A witness statement form is a document used to show what a witness has to say regarding a case. You should first file the witness affidavit form if you are bringing a witness to arbitration then serve it to the other side. Your witness can’t get approval to give his statement or evidence in case you aren’t able to do this in time.
However, there is no standard format for this document but you should consider the following;
- On an A4-sized paper, type or write the statement by hand.
- Start the document by stating complete legal name, complete address, and the occupation of the witness providing the statement.
- Number the paragraphs and you should ensure that each paragraph has an idea or fact in it.
- On the last page, affix the witness signature and the date he signed the document.
Table of Contents
- 1 Different types of witness statement forms:
- 2 Why is essential to make a witness statement form?
- 3 What to include in your witness statement form?
- 4 How to take statements for your witness statement form?
- 5 How to write a witness statement form for the court?
- 6 The benefits of using a witness statement form:
- 7 Conclusion:
Different types of witness statement forms:
Once in a life no matter where you are you may experience altercations or incidents. If such instances occur and you are witness then the people allocated to the investigation may speak to you. They may even ask you to sign a witness affidavit form. This document has all the pieces of information that you’ve remembered regarding the incident you’ve witnessed. There are different types of witness statement templates and on the basis of the situation they’re used for. You can create a form for the following;
- Office workers
Why is essential to make a witness statement form?
A witness statement form is a type of document that includes the summary of a witness’ oral proof which he will give while the trial. The main purpose of the witness statement form is to disclose the proof of the witness. There are some jurisdictions where the form acts as the testimony. But, this document in other jurisdictions only acts as a “preview” of the proof that the witness will give.
You can make a witness statement in various ways. You can look at some witness statement examples to have a better idea of what to write in case it’s your first time to compose this document. Consider the following ways to write the witness statement;
- The witness by using his own words, write down his statement or his version of the events that transpired. After that, he has to affix his signature, date the document, and have it notarized.
- Also, a lawyer may write the statement depending on what the witness explained and then ask the witness to sign the document.
- The witness may has right to record his statement. Then, he testifies the accuracy of what he said during the trial. This type of witness statement is considered official by the court and you can use it during the trial.
What to include in your witness statement form?
If you are going to compose a witness statement, then you should just write what you know. In the document, include what you’ve seen, what you’ve done, and what you’ve heard about the incident. The gossips, rumors, or information that you have got from other sources, don’t include them.
Furthermore, this document also includes all of the information to develop your credibility as a witness. For example, you should include the following information while making a statement for your work;
- Indicate the date when you have signed the agreement for employment.
- The date when your work started and the position you started with.
- In case, you are employed under any enterprise agreement, mention this as well.
- State the date and your new job title if you had a promotion.
- Any information regarding a change in your responsibilities and duties.
- Any information about meetings regarding performances or complaints.
- Any details regarding your dismissal and reason behind it.
- Your last working day date.
In witness statements, dates are very essential. However, you can’t remember sometimes the exact date of the incident. You may specify the date range in such a case and include the words “on or about” to explain the estimation.
Moreover, in case, you are composing the witness statement yourself, include significant statements in quotation marks that other people said during the incident. If there are any other documents then attach them to the witness statement.
How to take statements for your witness statement form?
Consider the following tips for taking statements from witnesses;
- Ask the witness while speaking to him to share the information briefly and precisely. You don’t have to add comments regarding what happened or any rumors that he may have heard regarding the event. Use quotation marks if you’re writing the statements verbatim.
- The witnesses who were present at the time the event occurred, speak to all of them. By doing this, you can compose all of the witness statements. Also, you become able to include all of the information in your investigation report.
- Take down notes as you converse with the witnesses. This way, when it’s time to make the witness statement forms, you will remember everything they’ve said. But, you should stop and listen carefully if the witness doesn’t feel comfortable about you writing down notes so that you won’t forget anything.
- Make the questions as simple as you possibly can while ask them to the witness. Also, don’t use technical jargon or terminology. This is because they might confuse the person you’re talking to. When the witness answers your questions, you should wait till he has completed before you ask the next question.
- In some cases, the witness is unable to immediately recall the details of the incident, particularly when he witnessed something extremely stressful or traumatizing. You have no option in such a case but to wait patiently. You won’t get anywhere by asking too many questions or forcing the witness to answer the questions and share details which he doesn’t remember. He may end up by refusing to speak to you altogether.
- Sometimes, the witness is unable to voice out what he has seen, heard or experienced. In such cases, by using diagrams or sketches, you may ask the witness to express himself if such would be easier for him. After that, you may have a visual interpretation of a witness statement.
- Don’t admit to any kind of liability. You should never recommend while discussing with a witness that you possess prior knowledge of any dangerous behavior or situation that led to the event in question. Never start arguing with the witness about legal or moral issues. Keep in mind that your job is to get the statement. You may become liable by saying too much.
- When you are composing the document for the other people, ensure to ask the witnesses who gave the statements to affix their signature and the date. This step is compulsory for both you and the witness.
How to write a witness statement form for the court?
Witness statement forms can prove to be extremely valuable in times when lawsuits need to reach the court. As a form of proof, you can use these documents but you first have to know how to compose them properly. You may download this witness statement template, and when composing your own statement, you can use it or make it as your reference. Here are some tips to follow;
- Try to remember all of the details of the incident before you start. Think about whether or not people are worthy to become a witness to the incident in case you plan to ask them to give their statements.
- Make sure your statements are short and precise. Don’t make it confusing by adding too many words to lengthen the document.
- By writing down the court name, the case name, and the case number, start the document.
- At the beginning of each paragraph, write small numbers to make the document easier to refer to when used in court.
- Give a precise background of the case in order to make sure that everyone involved has an idea of the incident and why you’re taking it up in court.
- It’s up to you whether to write the witness statements either in narrative or bullet form. All the information in the document is true as stated by the witnesses is the important thing that you have to make sure.
- Include a statement that states you’ve sworn to the law. It means that everything you’ve written in the document is true.
- To the document, affix your signature or in case, you’re writing the statement for the witness, then ask him to sign.
The benefits of using a witness statement form:
Experienced professionals has designed a witness form and so it has a very distinctive look. It makes the user able to record the statement in a very systematic and organized manner. Thus, it makes it easier to refer to the statement on a later date. You can customize the forms according to the need of the user that is surely an added benefit. These forms are considered to be valuable proof in the judicial court once sealed or signed by the concerned authority.
In conclusion, a witness statement form is an important document that contains the statements of a witness regarding an incident. You, as an in charge of investigating the incident, have to gather statements from witnesses. The statement should be concise and short.