How to Write a Sworn Statement

By Kevin Johnston - Updated May 31, 2017
Man preparing a written statement

When you write a sworn statement, you are testifying under oath, and your words will become part of the court record in legal proceedings. You need to know how to prepare a written, sworn statement so the court will accept it and so everyone can understand it without further explanation, because you may not be present when it is read. Your written testimony will change someone's life if it helps determine the outcome of a case, so write it carefully and thoroughly.

Write a heading that says, "Sworn Statement." Follow that with your legal name. Write the date you are composing the statement, not the date of the events the case is about or the date the statement may be delivered in court.

Write a chronological account of the events. You should write this in first person, using phrases like, "I saw" and, "I heard." Give as much detail as possible. Avoid opinion. For example, instead of saying someone was well-dressed, describe what they were wearing. Avoid hyperbole. Don't say a man was as big as a house; give your estimate of his height and weight.

Write something like this at the bottom: "I swear that the information I have provided is true and complete." This is your indication that you realize you are under oath. Sign below this statement and place the date next to your signature.

Deliver the statement to an official representative of the court. This person should have been designated when your sworn statement was requested. Do not deliver your statement to the opposition attorney. Your attorney may deliver the statement for you. If you are writing a sworn statement as a third party who is not represented by the defendant's attorney or the plaintiff's attorney, deliver you sworn statement to a court officer.

Warning

Do not lie or embellish on your statement, since you are under oath.

About the Author

Kevin Johnston writes for Ameriprise Financial, the Rutgers University MBA Program and Evan Carmichael. He has written about business, marketing, finance, sales and investing for publications such as "The New York Daily News," "Business Age" and "Nation's Business." He is an instructional designer with credits for companies such as ADP, Standard and Poor's and Bank of America.

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