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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.


noun adjustment, conversion, difference, diversity, innovation, modification, reform, rehabilitation, reorganization, repair, transition, transposition, variability, variance, variation
Associated concepts: alteration of a contract, alteration of a license, alteration of a pleading, alteration of an instrument, restoration of an instrument
See also: change, conversion, correction, deviation, digression, diversification, innovation, modification, reform, rehabilitation, reorganization, repair, revision, transition


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 ?
4) Of the forty building alteration applications made only fifteen fully recorded transactions were available for analysis.
Building alterations over the years covered up the unique architectural features and made the historic two-story structure unrecognizable from its past.
As for installation, our highly skilled bathroom fitters and tilers offer a complete service that includes any building alterations that might be required.
In other business at the board's meeting, Ed Kinsley, owner of Mohegan Bowl, requested to make building alterations to his restaurant, which is next door to the bowling lanes.
Thirdly, because they have a very small stray magnetic field they can be placed close to other scanners for much more efficient operation and fourthly, because of the lack of liquid helium cooling and required safety equipment the scanners are easy to install and need no expensive building alterations.
THE Government has a duty to save our historic buildings from disrepair and needs to abandon its Budget plan to add 20 per cent VAT to listed building alterations, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
BUILDING industry leaders claim the UK's heritage remains at risk until the Government drops its plans to add 20% VAT to listed building alterations from October 1 this year.
We will now work with the family to arrange a suitable time for work to start on their extension and to organise their temporary accommodation while building alterations are carried out.
Due to subsequent building alterations, the plaques were again relocated, high up on the facade of the building on the corner of the former St Georges and Waterkant streets--both pedestrian walkways today--from where it disappeared.
BUILDING ALTERATIONS They deserve medals for apprehending the burglar.
Proposal of required building alterations in provision of adequate protective properties of an improvised shelter.
Cochran argues that the distinctly western architecture style of Xiang's stores and its affiliates in China and Southeast Asia projected the image of advanced pharmaceutical products, while traditional banners and subtle building alterations affirmed the familiar in local culture.

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