Documents under Oath 

Sometimes when you file Motions or responses to Motions with the court, you may say things that the court does not yet know. This is probably because the statement you are making has never been mentioned in any papers filed with court. Nor has it been mentioned in any of the other court proceedings. 

When this occurs, Maryland law says that you have to file an affidavit along with your Motion or Response. An affidavit is basically a document used to support what you are saying in your Motion or Response, stating the facts and information not yet known by the court. It must be signed by you and say that you swear (or affirm) under the penalties of perjury that what you are saying is true.

Sometimes you may also have to attach documents such as letters or school or medical records to your Motion or your Response. These additional documents may be needed to show that what you are saying is true.  When you attach these additional documents, you have to state in your affidavit that the documents you are sending are genuine and not altered in any way. It would be helpful for you if you could produce certified copies of the documents and submit those copies to the court.

Certified Documents

For school or medical records, you can ask the records clerk at the school or hospital to certify your records. Generally, there is a small fee for certification. The certification process usually consists of the official record keeper for the institution stamping the document to show that the document is a true and complete copy of the original. This may take anywhere from 1 to 14 days, so make sure you give yourself enough time to get the certified records.

If you plan on using any letters to support your case, it would be preferable if you could find the originals.  If you have certified, return receipts for the letters, those would be even better for your case. You may still use copies, but if you do, make sure you state in your affidavit that the copies are not altered in any way. You should also explain in your affidavit why you do not have certified or original copies of the documents and what you have done to try and get the originals.

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Is this legal advice?

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