Writing a witness Statement

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment


Layout and headings

  • Use white A4 paper
  • Type if possible, or use neat, clear handwriting in black or blue pen
  • Use only one side of the paper
  • Write the case name, court and case number at the top of the page
    Meena Vishwana v Fiona Frame trading as Fantastic Florists
    In the Local Court at Blacktown
    Case Number SC2009/766
  • Write the name of the person making the statement
    Statement of Meena Vishwana

Content

  • The statement should be written by the witness using their own words
  • Start with the name, address and occupation of the witness
    I, Meena Vishwana, of 12/32 Campbell St Blacktown NSW 2148, self employed IT consultant, state:
  • Next, the role of the witness or the relationship of the witness to a party to the case
    1. I am the plaintiff OR
    I am employed by the plaintiff OR
    I was asked by the plaintiff to prepare this statement OR
    I am the plaintiff’s mother/father/sister/brother/friend
  • Then, the details of what the witness saw, heard, said and did. The content of the statement should be in short, numbered paragraphs. It should refer to all the relevant events, people, places and dates in a logical way.
  • Your own statement will usually be the most detailed statement. For example,If your case is about a contract or agreement you should describe:

    a. how, when and where the contract or agreement was made

    b. what was in the contract or agreement

    c. how and when the contract was carried out or breached

    d. when payments were made or failed to be made

    e.any financial loss you have suffered.

    If your case is about a car accident you should describe:
    a. where, when and how the accident happened

    b. why the other driver was at fault

    c. the damage to your car and the other driver’s car

    d. the cost of repairing your car.

  • Witness statements should not include opinions or beliefs, or arguments about the law. For example, you should not write ‘the defendant signed the contract, so they must have understood its conditions’. You would just write, “I saw the defendant sign the contract”.
  • If the witness writes about a conversation that is important for the case, it should be set out in speech marks as accurately as possible. If you cannot remember exactly what was said you can say “words to the effect of”.
    2.On 14 April 2009 I got a telephone call from Fiona Frame. She said “I am looking for someone to build and maintain a website for my shop, and also to do general computer maintenance and troubleshooting”. I said “We should have a meeting to discuss what you want in more detail and then I can give you a quote”.OR

    2. On 14 April 2009 I got a telephone call from Fiona Frame and she said words to the effect of “I am looking for someone to build a website and do IT work for me”. I replied with words to the effect of ” We should meet and talk about what you want and then I can give you a quote”.

  • If the witness refers to a document it should be attached to the statement. Each document attached should be given a letter of the alphabet.
    3. A copy of my letter to Fiona Frame dated 23 April 2009 confirming our agreement is attached and marked with the letter A.
  • The witness should sign and date the statement at the end.

For examples of witness statements see Sample witness statements - Plaintiff and Sample witness statements – Defendant.

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