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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.

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


destruction; the material alteration of a document so as to render it invalid.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(151) For spoliation to occur, missing evidence must have been under the spoliator's control and unavailable to the innocent party.
(156) Contrary to the theory that willfulness is logically necessary to draw an adverse inference, the failure to produce evidence alone is sufficient to logically support an adverse inference because the spoliator's failure itself tends to show her blameworthiness.
(164) Courts therefore should base the determination of whether to allow an adverse inference on not only culpability of the spoliator or prejudice to the victim, but also on the extent to which unavoidable ESI challenges played a role in non-production.
Today, the federal circuits continue to debate whether courts should issue adverse inference instructions for spoliation based on the willfulness of the spoliator or the prejudice to the victim.
Although courts should strive to remedy prejudice to victims of spoliation, fairness requires they also acknowledge that the often unmanageable nature of ESI prejudices both the victim of spoliation and the spoliator. In integrating considerations of the spoliator's culpability, the prejudice to the victim, and the cost and manageability of production, courts would create a fairer approach to the adverse inference instruction for spoliation of ESI that could more effectively navigate the many challenges of the digital age.
1988) (explaining sanctions can vary according to culpability of spoliator).
1994) (relying on "traditional" approach of considering extent of spoliator's fault and resulting prejudice to opponent); Shaffer v.
(47.) See Welsh, 844 F.2d at 1246 (noting courts consider spoliator's culpability along "continuum of fault"); see also Gates Rubber Co., 167 F.R.D.