Sworn statements, called affidavits, are sometimes necessary. An affidavit can claim heirship to property, present facts to a court or show the right of a non-custodial parent to take children out of the country.
As West's Encyclopedia of Law states, an affidavit is "any written document in which the signer swears under oath ... that the statements in the document are true."
Notarized Statement (Affidavit) Definition
A "notarized" statement occurs 1.) when an affidavit is presented to a notary public and the affiant (the individual requesting notarization) swears under oath the facts contained are true; 2.) when other documents, such as employment identity verification forms, are notarized. Geographically distant employers may request notarized documents to verify employment eligibility.
Who Else May Sign an Affidavit?
However, affidavits can be signed by people other than notaries of the public--in some instances, judges, court clerks or others may be designated by law. It is still considered notarized. Any other notarized statement is signed only by a notary.
Declaration of Truth
For an affidavit, an oath of truth is essential. The statement of the affiant cannot be an affidavit unless an authorized official administers the oath.
Many notarized statements or documents occur when an individual is requested to submit them, while an affidavit is typically generated by the affiant as an action he is taking, such as seeking an order of protection.
Filing a false affidavit can constitute perjury. It can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the state involved and nature of the affidavit.