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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.


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.

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Alterations including scour protection and repointing at Crawick viaduct, Sanquhar.
The position differs if alterations are prohibited subject to obtaining the landlord's consent.
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.
CONDITIONAL APPROVAL | |Mr Shazad, construction of firstfloor and side extension and internal alterations, Whitestone Garage, Whitestone Lane, Fartown.
Other alterations approved by the Assembly were, reducing the period within which the President or Governor authorises the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to three months and specifying the period within which the President or Governor should present its appropriation bill to the legislature.
Out of a total of 89 children evaluated, 26 showed alterations in their lingual frenulum, whereas a total of 26 children had no alteration.
Repairs and alterations are all carried out on-site and can even be made while you wait, at no extra charge.
(WWU), $195,000 for commercial alterations, Humanities Building: remodel rooms 109 and 304.
However, regardless of when the alterations are performed, they must be performed so as to comply, in all respects, with all applicable governing laws, codes, rules and regulations, including, without limitation, those promulgated by the New York City Department of Building.
Additions, Alterations, Repairs (Non-residential) $18,220.4
Researchers examined three specific genetic alterations in prostate cancer samples from 308 patients: Loss of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene, and rearrangement of two others--the ERG or ETV1 genes.