV of the Patents Act 1952
    of the Commonwealth
   A fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)




Department of Justice
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE REGISTRY
55 King Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Location of JPs: (03) 3628 3014
Telephone: (03) 9628 9033
Facsimile: (03) 9628 9907
www.justice.vic.gov.au/justices

				
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