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The exact language of the statute need not be followed in order to make a good verification; but all essential facts must be stated with such certainty as to leave nothing for construction or inference. In that way, a conclusion may be reached that a verification is upon an affiant's knowledge and that the affiant did not state "his knowledge."
The creditor filed suit to collect on unpaid debts from the nonresident debtor. Service was made by publication, and the trial court rendered judgment based on the verified complaint in which the creditor's attorney stated the allegations were true, not "true based on his belief." The debtor moved to vacate the judgment and dismiss the proceedings, which was granted after the trial court found the complaint was not properly verified. The creditor appealed, contending the verification was sufficient.
Was the creditor’s complaint properly verified, notwithstanding the fact that the attorney did not use the exact language of the statute?
The court held that the verification of a pleading was sufficient if it substantially complied with the statute. According to the court, it was not required that the exact language of the statute was followed in order to make a good verification. Where it fairly appeared from the whole verification by an agent or attorney that it was made upon belief, and legitimate grounds for such a belief were stated, it should be held a substantial compliance with the statute and valid, even though the affiant stated that the pleading was true instead of that he believed it to be true. In this case, the creditor's attorney was authorized to make the verification if all the material allegations of the pleading were within his personal knowledge or belief. Accordingly, the court reversed the order that had set aside service by publication and the creditor's judgment thereon, and the court remanded the debt collection action with directions to dismiss the debtor's motion.