What Is an Affidavit of Opposition?

By Wanda Thibodeaux
Lawyers, Affidavit, Opposition, their clients

Justice image by MVit from Fotolia.com

In the United States, the judicial and business systems are set up in such a way that an individual who is accused of wrongdoing may defend himself against allegations. The American system also permits individuals to express their opinions on legal or business matters and to have some degree of power over what happens in any case. Lawyers and businesspeople use an Affidavit of Opposition for these purposes.

Definition

An Affidavit of Opposition, according to Data Segment, is a written document (affidavit) that a person files in protest to another document that has already been filed. It also is called a Counter Affidavit because it counters previous documentation.

Where It Is Used

People typically use an Affidavit of Opposition formally within the court system. However, individuals also may file an informal Affidavit of Opposition with administrative members of organizations.

Function

An Affidavit of Opposition has the basic function of demonstrating to court officials or administrators that you disagree with an accusation or action that someone has taken. Court officials and administrators use these affidavits in preliminary hearings in order to determine how to proceed. For example, a defendant may give evidence in his Affidavit of Opposition that clearly shows why charges are false, in which case the judge may find that there is no grounds for continuing prosecution.

Contents

A typical Affidavit of Opposition states where the affidavit will be used (i.e., it names the jurisdiction in which it is filed). It names the issue (i.e., original affidavit) that is being opposed or protested, along with the name of the party who filed the original affidavit. It also lists the name of the party who is opposing the original affidavit. The rest of the affidavit gives evidence or rationales as to why the original affidavit is false. At the end of the Affidavit of Opposition, there usually is a statement that indicates that the information in the affidavit is correct, and underneath this, there is a place for signatures and a date.

Filing

In the court system, an Affidavit of Opposition has to go through the notary or clerk of the court in order to be valid. The notary/clerk signs the Affidavit, provides the filer with a notarized copy and then files a second notarized copy with the court. Those filing the affidavit must sign the affidavit in order for the court to consider it active.

People may create an informal Affidavit of Opposition before an issue is taken to court. For example, a customer service representative may write a letter in response to a written complaint from a client in order to explain why the complaint is unfounded. In these cases, the affidavit doesn't need to be notarized, since it is used outside the court, but it still should have a signature, as this verifies who produced the affidavit. Informal affidavits typically go to the leaders of particular departments or board members.

About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

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