I-2-6-54.Oaths and Affirmations

Last Update: 9/2/05 (Transmittal I-2-64)

The ALJ should take all testimony under oath or affirmation. Testimony can be received from a witness who refuses to swear or affirm, but any such refusal must be noted on the record. All oaths and affirmations must be administered on the record.

A. Administering the Oath or Affirmation

Before administering the oath or affirmation to a person, the ALJ will ask the person to raise his or her right hand. When the ALJ administers the oath or affirmation, the person need not repeat it, but should respond “I do.”

B. Oath or Affirmation for a Claimant or Witness

The oath or affirmation for a claimant or witness is as follows:

Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that the testimony you are about to give at this hearing (or, if a deposition, the testimony you are about to give at this time) shall be the truth, and nothing but the truth, under penalty of perjury?

C. Oath or Affirmation for an Interpreter

The oath or affirmation for an interpreter, which should be administered before the person testifies and after the interpreter certifies his or her relationship to the person testifying, including whether he or she is acting as the person's legal representative (See I-2-6-10 A., Interpreter's Certification.), is as follows:

Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will accurately interpret the questions asked and the answers given in this case to the best of your ability, under penalty of perjury?

D. Multiple Witnesses

If there are several witnesses, the ALJ may administer the oath or affirmation to all of them at one time before anyone testifies, or separately to each person.

E. Incompetent Witnesses

The ALJ may choose not to administer an oath or affirmation to a child or an incompetent individual if the ALJ believes the witness will not understand the significance of the oath or affirmation. In this situation, the ALJ must impress upon the witness the importance of truthful answers. The ALJ must also state on the record that the witness was not sworn and explain why.

F. Recalling a Witness

If the ALJ recalls a witness who was previously sworn, the ALJ will not have to administer the oath or affirmation again, but should remind the witness that he or she is still under oath.