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.)

 

 

Article 2.

Forms of Official and Other Oaths.

11-11. Oaths of sundry persons; forms.

The oaths of office to be taken by the several persons hereafter named shall be in the words following the names of said persons respectively, in all cases after taking the separate oath required by Article VI, Section 7 of the Constitution of North Carolina:

 

Administrator

 

You swear (or affirm) that you believe A. B. died without leaving any last will and testament; that you will well and truly administer all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits of the said A. B., and a true and perfect inventory thereof return according to law; and that all other duties appertaining to the charge reposed in you, you will well and truly perform, according to law, and with your best skill and ability; so help you, God.

 

Attorney at Law

 

I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that I will truly and honestly demean myself in the practice of an attorney, according to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me, God.

 

Attorney General, State District Attorneys and County Attorneys

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly serve the State of North Carolina in the office of Attorney General (district attorney for the State or attorney for the State in the county of ______); I will, in the execution of my office, endeavor to have the criminal laws fairly and impartially administered, so far as in me lies, according to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me, God.

 

Auditor

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly execute the trust reposed in me as auditor, without favor or partiality, according to law, to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me, God.

 

Book Debt Oath

 

You swear (or affirm) that the matter in dispute is a book account; that you have no means to prove the delivery of such articles, as you propose to prove by your own oath, or any of them, but by yourself; and you further swear that the account rendered by you is just and true; and that you have given all just credits; so help you, God.

 

Book Debt Oath for Administrator

 

You, as executor or administrator of A. B., swear (or affirm) that you verily believe this account to be just and true, and that there are no witnesses, to your knowledge, capable of proving the delivery of the articles therein charged; and that you found the book or account so stated, and do not know of any other or further credit to be given than what is therein given; so help you, God.

 

Clerk of the Supreme Court

 

I, ____, do solemnly swear that I will discharge the duties of the office of clerk of the Supreme Court without prejudice, affection, favor, or partiality, according to law and to the best of my skill and ability, so help me, God.

 

Clerk of the Superior Court

 

I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that, by myself or any other person, I neither have given, nor will I give, to any person whatsoever, any gratuity, fee, gift or reward, in consideration of my election or appointment to the office of clerk of the superior court for the county of ____; nor have I sold, or offered to sell, nor will I sell or offer to sell, my interest in the said office; I also solemnly swear that I do not, directly or indirectly, hold any other lucrative office in the State; and I do further swear that I will execute the office of clerk of the superior court for the county of ____ without prejudice, favor, affection or partiality, to the best of my skill and ability; so help me, God.

 

Commissioners Allotting a Year's Provisions

 

You and each of you swear (or affirm) that you will lay off and allot to the petitioner a year's provisions for herself and family, according to law, and with your best skill and ability; so help you, God.

 

Commissioners Dividing and Allotting Real Estate

 

You and each of you swear (or affirm) that, in the partition of the real estate now about to be made by you, you will do equal and impartial justice among the several claimants, according to their several rights, and agreeably to law; so help you, God.

 

Executor

 

You swear (or affirm) that you believe this writing to be and contain the last will and testament of A. B., deceased; and that you will well and truly execute the same by first paying debts and then devises, as far as the decedent's estate shall extend or the law shall charge you; and that you will well and faithfully execute the office of an executor, agreeably to the trust and confidence reposed in you, and according to law; so help you, God.

 

Grand Jury-Foreman of

 

You, as foreman of this grand inquest for the body of this county, shall diligently inquire and true presentment make of all such matters and things as shall be given you in charge; the State's counsel, your fellows' and your own you shall keep secret; you shall present no one for envy, hatred or malice; neither shall you leave anyone unpresented for fear, favor or affection, reward or the hope of reward; but you shall present all things truly, as they come to your knowledge, according to the best of your understanding; so help you, God.

 

Grand Jurors

 

The same oath which your foreman hath taken on his part, you and each of you shall well and truly observe and keep on your part; so help you, God.

 

Grand Jury-Officer of

 

You swear (or affirm) that you will faithfully carry all papers sent from the court to the grand jury, or from the grand jury to the court, without alteration or erasement, and without disclosing the contents thereof; so help you, God.

 

Jury-Officer of

 

You swear (or affirm) that you will keep every person sworn on this jury in some private and convenient place when in your charge. You shall not suffer any person to speak to them, neither shall you speak to them yourself, unless it be to ask them whether they are agreed in their verdict, but with leave of the court; so help you, God.

 

Oath for Petit Juror

 

You do solemnly swear (affirm) that you will truthfully and without prejudice or partiality try all issues in civil or criminal actions that come before you and give true verdicts according to the evidence, so help you, God.

 

Justice, Judge, or Magistrate of the General Court of Justice

 

I, ____, do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will administer justice without favoritism to anyone or to the State; that I will not knowingly take, directly or indirectly, any fee, gift, gratuity or reward whatsoever, for any matter or thing done by me or to be done by me by virtue of my office, except the salary and allowances by law provided; and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of __ of the ____ Division of the General Court of Justice to the best of my ability and understanding, and consistent with the Constitution and laws of the State; so help me, God.

 

Register of Deeds

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and truly, according to the best of my skill and ability, execute the duties of the office of register of deeds for the county of ____, in all things according to law; so help me, God.

 

Secretary of State

 

I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that I will, in all respects, faithfully and honestly execute the office of Secretary of State of the State of North Carolina, during my continuance in office, according to law; so help me, God.

 

Sheriff

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will execute the office of sheriff of __ county to the best of my knowledge and ability, agreeably to law; and that I will not take, accept or receive, directly or indirectly, any fee, gift, bribe, gratuity or reward whatsoever, for returning any man to serve as a juror or for making any false return on any process to me directed; so help me, God.

 

Law Enforcement Officer

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will be alert and vigilant to enforce the criminal laws of this State; that I will not be influenced in any matter on account of personal bias or prejudice; that I will faithfully and impartially execute the duties of my office as a law enforcement officer according to the best of my skill, abilities, and judgment; so help me, God.

 

State Treasurer

 

I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that, according to the best of my abilities and judgment, I will execute impartially the office of State Treasurer, in all things according to law, and account for the public taxes; and I will not, directly or indirectly, apply the public money to any other use than by law directed; so help me, God.

 

Surveyor for a County

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and impartially discharge the several duties of the office of surveyor for the county of ____, according to law; so help me, God.

 

Treasurer for a County

 

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that, according to the best of my skill and ability, I will execute impartially the office of treasurer for the county of ____, in all things according to law; that I will duly and faithfully account for all public moneys that may come into my hands, and will not, directly or indirectly, apply the same, or any part thereof, to any other use than by law directed; so help me, God.

 

Witness to Depose before the Grand Jury

 

You swear (or affirm) that the evidence you shall give to the grand jury, upon this bill of indictment against A. B., shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you, God.

 

Witness in a Capital Trial

 

You swear (or affirm) that the evidence you shall give to the court and jury in this trial, between the State and the prisoner at the bar, shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you, God.

 

Witness in a Criminal Action

 

You swear (or affirm) that the evidence you shall give to the court and jury in this action between the State and A. B. shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you, God.

 

Witness in Civil Cases

 

You swear (or affirm) that the evidence you shall give to the court and jury in this cause now on trial, wherein A. B. is plaintiff and C. D. defendant, shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you, God.

 

Witness to Prove a Will

 

You swear (or affirm) that you saw C. D. execute (or heard him acknowledge the execution of) this writing as his last will and testament; that you attested it in his presence and at his request; and that at the time of its execution (or at the time the execution was acknowledged) he was, in your opinion, of sound mind and disposing memory; so help you, God.

 

Witness before a Legislative Committee or Commission

 

You swear (or affirm) that the testimony you shall give to the committee (or commission) shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you, God.

 

General Oath

 

Any officer of the State or of any county or township, the term of whose oath is not given above, shall take an oath in the following form:

I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly execute the duties of the office of ____ according to the best of my skill and ability, according to law; so help me, God. (R.C., c. 76, s. 6; 1874-5, c. 58, s. 2; Code, ss. 3057, 3315; 1903, c. 604; Rev., s. 2360; C.S., s. 3199; 1947, c. 71; 1959, c. 879, s. 5; 1967, c. 218, s. 2; 1969, c. 1190, ss. 50, 51; 1971, c. 381, s. 11; 1977, c. 344, s. 3; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 953; 1995, c. 379, s. 10; 1997-14, s. 1; 2011-284, s. 8; 2013-164, s. 2.)