Need an affidavit but don’t have a notary handy? Running up against a deadline to respond to interrogatories? Many litigators—especially those who represent individuals—can save the hassle of directing their clients to a notary by drafting unsworn declarations.
Under Texas and federal statutes, unsworn declarations may be used in lieu of most written sworn declarations, verifications, certifications, oaths, or affidavits. But unlike affidavits, unsworn declarations are not notarized.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 132.001(d), the declaration must be in writing, signed by the affiant as true under penalty of perjury, and include a jurat in substantially the following form:
My name is [first name] [middle name] [last name], my date of birth is ____________, and my address is [street address], [city], [state], [zip code], and [country]. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed in _______ County, State of ________, on the ____ day of [month], [year].
Likewise on the federal side, 28 U.S.C. § 1746(2) provides the following form for declarations signed within the United States (and its territories, possessions, or commonwealths):
I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on (date).
The federal statute provides a slightly different form for declarations executed outside the United States, and the Texas statute provides a different form for declarations signed by employees of state agencies and political subdivisions as well as inmates. See 28 U.S.C. § 1746(1); Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 132.001(e), (f).
By using unsworn declarations in the place of affidavits and verifications, attorneys can save much time and hassle in obtaining written testimony or verifications from clients.