California Official Court Reporters Association

Professional Practice : Oaths

Official reporters are authorized to administer oaths per Code of Civil Procedure 2093(a). Occasionally they are called upon to do so, in which case the following information is helpful.

Civil Procedure Oaths to Witness


(Chapter Law 688, Statutes of 2000)

Chapter Law 688 of the Statutes of 2000, effective January 1, 2001, repeals Sections 2095 to 2097 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

The old law specifies the form of an oath to a witness and variations of the oath to suit the belief of a witness.

The amended law provides that the oath is to no longer include the word “swear”, which is replaced with the word “state”.

The amended law also provides for an alternative form of the oath for a person who desires to affirm, declare or to avoid swearing or using the phrase, “so help you God.”

The oath to a witness is as follows:

“You do solemnly state that the testimony you may give in the cause now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”
(See Section 2094, Code of Civil Procedure.)

The oath to multiple witnesses is as follows:

“You, and each of you, do solemnly state that the testimony you may give in the cause now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”

The alternative oath to a witness is as follows:

“You do solemnly state, under penalty of perjury, that the testimony you may give in the cause now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

The basic form of the oath to children of tender years is as follows:

“Do you promise that everything you tell here today will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

or

“You do solemnly state that you will tell the truth, so help you God.”

The court may wish to adopt its own form and/or to administer the oath. In the case of a child under 10 years, the court, in its discretion, may require the child only to promise to tell the truth. Check with the court prior to administering this oath.

When the jury is to review the premises, use the following form of oath to the shower:

“You so solemnly state that you will well and truly perform the duties of a shower of the premises in this case, that you will not allow anyone to speak to the jury concerning this case nor do so yourself except to point out physical objects upon the premises as directed by the court, so help you God.”

When recalling a witness, the procedure depends largely upon the policy of the particular court. The witness should either be re-sworn or reminded of his/her oath by the judge or clerk, as policy directs. A suggested form of reminder for use by clerks is:

“Mr. __________________ or Miss/Mrs. _______________, you have been previously placed under oath and remain so. Please take the stand and re-state your name for the record.”