How to Cite an Affidavit

By George Lawrence J.D. - Updated June 01, 2017
Lawyer preparing for trial

Affidavits are sworn statements made under the penalty of perjury. Often, affidavits are used to support legal arguments offered in an attorney’s brief or motion filed with the court. Because of the delicate factual nature of every legal matter, it is critical that motions, briefs and other legal writings be sufficiently referenced and supported. The goal of legal citation is to identify where a statement came from, allow the reader to find the statement if necessary and to give any additional information. One of the most common citation schemes is the “Bluebook.”

Paraphrase or quote directly from the affidavit in your legal document. For example, assume that Witness Joyce stated that a green car ran a red light in paragraph eight of her affidavit. You would write “According to Witness Joyce, a green car ran the red light.”

Add a parenthesis after the last word in the sentence where you are citing to the affidavit. In the above example, you would include parenthesis after the word “light.”

Write “[Affiant Last Name] Aff. [Paragraph Number]” inside the parenthesis. Add a period after the parenthesis to end the sentence. Using the above example, the sentence would read: “According to Witness Joyce, a green car ran the red light (Joyce Aff. 8).”

Warning

Courts may require you to use their form of citation, which may or may not be the same as the Bluebook. While the Bluebook is one of the most widely-used citation systems, always check with the local court rules prior to submitting documents with the court.

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.

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