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How binding are affidavits?

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shannon26 View Drop Down
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  Quote shannon26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How binding are affidavits?
    Posted: 18/December/2011 at 14:13
Hey guys, So this is my first post here, I am unsure if it is even in the right section let alone if this question is stupid but I was hoping that someone would have some guidance for me.

Essentially I am wondering how legally binding a affidavit is?

If the following was to happen is there any "legal" ground to stand on or is it just bad luck. I understand that as much information as possible would be helpful but I don't want to give to much away at this stage.

1)Win prize.
2)Get told it is only for 1 person.
3)Get told that was a mistake, and it is actually for 2 people.
4)Tell second person that they are also coming on prize.
5)Get sent legal documents (affidavit) To sign and send back, stating in every section that it is for 2 people.
6)Sign and send back affidavit.
7)Get told they screwed up and it is only for 1 person.
8)Get new affidavit sent with the only changes being QTY of 1 instead of 2.
9) Have not sent back or signed any new documents.

The part that I am unsure about and all a little bit fuzzy is the fact that I got sent a affidavit (a legally binding documneet as far as I know) and was signed and sent back as requested, then they decided that they screwed it up and just change it. is it possible to just change it?

The last part of the document states that the agreement cannot be modified except by a written instrument signed by a authorized representative of the companies.

So I assume just sending through a new affidavit doesn't cut that either.

Thanks guys, hope that this is the right section and sorry if my post is a little stupid, I don't know a thing about legal issues (-:"








MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/December/2011 at 22:53
An affidavit is a declaration in writing made upon oath before a person authorized to administer oaths, usually for use as evidence in
a court case. So is your original question what you really wished to ask?

If you were told that you had won a prize, over the phone or in a letter, and the information later proved to be incorrect, bad luck, people make mistakes, sometimes honestly sometimes to deceive. If the mistake has cost you money, and you can show that what you were told was done intentionally to deceive and you are able to prove who did this you may have a case for damages, but only to the extent that you are out of pocket, not for the prize that they said you had won.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

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shannon26 View Drop Down
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  Quote shannon26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/December/2011 at 08:50
Originally posted by MartinO

An affidavit is a declaration in writing made upon oath before a person authorized to administer oaths, usually for use as evidence in
a court case. So is your original question what you really wished to ask?


Well the documentation that I was asked to sign was refereed to as a affidavit, so yes my original question was to see how well this document would stand up in court.

Originally posted by MartinO

If you were told that you had won a prize, over the phone or in a letter, and the information later proved to be incorrect, bad luck, people make mistakes


Yes that is true, but the part that I am disputing is the face that I got told something over the phone, then received a "affidavit" to back up these claims, was signed as requested by myself, then someone turns around and goes I made a mistake it should be this.

Do they not take any any legal responsibility considering as above you stated a "affidavit" is the following "An affidavit is a declaration in writing made upon oath before a person authorized to administer oaths, usually for use as evidence in a court case"

So if they are no responsible does that mean a "affidavit" serves no purpose at all, and is just a waste of time?

MickOne View Drop Down
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/December/2011 at 10:40
Your original question also suggest that you would take court action to enforce the original promise (I am thinking estoppel if you can show reliance - bit of a long shot though). Taking action would cost money and have only a marginal chance of success. You would need to consider whether the legal expense would be less than the prize that your would have enforced/compensated for with damages.

To make it worth it, the prize would have to be at a monetary value in excess of $30k for me to risk $10 - 15k to push it all the way.

Go back to the original prize advertising - look at that, if it is specifically only for one then you probably have nothing to stand on. If it is ambiguous about the quantity or value, then you may have a chance. But, consider the downside risk - legal challenges are never open and shut, beware anyone that suggests different.

a4life View Drop Down
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  Quote a4life Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/December/2011 at 03:07
Originally posted by MickOne

Your original question also suggest that you would take court action to enforce the original promise (I am thinking estoppel if you can show reliance - bit of a long shot though). Taking action would cost money and have only a marginal chance of success. You would need to consider whether the legal expense would be less than the prize that your would have enforced/compensated for with damages.

To make it worth it, the prize would have to be at a monetary value in excess of $30k for me to risk $10 - 15k to push it all the way.

Go back to the original prize advertising - look at that, if it is specifically only for one then you probably have nothing to stand on. If it is ambiguous about the quantity or value, then you may have a chance. But, consider the downside risk - legal challenges are never open and shut, beware anyone that suggests different.


There is no consideration - as far as I can see anyway. So perhaps he wouldn't even get as far as raising an estoppel argument because at this point it is simply a gratuitous promise.

As far as I can tell, you have not incurred a loss (financially) and neither has the person you were intending to take with you, at least you haven't indicated this anyway. And you haven't given anything up in reliance of their original promise so there's no real loss being incurred here.

Sucks, but it does happen.

Then again I'm not a lawyer, others would probably know better... This is just my non-professional opinion.

Edited by a4life - 22/December/2011 at 03:07

MickOne View Drop Down
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/December/2011 at 13:17
The entry into the competition *could* be seen as consideration - (Carbolic me thinks could be swayed that way).

Still - the point on loss is valid to the case at hand. The situation will turn on what was advertised, as there are very clear statutory obligations involved in advertising a competition and its prizes.

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/December/2011 at 15:24
I agree on the second point, the statutory obligations, however to rely on contract law is doubtful, it is valuable consideration that is required for it to be a contract, and I doubt if anything of value was exchanged to enter.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

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iconoclast View Drop Down
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  Quote iconoclast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/December/2011 at 16:43
Gee Shannon, I reckon you have a point. They have informed you in writing that you won a trip for two people, you then told the second person "Hey I won a trip for two, wanna come?" Second person said "YES!" and either or both of you may have dashed out and bought some travel gear or fab new clothes for the trip, or renewed your passport or whatever. That would be acting in reliance and yes I think there is a contract, the consideration being that you fill out the affidavit and return it to them. This you did. Now a major disappointment and perhaps some severe embarrassment and you may be out of pocket

MickOne refers to the Carbolic smokeball case, agree it may be relevant - see also the Balic Shippling case - all available on the net. I'd be more than annoyed because I would have:
1. told everyone about my "great news"; (but now I'd look a right mug";
2. shopped for cool travel gear etc
3. If it's overseas, rushed out & renewed my passport.
All of the above not so good.

Why not try a community legal service or citizen's advice bureau in your state - get a legal opinion asap. Good luck!
not legal advice

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/December/2011 at 21:06
There appears to be a slightly different situation here than there was in the Carbolic smoke ball case. In that case the valuable part of the consideration was the 10 shillings the buyer parted with in response to the advertisement. In this case the OP has made no mention with parting with any money in order to enter the competition, filling out a form is all that has been mentioned.

Did you pay anything to enter shannon?
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

MickOne View Drop Down
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/December/2011 at 22:51
Consideration need not be monetary, many of these promotions grow email databases for companies to use for sales tools. I would consider agreeing to being part of a company's email database as arguably giving sufficient consideration.

Candy bar wrappers have been considered good consideration by many authoritative courts - consideration is a low bar to hurdle.

In this instance the problem is the matter of the contract and how clearly it was communicated.

shannon26 View Drop Down
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  Quote shannon26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/December/2011 at 22:03
Hey guys. Thank you for all your comments its given me allot to think about and where (if any) I am going to go from here.

I should also point out as it now seems to be a factor in peoples opinions is that it was a competition through my work (would prefer not to give any details away as I still work for them, that was in partnership with a big overseas company (the trip was international)

If it makes any difference it was not luck based (random drawing) it was becuase I had achieved the best result for the company out of a possible 400ish stores.

Since I have refused to sign any new affidavits that were emailed to me and as such I am not going to be "awarded" the prize (for 1) that is scheduled for late January. Would I still be able to pursue it if at all after this date?

Anyhow thanks guys, always good to see a thread get alot of feedback.

shannon26 View Drop Down
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  Quote shannon26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/December/2011 at 22:07
Ohh yeah and I also went back and looked at the initial advertisement it does not advertise Qty it just states.

Flights to .......
Flights from ........

I assumes the "s" on flights may have been there becuase it will be multiple flights and also becuase there was 1 other winner. Who also had the same thing happen to them, although they have since chosen to sign the new affidavit for 1 person.

Also the value was roughly $10,000 a person.

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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/December/2011 at 10:21
Looks like they are free and clear then, as it was not lottery based they avoid licensing regulations - which stipulate how prizes must be itemized and other detail to make the prizes and rules more transparent.

In this case they can simply throw their hands in the air and say: "Opps someone F'd up, it was always for 1 person."

Something to be aware of, should you take action over this, you would only be awarded damages significantly less than $10,000, assuming successful award mitigation by the other party. As you had the opportunity to take the trip for one, did not, therefore at your election you did not mitigate the other party's potential damage to you, effectively kissing away $10k. Sounds odd perhaps, but I would be confident they could make that stick as part of a fair awards submission.

So, once again, you are back at considering taking legal action, based on shaky ground, with the potential prize being roughly $10k if successful and costs of probably about that if you are not. So I believe I would refer you to the post on the 19th December: is it worth it? My estimation would be no, if you could not pay for the other person to join you, I fail to see how you would be able to fund legal action necessary.

shannon26 View Drop Down
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  Quote shannon26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/April/2012 at 09:39
Hey guys. Sorry to dig up a old thread, at this stage I still haven't pursued the issue, but I did find out today that even though I was informed that my prize was non transferable, as i had enquired about just my other half going, and told no it is non transferable. Well today I found put that it infact was given to another employee of the company. Other than the morale and motivation issues this gives me, does it work in favour of Amy legal action?

Thankyou.

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  Quote iconoclast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/April/2012 at 11:19
Gee that's an interesting question. And what a slap in the face. .. the company "githeth and taketh away" it seems. Not so nice.

Fair Work Act - both SA & Federal may apply. Needs some research done I reckon.

How well do you like your job?
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shannon26 View Drop Down
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  Quote shannon26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/April/2012 at 22:28
First off sorry about the grammar in my post above, was in a hurry and on a mobile (-:"

to answer your question, personally it is worth more to me (personally not so much financially) than what my job is worth, if it is indeed worth fighting over, I'm not looking to make a "scene" if I don't have the legal backing to fight it, and as above it seems that legal backing may not go my way or be financially viable.

I was hoping that this new bit of evidence would paint a much more clear cut argument in my favor, and I would possible be able to avoid anything costly as far as the legal side goes.

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