CHAPTER 4*
OATHS

      *Sections 1-22 through 1-25 cited. 176 C. 17; 180 C. 345.

      It must be presumed that where the legislature prescribes that an acknowledgment be under oath, the oath should be administered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. 40 CS 151.


Table of Contents

Sec. 1-22. Ceremony.
Sec. 1-23. When affirmation may be used.
Sec. 1-24. Who may administer oaths.
Sec. 1-24a. Affiant may swear truth of document or other writing before proper officer, when.
Sec. 1-25. Forms of oaths.

      Sec. 1-22. Ceremony. The ceremony to be used, by persons to whom an oath is administered, shall be the holding up of the right hand; but when any person, by reason of scruples of conscience, objects to such ceremony or when the court or authority by whom the oath is to be administered has reason to believe that any other ceremony will be more binding upon the conscience of the witness, such court or authority may permit or require any other ceremony to be used.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3573.)

      Statutory formalities are to be observed. 41 C. 206. Whether witness has scruples of conscience against taking an oath is to be accepted from statement of witness without further proof. 109 C. 711. Error to deny accused right to affirm on sole ground that he believed in Supreme Being. Id. Sections 1-22 through 1-25 cited. 176 C. 17. Cited. 210 C. 359. Cited. 211 C. 555; Id., 672. Cited. 224 C. 563.

      Cited. 9 CA 1.


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      Sec. 1-23. When affirmation may be used. When any person, required to take an oath, from scruples of conscience declines to take it in the usual form or when the court is satisfied that any person called as a witness does not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, a solemn affirmation may be administered to him in the form of the oath prescribed, except that instead of the word "swear" the words "solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare" shall be used and instead of the words "so help you God" the words "upon the pains and penalties of perjury or false statement" shall be used.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3574; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 57.)

      History: 1971 act added the words "or false statement" to wording of affirmation.

      Cited. 202 C. 463. Cited. 211 C. 555.

      Cited. 9 CA 1.


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      Sec. 1-24. Who may administer oaths. The following officers may administer oaths: (1) The clerks of the Senate, the clerks of the House of Representatives and the chairpersons of committees of the General Assembly or of either branch thereof, during its session; (2) state officers, as defined in subsection (t) of section 9-1, judges and clerks of any court, family support magistrates, judge trial referees, justices of the peace, commissioners of the Superior Court, notaries public, town clerks and assistant town clerks, in all cases where an oath may be administered, except in a case where the law otherwise requires; (3) commissioners on insolvent estates, auditors, arbitrators and committees, to parties and witnesses, in all cases tried before them; (4) assessors and boards of assessment appeals, in cases coming before them; (5) commissioners appointed by governors of other states to take the acknowledgment of deeds, in the discharge of their official duty; (6) the moderator of a school district meeting, in such meeting, to the clerk of such district, as required by law; (7) the first selectman, in any matter before the board of selectmen; (8) the Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy Medical Examiner and assistant medical examiners of the Office of the Medical Examiner, in any matter before them; (9) registrars of vital statistics, in any matter before them; (10) any chief inspector or inspector appointed pursuant to section 51-286; (11) registrars of voters, deputy registrars, assistant registrars, and moderators, in any matter before them; (12) special assistant registrars, in matters provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of section 9-19b and section 9-19c; (13) the Commissioner of Public Safety and any sworn member of any local police department or the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety, in all affidavits, statements, depositions, complaints or reports made to or by any member of any local police department or said Division of State Police or any constable who is under the supervision of said commissioner or any of such officers of said Division of State Police and who is certified under the provisions of sections 7-294a to 7-294e, inclusive, and performs criminal law enforcement duties; (14) judge advocates of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, law specialists of the United States Coast Guard, adjutants, assistant adjutants, acting adjutants and personnel adjutants, commanding officers, executive officers and officers whose rank is lieutenant commander or major, or above, of the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, to persons serving with or in the armed forces, as defined in said section, or their spouses; (15) investigators, deputy investigators, investigative aides, secretaries, clerical assistants, social workers, social worker trainees, paralegals and certified legal interns employed by or assigned to the Public Defender Services Commission in the performance of their assigned duties; (16) bail commissioners employed by the Judicial Department in the performance of their assigned duties; (17) juvenile matter investigators employed by the Division of Criminal Justice in the performance of their assigned duties; (18) the chairperson of the Connecticut Siting Council or the chairperson's designee; (19) the presiding officer at an agency hearing under section 4-177b; (20) family relations counselors employed by the Judicial Department and support enforcement officers and investigators employed by the Department of Social Services Bureau of Child Support Enforcement and the Judicial Department, in the performance of their assigned duties; (21) the chairperson, vice-chairperson, members and employees of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, in the performance of their assigned duties; and (22) the Commissioner of Correction or the commissioner's designee.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3575; 1955, S. 1958d; 1959, P.A. 152, S. 2; 1961, P.A. 165; 1967, P.A. 66, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 699, S. 17; 1971, P.A. 412, S. 9; 752; P.A. 73-185; P.A. 74-170; 74-186, S. 3, 12; P.A. 75-567, S. 19, 80; P.A. 76-111, S. 2; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 79-143, S. 3; 79-181; P.A. 80-174; 80-190, S. 1; 80-281, S. 1, 31; P.A. 82-104; 82-298, S. 6; P.A. 86-180; 86-187, S. 1, 10; P.A. 87-316, S. 1; P.A. 88-132; 88-317, S. 35, 107; P.A. 90-57; P.A. 91-24, S. 1, 8; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; 93-329, S. 7; 93-435, S. 59, 95; P.A. 95-283, S. 22, 68; P.A. 96-58, S. 1, 2; P.A. 97-256, S. 2; P.A. 01-7; 01-84, S. 1, 26; P.A. 02-71, S. 1; 02-132, S. 1; P.A. 03-278, S. 1; P.A. 04-234, S. 2; 04-257, S. 113; P.A. 05-108, S. 1.)

      History: 1959 act deleted county commissioners; 1961 act included assistant town clerks; 1967 act added lieutenant governor and commissioner of state police and state and local police officers; 1969 act included chief, deputy and assistant medical examiners of the office of medicolegal investigations, effective July 1, 1970; 1971 acts changed "medicolegal investigations" to "medical examiner" and included county detectives; P.A. 73-185 included deputy and assistant registrars and moderators; P.A. 74-170 included various officers of the armed services; P.A. 74-186 replaced county detectives with chief or appointed detectives; P.A. 75-567 made technical changes; P.A. 76-111 changed "detective" to "inspector"; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 changed commissioner and department of state police to commissioner and department of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-143 included special assistant registrars under certain conditions; P.A. 79-181 included restitution specialists in court-ordered investigations and reports; P.A. 80-174 replaced "governor, lieutenant governor" with "state officers ..."; P.A. 80-190 deleted coroners; P.A. 80-281 broadened powers of special assistant registrars to administer oaths; P.A. 82-104 inserted Subdiv. indicators and added a subdivision authorizing certain employees in the public defender services commission to administer oaths; P.A. 82-298 deleted reference to restitution specialists; P.A. 86-180 added Subdiv. (16) authorizing the administration of oaths by bail commissioners, assistant bail commissioners and certain employees of the office of the bail commission; P.A. 86-187 added Subdiv. (17) authorizing chairman of Connecticut siting council or his designee to administer oaths; P.A. 87-316 authorized family support magistrates to administer oaths; P.A. 88-132 amended Subdiv. (13) to authorize the commissioner of public safety and certain state and local police officials to administer oaths to any constable who is under the supervision of said commissioner or any of such officers of the division of state police and who is certified under Secs. 7-294a to 7-294e, inclusive, and performs criminal law enforcement duties; P.A. 88-317 added Subdiv. (18) authorizing presiding officer at an agency hearing under Sec. 4-177b to administer oaths, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 90-57 amended Subdiv. (13) to authorize police department and state police corporals to administer oaths; P.A. 91-24 authorized juvenile matter investigators to administer oaths; P.A. 93-262 and 93-435 substituted commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-329 added Subdiv. (20) permitting family relations counselors of the family division of the superior court and support enforcement officers and investigators to administer oaths in the performance of their assigned duties; P.A. 95-283 replaced board of tax review with board of assessment appeals, effective July 6, 1995; P.A. 96-58 amended Subdiv. (13) to replace "the chief, acting chief, superintendent of police, major, captain, lieutenant, sergeant and corporal" with "any sworn member" of any local police department and amended Subdiv. (15) to include "social workers, social worker trainees, paralegals and certified legal interns" among personnel of the Public Defender Services Commission authorized to administer oaths, effective May 7, 1996; P.A. 97-256 added Subdiv. (21) authorizing the chairman, vice-chairman and members of the Board of Parole and parole officers and parole supervisors to administer oaths in the performance of their assigned duties; P.A. 01-7 added Subdiv. (22) authorizing the Commissioner of Correction or the commissioner's designee to administer oaths and made technical changes for the purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 01-84 amended Subdiv. (17) to specify that juvenile matter investigators are employed by the Division of Criminal Justice rather than the Judicial Department and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 02-71 amended Subdiv. (2) to make a technical change and add "judge trial referees"; P.A. 02-132 replaced provision re bail commissioners, assistant bail commissioners, secretaries and clerical assistants employed in the office of the Bail Commission with provision re bail commissioners employed by the Judicial Department in Subdiv. (16), replaced provision re family relations counselors of the Family Division of the Superior Court with provision re family relations counselors employed by the Judicial Department in Subdiv. (20) and made technical changes in Subdivs. (2), (14) and (20); P.A. 03-278 made a technical change in Subdiv. (2), effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 04-234 replaced Board of Parole with Board of Pardons and Paroles in Subdiv. (21), effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-257 amended Subdiv. (21) to delete "parole officers and parole supervisors", effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 05-108 amended Subdiv. (21) to include "employees" of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, effective June 7, 2005.

      See Sec. 53-368 re penalty for falsely certifying administration of oath.

      Cited. 238 C. 588.

      Cited. 9 CA 1. Cited. 16 CA 486.


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      Sec. 1-24a. Affiant may swear truth of document or other writing before proper officer, when. In any matter in which a document or other writing is to be submitted under penalty of false statement, the affiant may, in lieu thereof, swear to the truth of the document or writing before any proper officer.

      (P.A. 99-84, S. 32.)

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      Sec. 1-25. Forms of oaths. The forms of oaths shall be as follows, to wit:

FOR MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, EXECUTIVE
AND JUDICIAL OFFICERS.

      You do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the state of Connecticut, so long as you continue a citizen thereof; and that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, the duties of the office of .... to the best of your abilities; so help you God.

FOR NOTARIES PUBLIC.

      You do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the state of Connecticut; and that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, the duties of the office of notary public to the best of your abilities; so help you God.

FOR ELECTORS.

      You solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will be true and faithful to the constitutions and governments of the State of Connecticut and the United States of America; that the statements made in your application for admission as an elector are true and complete; and that your privileges as an elector are not forfeited by reason of conviction of a felony; so help you God.

FOR ATTORNEYS.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will do nothing dishonest, and will not knowingly allow anything dishonest to be done in court, and that you will inform the court of any dishonesty of which you have knowledge; that you will not knowingly maintain or assist in maintaining any cause of action that is false or unlawful; that you will not obstruct any cause of action for personal gain or malice; but that you will exercise the office of attorney, in any court in which you may practice, according to the best of your learning and judgment, faithfully, to both your client and the court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR PETIT JURORS IN CRIMINAL CAUSES.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will, without respect of any persons or favor of any person, decide this case between the state of Connecticut and the defendant (or defendants) based on the evidence given in court and on the laws of this state, as explained by the judge; that you will not talk to each other about this case until instructed to do so; that you will listen to and consider what the other jurors have to say in deliberations about this case; that you will not speak to anyone else, or allow anyone else to speak to you, about this case until you have been discharged by the court; and that when you reach a decision, you will not disclose the decision until it is announced in court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR ALTERNATE JURORS IN CRIMINAL CAUSES.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that, if you become a member of the jury for this case, you will, without respect of any persons or favor of any person, decide this case between the state of Connecticut and the defendant (or defendants) based on the evidence given in court and on the laws of this state, as explained by the judge; that you will not talk to each other about this case until instructed to do so; that you will listen to and consider what the other jurors have to say in deliberations about this case; that you will not speak to anyone else, or allow anyone else to speak to you about this case until you have been discharged by the court; and that when you reach a decision, you will not disclose the decision until it is announced in court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR JURORS IN CIVIL CAUSES.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will decide this case between the plaintiff and the defendant (or plaintiffs and defendants) based on the evidence given in court and on the laws of this state as explained by the judge; that you will not talk to each other about this case until instructed to do so; that you will listen to and consider what the other jurors have to say in deliberations about this case; that you will not speak to anyone else, or allow anyone else to speak to you, about this case; and that when you reach a decision, you will not disclose the decision until it is announced in court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR ALTERNATE JURORS IN CIVIL CAUSES.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that, if you become a member of the jury for this case, you will decide this case between the plaintiff and the defendant (or plaintiffs and defendants) based on the evidence given in court and on the laws of this state as explained by the judge; that you will not talk to each other about this case until instructed to do so; that you will listen to and consider what the other jurors have to say in deliberations about this case; that you will not speak to anyone else, or allow anyone else to speak to you, about this case; and that when you reach a decision, you will not disclose the decision until it is announced in court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

VOIR DIRE.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will answer truthfully all questions that you are asked, none of which will be about the merits of the case for which the jury is being selected; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR WITNESSES.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that the evidence you shall give concerning this case shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR INVESTIGATORY GRAND JURY WITNESSES.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that the evidence you shall give concerning this investigation into the commission of a crime or crimes, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR WITNESSES TWELVE YEARS OF AGE OR YOUNGER.

      You promise that you will tell the truth.

FOR AN INTERPRETER IN A CRIMINAL CASE.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will interpret accurately the information (or indictment) that charges the accused with a crime and all questions that the accused may be asked under the direction of the court in a language the accused can understand and speak; that you will interpret accurately the pleas of the accused to the information (or indictment) and the answers of the accused to the court (or to the court and jury) in English; and that you will make all interpretations to the best of your skill and judgment; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR AN INTERPRETER IN COURT.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will interpret accurately the oath to be administered to the witness and all questions that the witness may be asked under direction of the court in a language the witness can understand and speak; that you will interpret accurately the answers of the witness to the court (or to the court and jury) in English; and that you will make all interpretations to the best of your skill and judgment; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR AN INTERPRETER FOR A DEAF
OR HEARING IMPAIRED JUROR.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will interpret accurately to a deaf or hearing impaired juror the juror orientation program, any oath to be administered to the juror, all testimony and other relevant conversation, and all questions that the juror may be asked under the direction of the court; that you will interpret accurately the answers of the juror to the court in English; that you will not participate in any manner in the deliberations of the jury other than making an accurate interpretation of the remarks of the jurors during deliberations; that you will make all interpretations to the best of your skill and judgment; and that you will not communicate with anyone outside the jury concerning the business or matters before the jury; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR ASSESSORS, TO SUBSCRIBE UPON ABSTRACT.

      I, ...., assessor of the town of ...., do solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that I believe that all the lists, and the abstract of said town for the year 20.., are made up and perfected according to law; so help me God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR PLAINTIFF, WHEN INDIFFERENT PERSON IS
AUTHORIZED TO SERVE WRIT.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you believe the plaintiff is (or plaintiffs are) in danger of losing the debt (damage or other thing) in this writ, unless an indifferent person is authorized to immediately serve this writ; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

FOR MEMBERS OF A COURT-MARTIAL.

      You solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will truly try and determine, according to the evidence given in court, the matters depending between this state and the officer (or officers) now to be tried; that you will not divulge the sentence of the court until the same shall have been approved or disapproved, according to law; neither will you, at any time, disclose the vote or opinion of any member of the court, unless required by due course of law; so help you God.

FOR THE JUDGE-ADVOCATE OF A COURT-MARTIAL.

      You solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will not, at any time whatever, disclose the vote or opinion of any member of any court-martial in which you may be called to act, unless required by due course of law, nor divulge the sentence of any such court, unless the same shall have been approved or disapproved, according to law; and that you will faithfully and impartially do the duty of judge-advocate, according to your best ability; so help you God.

FOR OFFICIALS APPOINTED TO SERVE IN ANY POLLING
PLACE IN ANY ELECTION OR PRIMARY.

      You solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, your duties as ...., to the best of your ability; and that you will serve in this election or primary as the case may be, as an official, completely impartial with respect to any candidate or any political party; so help you God.

FOR ALL OTHER PERSONS OF WHOM AN OATH IS REQUIRED.

      You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, your duties as .... to the best of your abilities; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3576, 7911(b); March, 1958, P.A. 27, S. 40, 41; 1961, P.A. 207; 1967, P.A. 901, S. 10; 1969, P.A. 235, S. 1; P.A. 81-350, S. 3, 17; P.A. 83-2; 83-475, S. 2, 43; P.A. 85-613, S. 4, 154; P.A. 86-131, S. 1, 2; 86-184, S. 1, 2; P.A. 89-177, S. 2; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-1, S. 5, 7; P.A. 93-167; P.A. 02-71, S. 2.)

      History: 1961 act added oath for election and primary officials; 1967 act repealed oath for jury of inquest; 1969 act revised the oath for electors; P.A. 81-350 substituted word "person" for "man" in electors' oath; P.A. 83-2 replaced the word "prisoner at the bar" with "defendant" in the oath of petit and alternate jurors in criminal causes; P.A. 83-475 amended form of electors' oath to include reference to application for admission and forfeiture of electors' privileges; P.A. 85-613 made technical changes to restore language inadvertently lost through computer error; P.A. 86-131 added oath for an interpreter for a deaf or hearing impaired juror; P.A. 86-184 added new oath for notaries public; P.A. 89-177 added oath for witnesses 12 years of age or younger; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-1 shortened the elector's oath; P.A. 93-167 made technical changes to forms, changing "man" to "person", "he" to "the witness", "his" to "the" and added phrase "or affirm, as the case may be" to some forms for uniformity; P.A. 02-71 revised oaths for attorneys, jurors, voir dire, witnesses, interpreters, assessors, plaintiffs when indifferent person is authorized to serve writ, and other persons, deleted oath for grand jurors impaneled in court and added oath for investigatory grand jury witnesses.

      A juror who converses with nonjurors about the cause violates his oath. 3 D. 219. See 80 C. 314; 87 C. 368. Whether jurors are to be sworn on voir dire is in court's discretion. 47 C. 518. Grand juror's oath does not prevent member from testifying on trial as to accused's statements. 56 C. 399. Improper argument by an attorney may be violation of his oath. 72 C. 244. Origin of attorney's oath. 79 C. 49. Exact form of assessor's oath is directory, not mandatory; effect of slight deviation from prescribed wording. 104 C. 583. Justices of peace conducting inquest bound to secrecy by their oath. 110 C. 507. Cited. 128 C. 650; 137 C. 123. Oaths indicate that obligations of attorney can in no way conflict with obligations of grand juror. 146 C. 137. Cited. 159 C. 264. Cited. 162 C. 249. Cited. 182 C. 419. Cited. 187 C. 73. Judge has duty to see that no falsehood or other fraud is perpetrated in court, and once he declares that he believes a party or a witness has been deceitful, he cannot continue to preside in his role of impartial arbiter. Id., 163. Cited. 189 C. 303. Cited. 193 C. 670. Cited. 197 C. 141. Cited. 200 C. 91. Cited. 202 C. 463. Cited. 210 C. 359. Cited. 211 C. 672. Cited. 222 C. 541. Cited. 236 C. 112.

      Cited. 13 CA 330. Cited. 19 CA 95. Cited. 25 CA 21; Id., 543; judgment reversed, see 222 C. 541. Cited. 34 CA 58; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 537.

      Suspension from practice for misrepresentation to a judge in chambers. 2 CS 122. Slight deviation from the strictly proper form of oath does not render appraisal defective. 4 CS 427. Cited. 29 CS 305. Cited. 34 CS 147.


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