How to Make an Affidavit (Step by Step) - SELF REP INFO

hello affidavits

what's an affidavit well an affidavit is

a written statement that you make for

court typically that is essentially

under oath so if you lie in an affidavit

you can be prosecuted for perjury most

of the time though my personal

experience people lie in affidavits all

the time and the court gives no

about this they don't care that's how it

is but if you are a person who is making

an affidavit you're in a fiant ah if

you're a person that's making an

affidavit you should be sticking to the

facts that's how you're going to gain

the most credibility and how is it that

you make a proper affidavit we're going

to talk about that right now

so typically you're going to see a lot

of people creating their own affidavits

in family court sadly a lot of the time

you're going to see about 60% of cases

where at least one person is

representing themselves and that is a

sad statistic and that is typically in

family court

we are trying to as a help center for

self represented litigants we are trying

to give people the information that they

need to help them with their case that

will you know bring their case from a

poor level up to here where it's an

exceptional level this is one of those

this is one of those lessons you're not

going to want to miss it now what is an

affidavit already discussed it where is

it used already discussed that uh what

is it that you should be saying in an

affidavit I will get to that um so I'm

going to keep this video on point with

family law rules only so phase

law rules in Ontario although this is

going to be applicable to cases outside

of Ontario essentially most provinces

except for Quebec have you know very

similar laws when it comes to family law

and I'm going to refer to to Ontario's

family law rules but if you're in a

different province in Canada then you're

going to have to refer to your own rules

rule 14 now I say rule 14 because this

is the typical uh rule in a proceeding

and a family law proceeding that you're

going to have to produce an affidavit

for a motion a motion is how you get

some temporary relief in a case and I

mean relief in the sense that you ask

the judge for an order and an order is

made but it's made on a temporary basis

so under Rule 14 you're going to find

rules about bringing motions you're also

going to find what is acceptable in a

motion which is an affidavit an

affidavit is typically used on all

motions if you go into family court

there is probably in my mind one percent

of the time where an affidavit is not

used in a family law motion but you know

that aside there are you know oral

evidence is permitted at a at a motion

but it's usually not used you're not

going to see people testifying at a

motion if you're if you're a self

represented litigants

you're trying to give evidence while

you're speaking to the judge in your

submissions that's a no-no you don't try

and give evidence through your

submissions and you don't give evidence

when it's unsworn so under Rule 14 17 or

rule 14 subsection 17 you're gonna find

evidence on a motion so this is an under

the family law rules in Ontario so

evidence on a motion may be given by any

one or more of the following methods

1 an affidavit or other admissible

evidence in in writing to a transcript

of the questions and answers on a

questioning on a questioning under Rule

20 number 3 with the court's permission

oral evidence again you're not going to

see you're not going to see a lot of

people testifying during family motions

you're just not under subsection 18

you're gonna see that this is a very key

element here that you should not be

using hearsay evidence in your affidavit

but there's an exception to that as

always so it says it sub 18 that an

affidavit for use on a motion shall as

much as possible contain only

information within the personal

knowledge of the person signing the

affidavit that means that if you're the

person who's bringing this affidavit and

filing this affidavit you should be

speaking to facts only but sub 19 deals

with hearsay restrictions so sub 19 is

says that the affidavit may also contain

information that the person learned from

someone else note that I said someone

and emphasized someone else but only if

the source of the information is

identified by name and the affidavit

states that the person signing it

believes the information to be true and

in addition the if the motion is for a

contempt motion under Rule 31 the

information is not likely to be disputed

well let's let's set that one aside

we're not going to get into that today a

contempt motion is is rarely seen in

Family Court uh and it's it's not

something that most people are going to

be dealing with although you may and I

will make a separate video about

contempt motion but focus it focusing

today on affidavits so key elements of

hearsay in an affidavit that need to be


you need to identify that person that

told you something by name and the

affidavit needs to state that you as the

person who's making the affidavit

believes the information to be true

those are the two necessary elements

they have to be they have to be in there

and I've seen affidavits where they are

not in there and that hearsay still goes

through but this is for family court

there are different restrictions in

civil courts and I'm not going to get

into those today but essentially if

you're dealing in family court and

you're signing an affidavit you should

be sticking to what you know and what

you can support if you're saying if

you're making statements that are

hearsay they could be excluded if you

don't follow the rules all right so here

is a general affidavit this is for use

in Ontario only and I found this at

Ontario Court forms onc a and you can

find templates for all your forms for

family court there this is the second

page of that document and at the bottom

of the second page so here's the website

where I got it from Ontario Court form

so NCA I clicked on English and right on

the next page I clicked on family law

rules forms highlighted with the big red

triangles click there for all your

family law rules forms this takes you to

the next page which you'll need to

scroll down scroll down and you'll start

to see all the different forms all the

different forms that you'll need in

family court are here now here is where

the affidavit is highlighted in red 14 a

now back to the affidavit so the court

file will go here you're going to fill

out your court file you if you're on a

motion you already have a court file put

your court file on every single document

you create your court file number should

be on everything right below that you

see I

highlighting here in red where you

should put the date of the affidavit

this is the date that you're going to

have it commissioned the name of the

court and the court address go up at the

top of the top of the front page the

space for the applicant and respondent

this will not change unless a lawyer

comes or goes from the case you won't

need to change this information there my

name is your full legal name goes right

there and I live in I'm going to put

Windsor Ontario under that section as

well right below you see the number one

well this is where you're going to

number paragraphs and tell your side of

the story this is a very important

section and this will determine how the

motion goes now what specifically goes

in here well those details are going to

be left to you but I will give you some

examples of what to put in there and

what works well and what doesn't

here's a sample opening paragraph I am

the moving party the party bringing the

motion and I am seeking in order for

disclosure of documents in the

alternative you could be responding to a

motion and here's what you could use as

an amp as an opening paragraph I am the

responding party and I deny all of the

statements of the moving party except

where I have specifically noted here in

or below so this is called a blanket

statement and this is basically saying

that you're replying to something and

you would want to specifically mention

that affidavit so if I'm replying to Mrs

Smith's affidavit of January 1st 2016 I

would say I specifically deny all of the

allegations or all the statements in Mrs


affidavit of January 1st 2016 except


I agree and state below so that's a good

opening statement for a reply affidavit

so that's if you're replying to a motion

and replying to an affidavit all right

so let's play both sides of the fence

here so let's stay on the reply side for

a moment let's keep this again about an

issue about disclosure of documents so

paragraph 2 may state I have no other

documents that mrs. Smith requests in my


keeping your paragraphs very simple and

to one thought each for each paragraph

is very important you don't want the

judge to be confused you may want to

give some background information here

you may also want to add in some

subtitles for each of your paragraphs

that's okay you can do that you can get

a little creative with the organization

of your document but keep your

paragraphs very simple and very simply

written stick to one thought per

paragraph sticking with the theme of

document disclosure this is the from the

moving party side or the requesting the

requesting party so for instance mrs.

Smith is asking the court to make an

order about disclosure of documents from

mr. Smith and mrs. Smith is saying that

that there has been you know a special

deduction that was made about a boat so

here's a sample paragraph to support

that and get in the habit of starting

off each of your paragraphs or most of

your thoughts with a date or a time

frame at least in February of 2008 in

January of 2009 etc

and that way you're giving a timeline of

events if you feel that information is

relevant here maybe is the follow-up

statement to that and as you can see I'm

going to go in chronological order from

the last possible piece of relevant

information and that event or that piece

of information and how it relates

timewise to my story to the most recent

in the last few paragraphs so as you can

see in paragraph 2 I started off in

February now I want to I want to think

about a moment a little bit later than

that that's relevant now I'm going to

put in June of 2008 I saw mr. Smith's

boat or the respondents boat and he told

me it was worth about $400,000 so that

is relevant information if this is about

document disclosure about some kind of

you know tax deduction or whatever so

keep your affidavit on point and about

the issue that is at hand if you're

talking about document disclosure and

then all of a sudden you start talking

about about the custody of the children

and some other story that's not relevant

that's not something that should be

going in your affidavit unless it's

relevant on the other side you may be

responding if you're mr. Smith by saying

that you owned a boat once in 1999 but

never had shown that boat to mrs. Smith

you could also add in there maybe she

saw a photograph but I'm not sure that's

sort of an inflammatory statement though

you want to avoid inflammatory

statements it's value was only $3,000

attached as an exhibit a is the receipt

for that boat so this is how you would

attach now after you're finished your

document you would attach and have

separately stamped

a document that says on it Exhibit A and

I don't have I don't have a sample of

what that will look like right now but

the person that is commissioning your

document is responsible for writing

Exhibit A on that specific document so

the receipt they will write on there

that that is Exhibit A as referred to in

the affidavit of mr. Smith and the date

so that's how you attach an exhibit so

if you're attaching a document or an

exhibit as it's referred to you need to

mention that in a paragraph of your

affidavit that's how you properly that's

how you properly get exhibits before a

judge an example of an inflammatory

statement would be I owned a boat once

in 1999 but never had shown that boat to

mrs. Smith mrs. Smith is just crazy

she's a crazy

you don't want to make statements like

that for a number of reasons first of

all you want to be taken seriously

secondly that's that's called an

inflammatory statement in an

inflammatory statement that's just

included for the purpose of making the

other side mad or making the other side

inflamed is not allowed per the rules

you're not allowed to be going around

just making statements that you can't

support if she's not if she's not crazy

that's an inflammatory statement if

there was a legitimate issue about mrs.

Smith's perception and she did have a

mental illness that would be something

where you could you know politely say I

believe Miss you know mrs. Smith has has

been hallucinating things and I know

that she was diagnosed at some point as

schizophrenic or you know something to

that effect

but you know using colorful language and

inflammatory statements is a huge no-no

a sample closing paragraph could look

like this I make this affidavit with no

illegal or improper purpose other than

to support my motion for document

disclosure or if you were replying you

are mr. Smith and you opposed that

motion to support or to oppose mrs.

Smith's motion is what you would add at

the end there this is a general

statement typically used at the end of

all affidavits um I could give you a

couple reasons why it is included but I

think it's sort of self-explanatory and

it kind of just sums up the affidavit

and it sort of just always been used in

affidavits I mean for them for the

majority of the existence of law this

sort of a paragraph is sort of a good

closing statement and most lawyers will

rely on a statement like this to close

off an affidavit in summary here's what

to avoid when writing for an affidavit

inflammatory statements I gave you an

example of one already you can probably

pick out ten of them in the last

affidavit you wrote out or we're

thinking about writing and you should

avoid them statements outside your

knowledge foul language unless you're

quoting somebody and make sure to

include who you're quoting or who you

learn something from if it's outside

your knowledge and it's hearsay

also try and avoid slang terms unless

absolutely necessary and avoid talking

about irrelevant issues stuff that's not

necessary for deciding the motion that

you're going to if you stick to this and

you get somebody a third party to

re-read or review your material you

should be putting together

good consistent material on a regular

basis it's also a great idea to stick to

one thought per paragraph and write in

very small and simple sentences so back

to the form this is the second page of

the form all your all your paragraphs

will be formatted into the second page

and the first page in this space that's

highlighted here you're going to want to

put a line a straight line through any

space that is not used up and that's a

suggestion used in the document here but

it's also good to to make sure that

nothing else could be added at a later

point moving towards the bottom of the

document of the second page of the

affidavit this is where you're going to

sign this but don't sign it right away

you have to sign this in the presence of

a commissioner somebody who's going to

commission the affidavit and basically

take your oath and they're going to fill

out the section on the left side if you

have any questions please post them in

the comment section below and thank you

for watching this video and check out

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for self represented litigants i rep

myself calm thanks for watching