Declarations Can Now Be Used in Lieu of Affidavits in Tennessee State Courts

Tennessee’s rules of civil procedure now permit the use of declarations in lieu of affidavits.

TRCP Rule 72 provides as follows:

Wherever these rules require or permit an affidavit or sworn declaration, an unsworn declaration made under penalty of perjury may be filed in lieu of an affidavit or sworn declaration. Such declaration must be signed and dated by the declarant and must state in substantially the following form: "I declare (or certify, verify or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct." 

Tennessee has also adopted the Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act.  The Act, codified at T.C.A. Sec. 24-9-310 et seq, governs the admissibility of declarations made by someone on foreign soil.

The use of a declaration avoids the need to have a notary present at the time the witness gives written testimony.  Notice that Rule 72 permits the use of declarations rather than affidavits when filing or responding to motions for summary judgment.