NEW YORK RELAXING REQUIREMENTS FOR NOTARIZED DOCUMENTS
For many New Yorkers, especially those who live in rural areas, finding and getting to a notary public can be challenging. That hardship added to the difficulty of submitting documents to New York courts for matters involving divorce, child custody and personal injury lawsuits. But a pending change in the law will soon ease that burden.
On January 1, 2024, a bill recently passed by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul will become law, permitting New Yorkers in civil cases to submit affirmations to court, instead of affidavits (which required the signature on the document to be notarized). Affirmations and affidavits contain sworn statements by the person signing the document.
Before the law was changed, Rule 2106 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) restricted the use of affirmations to attorneys, physicians, osteopaths and dentists. The new law amends and expands the scope of CPLR 2106 to allow for affirmations to be submitted to court by all litigants and witnesses in civil cases. In making this change, New York joins 20 other states in permitting the use of affirmations under penalty of perjury by all litigants, and brings the New York law in line with the prevailing rule that already applies to all actions filed in federal court.