What Is an Exemplified Copy?

By Mary Jane Freeman
Image of a courthouse clerk.

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An exemplified copy of court documents is often necessary when the documents will be provided to a different court -- such as when custody pleadings must be presented to a court in another state. Exemplification means the validity of the document has been confirmed by the original courthouse, typically by the court clerk and judge.

Authenticated Copies

An exemplified copy is a copy of an official court document, such as a divorce decree. It is obtained from the clerk of the courthouse where the document was originally filed. The clerk confirms the document's authenticity by signing the copy and affixing a formal seal or stamp. The document may also bear the signature of the judge or an attached certificate from the judge, confirming the clerk's authority to verify the document's authenticity.

Serve Important Purpose

Exemplified copies are often required when the document must be proved or admitted in another court, either domestic or foreign. For example, a mother may have relocated out of the country with her child and may need an exemplified copy of the custody order to prove to a foreign court or authorities that the father's parental rights were terminated if he later claims the child was abducted.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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