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April 28, 2006

"Declarations" as Substitutes for Affidavits.

In 1976 Congress passed a barely-noticed short housekeeping addition to Title 28, the part of the U.S. Code that deals with federal courts. Among other things, 28 USC section 1746 allows witnesses to prepare and execute affidavits without appearing before a notary. However, many lawyers who practice in federal courts don't know about the existence of section 1746. An un-notarized "declaration" with the simple oath required by section 1746 can be used any time you need an affidavit, e.g., an affidavit supporting (or opposing) a summary judgment motion. The declaration has the same force and effect of a "regular" notarized affidavit. This is very useful and convenient rule. It saves witnesses and lawyers the time, cost and aggravation of getting statements notarized. Notaries, however, don't discuss it much.

Posted by JD Hull at April 28, 2006 03:43 PM


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