Calling the requirement that litigants and court practitioners notarize documents burdensome, New York will now allow all involved in civil actions to submit an affirmation under penalty of perjury in lieu of an affidavit.

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed into tandem bills A05772 and S05162, which amended New York Civil Practice Law & Rules and expanded the list of those permitted to submit affirmations instead of affidavits from just attorneys, physicians, osteopaths and dentists, as well as any person outside the jurisdiction of the United States, to include everyone involved. This amendment goes into effect on January 1, 2024, and shall apply to all pending and future actions.

This aligns New York with the federal practice and more than 20 other states. The sponsors of the bills said it will relieve unnecessary burdens on litigants, non-party witnesses, county clerks, and courts.

The required affirmation will take the form of the following:

“I affirm this ______day of ______ ,_____ , under the penalties of perjury under the laws of New York, which may include a fine or imprisonment, that the foregoing is true, and I understand that this document may be filed in an action or proceeding in a court of law.”

Many believe the change will save time and money for litigants, non-party witnesses and attorneys. In many communities, notaries are scarce or inaccessible for those with limited financial resources.

Harris Beach’s attorneys are staying up on this and other related matters. If you have questions, please reach out to attorney Kelly Jones Howell at (212) 912-3652 and; attorney David J. Dino at (212) 313-5484 and; or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you most frequently work.

This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.