An Example of a Witness Statement
The strict rules on preparing witness statements do not apply to small claims hearings. A judge will not expect a litigant in person to produce perfectly set out legal documents. Nonetheless, a witness statement produced in accordance with the relevant law will be a more useful and credible document.
Part 32 of the Civil Procedures Rules contain guidance on preparing witness statements.
The Heading of a Witness StatementA witness statement should clearly identify the particular case and party to which it relates. The top left hand corner should give the name of the court where the case is to be heard. The top right hand corner should state:
- The party for whom the witness statement has been prepared;
- The date on which the witness statement was made; and,
- The claim number of the case.
- The name of the Claimant, for example "Roger Brown", with the word "Claimant" written in the right hand margin;
- The word "and";
- The name of the Defendant, for example "David Barnwell", with the word "Defendant" written in the right hand margin.
- WITNESS STATEMENT OF ROGER BROWN.
The Opening ParagraphsA witness statement should start by explaining who is making the witness statement and what their involvement is with the case.
1. I live at 42 Tall Trees, Bedford and am the Claimant in this case. I make this statement in support of my claim for money due under an agreement for the supply of goods and services. This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
2. I run my own business as a builder and kitchen-fitter and trade as "Build EZ".
The Body of the Witness StatementThe witness statement should set out the facts of the case - as the witness knows them - in a logical order. If the witness statement refers to any documents these should be exhibited to the witness statement.
3. On or about 27 February 2011 I received a telephone call from David Barnwell, the Defendant in this case. He said that he had seen my advert in the local paper and asked if I would come to his house to give him a quote for a fitted kitchen.
4. On or about 3rd March 2011 I visited the home of the Defendant. We discussed his requirements for the kitchen and I took the necessary measurements. Having researched local suppliers for the units and appliances that the Defendant wanted, I prepared a written quotation for £4000 to include supplying and fitting the kitchen. I refer to a copy of the written quotation attached hereto and marked 'RB1'. I sent the Defendant a copy of the quotation on or about 7th March 2011.
5. A few days after 7th March 2011 the Defendant telephoned me again. He said that he was happy with the quotation and asked me when I could start. I said that I would be able to start work on the kitchen on 26 March 2011 and that it would take about a week to do the work. The Defendant said he was happy with these dates and confirmed that he would like me to fit the kitchen.
6. As agreed I started work on the kitchen on 26 March 2011. There was a slight delay in completing the works because the new cooker was not delivered when expected. However, the kitchen was completed on 3 April 2011. I asked the Defendant to sign a copy of the invoice for £4000, to confirm that the works had been completed as agreed and he did. I refer to a copy of the invoice signed by the Defendant and dated 3 April 2011 attached hereto and marked 'RB2'. It can be seen that the invoice states that payment should be made within 30 days.
7. I have telephoned the Defendant many times and sent him letters asking for payment. However, the Defendant has failed to pay the amount due on the invoice. I refer to copies of the letters I have sent the Defendant requesting payment attached hereto and marked 'RB3'. The Defendant never complained about the kitchen and I do not know why he has failed to pay the money due.
8. I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.
To be valid the witness statement must contain a "statement of truth" as in paragraph 8 above.