What Are the Two Signatures for at the Bottom of a General Affidavit of Fact?
- Affidavits such as a general affidavit of fact allow a party to file a statement in support of a legal process or proceeding, making an assertion of fact. They can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a given case and thus there are dozens of affidavit forms used in the business and legal world. Affidavits are also particularly useful when a party is unavailable or unable to come to court. While the contents of the forms vary, the formalities of execution are the same.
Signature of the Affiant
- The affiant is the individual who signs the affidavit and swears to the content. The affiant's signature will be prominently placed at the bottom of the form and will be near a statement indicating that the affiant swears to the content of the affidavit. Some states such as Louisiana, under Section 2822 of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, require certain affidavits to have two witness signatures; both witnesses must have personal knowledge of the facts sworn to in the affidavit of fact.
- The key feature of an affidavit is the second signature requirement by a notary public. A notary does not swear to the contents of the affidavit, but swears that she has identified the individual who claims be the affiant by reviewing his identification and personally witnessed his signature of the affidavit. While notary public laws vary by state, the notary public will then sign, stamp and date the affidavit.
- As a sworn statement, lying or deception on an affidavit subjects the affiant to sanctions for perjury. For example, under Section 4902 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, a false statement can be punishable as a third degree felony and the state can bring an action for perjury any time up to five years from the date of the offense.