Modification

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Modification

A change or alteration in existing materials.

Modification generally has the same meaning in the law as it does in common parlance. The term has special significance in the law of contracts and the law of sales.

The parties to a completed and binding contract are free to change the terms of the contract. Changes to a preexisting contract are called contract modifications. If the parties agree to modify the contract, the modification will be enforceable in a court of law.

A contract modification may be either written or oral, with some exceptions. An oral modification is unenforceable if the contract specifies that modifications must be in writing (United States ex rel. Crane Co. v. Progressive Enterprises, Inc., 418 F. Supp. 662 [E.D. Va. 1976]). As a general rule, a modification should be in writing if it increases or decreases the value of the contract by $500 or more.

In contracts between parties who are not merchants, a modification should be supported by some consideration, which is the exchange of value, or something to solidify an agreement. Courts impose this requirement to prevent Fraud and deception in the modification of contracts. Consideration operates as evidence that the parties have agreed to the modification. Without the requirement of consideration, a party to a contract could declare that the contract should be modified or canceled whenever such a demand was advantageous.

In contracts between merchants, a modification need not be supported by consideration. Derived from article 2, section 209, of the Uniform Commercial Code, this rule is designed to honor the intent of commercial parties without requiring the time-consuming technicalities of consideration.

Like any non-merchant, a merchant is free to reject a proposed modification, but a merchant may waive the right to reject a modification by failing to object to the modification. For example, if an electrician doing work as a subcontractor notifies the general contractor that the electrical work will be more expensive than anticipated, the general contractor may be obliged to pay for the extra expenses if she fails to object before the electrician begins the work. There must be a legitimate commercial reason for such a contract modification, and the modification must be reasonable in light of the standards within the particular industry. Courts are free to strike down contract modifications that are brought about by duress or bad faith.

Cross-references

Sales Law.

modification

n. a change in an existing court order or judgment made necessary by a change in circumstances since the order or judgment was made to cure an error. A motion (petition) to the court for modification is common after divorce judgments because the courts "retain jurisdiction" over matters concerning the children which may need changes such as terms of child support and custody.

MODIFICATION. A change; as the modification of a contract. This may take place at the time of making the contract by a condition, which shall have that effect; for example, if I sell you one thousand bushels of corn, upon condition that any crop shall produce that much, and it produces only eight hundred bushels, the contract is modified, it is for eight hundred bushels, and no more.
     2. It may be modified by the consent of both parties, after it has been made. See 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 733.

References in periodicals archive ?
The researcher through observation of children with intellectual disabilities completed the checklist before using behavior modification technique (pre test) and after applying behavior modification technique (post test) to see if there is any improvement in problematic behaviors exhibited by children with intellectual disabilities.
The biggest consequence to the field of behavior analysis was that on February 14th 1974, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration issued a proclamation banning further use of anticrime funds for behavior modification programs.
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This workshop in Anger Management Training: Reviews several of the most established theories and therapeutic formulations used to manage anger, including the limbic brain approach (punish and reward, anger release/primal scream), traditional behavior modification (counting to ten, etc.), and the "family myths" and formal psychoanalysis methods.
Even if you aren't quite sure what causes your insomnia, experts agree that the simplest and least-expensive route to better sleep is behavior modification. Some basics of "sleep hygiene" include: using your bed for sleep or sex only, which conditions you into knowing that when you are in bed, you're there to sleep; enacting a basic routine before bed; sticking to the same sleep schedule, even on weekends, and taking a warm shower before bed.
Experts also recommend behavior modification for disruptive behaviors, and life skills coaching for dealing with the everyday challenges ADHD presents.
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The first group, called the lifestyle intervention group, received intensive training in diet, exercise, and behavior modification. By eating less fat and fewer calories and exercising for a total of 150 minutes a week, they aimed to lose 7 percent of their body weight and maintain that loss.
* Behavior modification. Often, especially after the treating physician reviews the resident's voiding diary, it may be apparent that social habits contribute to the resident's UUI.

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