How to Withdraw an Affidavit

By Rob Jennings J.D.
An affidavit is a sworn statement of fact by the affiant.

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An affidavit is a written statement of facts signed by the affiant under oath. Used in a variety of legal proceedings, an affidavit constitutes a representation that the facts contained in the document are true to the best of the affiant's knowledge. Sometimes, however, the affiant discovers an error in the affidavit or learns that something he swore to wasn't actually true. In these situations, the affiant may wish to withdraw or alter his sworn statement in order to represent the clearest possible vision of the truth.

Identify the authority to which you submitted the affidavit you are now seeking to withdraw. This may be a court, a legislative body, an administrative agency or a department of human services. This is the entity to which you must submit your affidavit of withdrawal.

Review any statutes applicable to your particular case to determine whether the law allows you to withdraw your affidavit. The expiration of a statutory time period may bar you from doing this in certain cases. An affidavit of parentage for a minor child born out of wedlock, for example, cannot be withdrawn after sixty days in some states.

Draft your affidavit of withdrawal using substantially the same format as you used for your original affidavit. Use the case caption, including the party names and case number, if there are any, from the original. Begin the main body text with the language, "The undersigned, being first duly sworn, deposes and says ... . " Make sure to include a form on the affidavit for a notary public to notarize your signature.

Set forth in your affidavit of withdrawal your justification for withdrawing your original affidavit. Explain to the receiving authority what has changed since your original affidavit or what you have discovered to make it so that your understanding of the truth is now different than it was when you made your original filing. Only do this if you are unable to locate a statute giving you a right to amend or withdraw your affidavit as a matter of right.

Serve your affidavit of withdrawal on the receiving authority according to the statutes governing your case. If you have found no applicable statutory law despite diligent efforts, mail a copy to the authority and all interested parties via certified mail, return receipt requested.

About the Author

A practicing attorney since 2003, Rob Jennings has written fiction and nonfiction since 2005, with his work appearing in a variety of print and online publications. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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