We often find affidavits ending with a concluding paragraph that states, “I swear this affidavit in support of [my application, motion, etc] and for no other or improper purpose.” This boilerplate ending seem like a useful concluding phrase, but does it have any real purpose? And should it even be there?
It turns out, at least in our practice area of estates litigation, you are better off without it. There is no need to specifically limit the purpose you are swearing an affidavit for, and no need to say that you are not swearing it for any “improper purpose”. That much is presumed. Courts have been clear that a concluding paragraph of that “is not required in either form of substance” (see, for example, Powers v. Webber (Estate of), 2020 ONSC 2359 (CanLII), at para 11).
This sentence can also cause difficulty if used thoughtlessly. For example, lawyers have accidentally included it in affidavits of parties who are supposed to be neutral, such as experts. In that case, it’s quite improper for the expert to swear an affidavit in support of anyone’s motion or application. Their duty is to the court. In other instances, affiants have been taken by this phrase to support relief they may not have intended to consent to, simply because of a boilerplate clause at the end of their affidavit.
All in all, it’s best to remove this language from your precedent. It sounds important, but it’s not, and it can have unintended consequences.
Nothing contained in this post constitutes legal advice or establishes a solicitor-client relationship. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights or legal obligations, you should consult a lawyer.