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Modification; changing a thing without obliterating it.

An alteration is a variation made in the language or terms of a legal document that affects the rights and obligations of the parties to it. When this occurs, the alteration is material and the party who did not consent to the change can be released from his or her duties under the document by a court.

When an essential part of a writing has been cut, torn, burned, or erased, the alteration is also known as a mutilation.

The alteration of a document by someone other than a party to it is called a spoliation.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a change that, when made in a legal document, may affect its validity. See ALTERATION OF ARTICLES, ALTERATION OF BILL OF EXCHANGE, ALTERATION OF CAPITAL.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ALTERATION. An act done upon an instrument in writing by a party entitled under it, without the consent of the other party, by which its meaning or language is changed; it imports some fraud or design on the part of him who made it. This differs from spoliation, which is the mutilation of the instrument by the act of a stranger.
     2. When an alteration has a tendency to mislead, by so changing the character of the instrument, it renders it void; but if the change has not such tendency, it will not be considered an alteration. 1 Greenl. Ev. 566.
     3. A spoliation, on the contrary, will not affect the legal character of the instrument, so long as the original writing remains legible; and, if it be a deed, any trace of the seal remains. 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 566. See Spoliation.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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Further fieldwork is required to map out the alteration zones and understand the distribution and significant of simplification within this alteration system.
A $935,900 alteration permit is under review for a tenant improvement for IDL Worldwide at the 120 Clay building at 1615 S.E.
The FDA simultaneously approved a companion diagnostic for use with Balversa, the Qiagen therascreen FGFR RGQ Reverse-transcription -polymerase chain reaction Kit, which is the first PCR-based companion diagnostic approved to detect FGFR alterations.
'Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 8 (The Legislature); Yes: 34 States, No: 1 State;
Distribution of the subjects in the group with no alteration in the lingual frenulum and in the group with alterations, according to lingual tonus.
Repairs and alterations are all carried out on-site and can even be made while you wait, at no extra charge.
Most samples indicated widespread hydrothermal alteration consisting of argillic and potassic alteration and the formation of extensive quartz breccias.
(WWU), $153,400 for commercial alterations, Bond Hall: remodel rooms 325 & 400/404.
Thus, the alterations must be "code compliant." Further, most commercial leases require the tenant to, at all times during its tenancy, be in compliance with all applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations, thereby allowing the landlord to hold the tenant in breach of its lease if it performs alterations that are not code compliant or otherwise violate the law.
State St., $85,000 for commercial alteration: renovation of third-floor locker and restrooms: Whatcom Family YMCA.