New York, NY asked in Civil Litigation for New York

Q: How do fill out an affidavit in opposition for a motion for summary judgement

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Parham
Matthew Parham
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Very carefully. Seriously, the answer depends on what kind of lawsuit and what the grounds are for the motion.

An affidavit is a written sworn statement. At the top, under the case caption and document title (Affidavit of John Smith) it should contain a "scilicet" that indicates the county and state where the person was sworn and signed the affidavit, generally in the form


) ss:


Below this should then be a commencement sentence stating basically "John Smith being duly sworn deposes and says as follows:" Then it should have numbered paragraphs stating the facts that you are testifying to. For example, a party should testify that he or she is the (defendant or plaintiff), and is personally knowledgeable of the case and of the facts in the affidavit. On a motion for summary judgment, you then want to identify facts that are material to the other party's claim and about which you and the other party disagree. They should be facts about which the affiant has personal knowledge. If not, you should try and get an affidavit from someone who has personal knowledge.

As an example, in a debt collection lawsuit, sometimes the creditor will submit what it says is a credit agreement or account statements. If the agreement has, say, a 2009 copyright date and the account statements have a certain address, and you know you opened the account in 2007 and didn't move to the address until years after the date on the account statements, state these facts in the affidavit and state that because of these facts, the documents are clearly inauthentic.

Every case is different and you need to decide what facts to put in the affidavit based on what matters in the case. You also want to identify and attach as exhibits any documents you rely on to create factual disputes or to support your version of the facts. At the end of your numbered paragraphs of facts, say what relief you want, such as: "Wherefore the (plaintiff's/defendant's) motion for summary judgment should be denied."

At the bottom of the document there should be a signature line where you sign it and a "Jurat" which is a phrase indicating that you swore and subscribed to the document before a notary public on a certain date. The notary will watch you sign it and then will date and sign and affix his or her information, likely via a stamp and/or seal. The specific content of the jurat and notary information may vary from state to state based on each state's laws about notaries.

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