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(Law) A sworn statement in writing; a declaration in writing, signed and made upon oath before an authorized magistrate. It is always made ex parte, and without cross-examination, and in this differs from a deposition. It is also applied to written statements made on affirmation. Any voluntary ex parte statement reduced to writing, and sworn to or affirmed before some person legally authorized to administer an oath or affirmation. A declaration of fact written down and sworn to by the declarant before an officer authorized to administer oaths.


Syn. - Deposition. See Deposition. An oath or affirmation reduced to writing, sworn or affirmed to before some officer who has authority to administer it. It differs from a deposition in this, that in the latter the opposite party has had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness, whereas an affidavit is always taken ex parte. Under old debtor laws, an affidavit to hold to bail, is in many cases required before the defendant can be arrested; such affidavit must be made by a person who is acquainted with the fact, and must state, an indebtedness from the defendant to the plaintiff; show a distinct cause of action; the whole ...

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