Chapter 11.

Oaths.

Article 1.

General Provisions.

11-1. Oaths and affirmations to be administered with solemnity.

Whereas, lawful oaths for discovery of truth and establishing right are necessary and highly conducive to the important end of good government; and being most solemn appeals to Almighty God, as the omniscient witness of truth and the just and omnipotent avenger of falsehood, and whereas, lawful affirmations for the discovery of truth and establishing right are necessary and highly conducive to the important end of good government, therefore, such oaths and affirmations ought to be taken and administered with the utmost solemnity. (1777, c. 108, s. 2, P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 1; Rev., s. 2353; C.S., s. 3188; 1985, c. 756, s. 1.)

 

11-2. Administration of oaths.

Judges and other persons who may be empowered to administer oaths, shall (except in the cases in this Chapter excepted) require the party to be sworn to lay his hand upon the Holy Scriptures, in token of his engagement to speak the truth and in further token that, if he should swerve from the truth, he may be justly deprived of all the blessings of that holy book and made liable to that vengeance which he has imprecated on his own head. (1777, c. 108, s. 2, P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 1; Code, s. 3309; Rev., s. 2354; C.S., s. 3189; 1941, c. 11; 1971, c. 381, s. 9; 1985, c. 756, s. 2.)

 

11-3. Administration of oath with uplifted hand.

When the person to be sworn shall be conscientiously scrupulous of taking a book oath in manner aforesaid, he shall be excused from laying hands upon, or touching the Holy Gospel; and the oath required shall be administered in the following manner, namely: He shall stand with his right hand lifted up towards heaven, in token of his solemn appeal to the Supreme God, and also in token that if he should swerve from the truth he would draw down the vengeance of heaven upon his head, and shall introduce the intended oath with these words, namely:

I, A.B., do appeal to God, as a witness of the truth and the avenger of falsehood, as I shall answer the same at the great day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be known (etc., as the words of the oath may be). (1777, c. 108, s. 3, P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 2; Code, s. 3310; Rev., s. 2355; C.S., s. 3190.)

 

11-4. Affirmation in lieu of oath.

When a person to be sworn shall have conscientious scruples against taking an oath in the manner prescribed by G.S. 11-2, 11-3, or 11-7, he shall be permitted to be affirmed. In all cases the words of the affirmation shall be the same as the words of the prescribed oath, except that the word "affirm" shall be substituted for the word "swear" and the words "so help me God" shall be deleted. (1777, c. 108, s. 4, P.R.; c. 115, s. 42, P.R.; 1819, c. 1019, P.R.; 1821, c. 1112, P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 3; Code, s. 3311; Rev., s. 2356; C.S., s. 3191; 1985, c. 756, s. 3.)

 

11-5. Oaths of corporations.

In all cases where a corporation is appointed administrator, executor, collector, or to any other fiduciary position, of which fiduciary an oath is required by law, such oath may be taken by such corporation by and through any officer or agent of said corporation who is authorized by law to verify pleadings in behalf of such corporation; and any oath so taken shall be valid as the oath of such corporation. Any oath heretofore taken in the manner aforesaid in behalf of a corporation as such fiduciary is hereby validated as the oath of such corporation. (1919, c. 89, ss. 1, 2; C.S., s. 3192.)

 

11-6: Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 756, s. 4.

 

11-7. Oath or affirmation to support Constitutions; all officers to take.

Every member of the General Assembly and every person elected or appointed to hold any office of trust or profit in the State shall, before taking office or entering upon the execution of the office, take and subscribe to the following oath:

"I, ___________, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof; and that I will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me God." (1781, c. 342, s. 1, P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 4; Code, s. 3312; Rev., s. 2358; C.S., s. 3194; 1985, c. 756, s. 5.)

 

11-7.1. Who may administer oaths of office.

(a) Except as otherwise specifically required by statute, an oath of office may be administered by:

(1) A justice, judge, magistrate, clerk, assistant clerk, or deputy clerk of the General Court of Justice, a retired justice or judge of the General Court of Justice, or any member of the federal judiciary;

(2) The Secretary of State;

(3) A notary public;

(4) A register of deeds;

(5) A mayor of any city, town, or incorporated village;

(5a) A chairman of the board of commissioners of any county;

(6) A member of the House of Representatives or Senate of the General Assembly;

(7) The clerk of any county, city, town or incorporated village.

(b) The administration of an oath by any judge of the Court of Appeals prior to March 7, 1969, is hereby validated. (1953, c. 23; 1969, c. 44, s. 25; c. 499; c. 713, s. 1; 1971, c. 381, s. 10; 1977, c. 344, s. 2; 1979, c. 757; 1981, c. 682, s. 2; 1983, c. 648, s. 1; 1995, c. 147, s. 1.)

 

11-8. When deputies may administer.

In all cases where any civil officer, in the discharge of his duties, is permitted by the law to administer an oath, the deputy of such officer, when discharging such duties, shall have authority to administer it, provided he is a sworn officer; and the oath thus administered by the deputy shall be as obligatory as if administered by the principal officer, and shall be attended with the same penalties in case of false swearing. (1836, c. 27, s. 2; R.C., c. 76, s. 7; Code, s. 3316; Rev., s. 2359; C.S., s. 3195.)

 

11-9. Administration by certain officers.

The chairman of the board of county commissioners and the chairman of the board of education of the several counties may administer oaths in any matter or hearing before their respective boards. (1889, c. 529; 1899, c. 89; Rev., s. 2362; C.S., s. 3196.)

 

11-10. When county surveyors may administer oaths.

The county surveyors of the several counties are empowered to administer oaths to all such persons as are required by law to be sworn in making partition of real estate, in establishing boundaries and in surveying vacant lands under warrants. (1881, c. 144; Code, s. 3314; Rev., s. 2361; C.S., s. 3197; 1959, c. 879, s. 4.)