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Any erasure, interlineation, or other alteration made to Commercial Paper, such as a check or promissory note, by an individual who is not acting pursuant to the consent of the parties who have an interest in such instrument.

A spoliator of evidence in a legal action is an individual who neglects to produce evidence that is in her possession or control. In such a situation, any inferences that might be drawn against the party are permitted, and the withholding of the evidence is attributed to the person's presumed knowledge that it would have served to operate against her.


noun attack, brigandage, depredation, deprivation, desolation, despoliation, devastation, direption, foray, marauding, pilfering, pillage, pillaging, piracy, plunder, plunderage, plundering, raid, ransack, rapine, robbery, sack, theft, thievery
See also: depredation, deterioration, dissolution, havoc, pillage, plunder, rape


destruction; the material alteration of a document so as to render it invalid.

SPOLIATION, Eng. eccl. law. The name of a suit sued out in the spiritual court to recover for the fruits of the church, or for the church itself. F. N. B. 85.
     2. It is also a waste of church property by an ecclesiastical person. 3 Bl. Com. 90.

SPOLIATION, torts. Destruction of a thing by the act of a stranger; as, the erasure or alteration of a writing by the act of a stranger, is called spoliation. This has not the effect to destroy its character or legal effect. 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 566. 2. By spoliation is also understood the total destruction of a thing; as, the spoliation of papers, by the captured party, is generally regarded as proof of. guilt, but in America it is open to explanation, except in certain cases where there is a vehement presumption of bad faith. 2 Wheat. 227, 241; 1 Dods. Adm. 480, 486. See Alteration.

References in periodicals archive ?
2009) ("[A] court must only find that spoliator acted willfully in the destruction of evidence.
For the adverse inference instruction to be most effective in ensuring discovery compliance, the innocent party should only have to prove negligence on the part of the spoliator, not bad faith.
Specifically, as Golden Yachts (internal citations omitted) explains: "Unlike an adverse presumption instruction, where the court must find the spoliator was duty-bound to preserve the evidence, an adverse inference may arise in any situation [in which] potentially self-damaging evidence is in the possession of a party and that party either loses or destroys the evidence.
43) Mere nonproduction of evidence does not indicate whether the spoliator failed to produce evidence intentionally in bad faith, or simply misplaced the evidence in question.
A "potential spoliator need do only what is reasonable under the circumstances.
48) The remedial goal aims to restore the adversarial balance--to "level the playing field" (49)--between the nonspoliating party and the spoliator in the pending litigation.
45) Many courts consider the two most determinative factors in this analysis to be culpability of the spoliator and prejudice to the non-spoliator.
The Fourth District held that, "[d]espite the decision in Bondu, having now squarely confronted the issue, we side with those courts that have held that an independent cause of action for spoliation of evidence is unnecessary and will not lie where the alleged spoliator and the defendant in the underlying litigation are one and the same.
The Court of Appeals held that the spoliation doctrine applies when a document "was willfully, intentionally, or wantonly destroyed by the spoliator to prevent it from being used as evidence" when "the documents destroyed would establish the demands or claims of the parties.
The court may sanction a spoliator by giving an adverse inference instruction to the jury.
However, the court was unpersuaded that a showing of relevance had been made: "This corroboration requirement is even more necessary where the destruction was merely negligent, since in those cases it cannot be inferred from the conduct of the spoliator that the evidence would even have been harmful to him.
The court's disposal of the defenses asserted reveal the question a court will raise in response to each defense, putting the lawyer-reader on notice of the rationale they must overcome if ever they represent an accused spoliator.