spoliation of evidence

(redirected from spoilation)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

spoliation of evidence

The destruction of evidence necessary for pending or contemplated litigation.The practice is illegal under common law and under Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) regardless of the motives or intention of the party responsible for maintaining the evidence.

Example: Landlord Larry has a problem tenant who constantly complains about various unsafe conditions at a 6-year-old apartment complex, attributing them to poor design and construction. The tenant threatens to file suit if Larry does not fix all the defects and give the tenant 6 months free rent. Two days later, as she does on the same date every year, Larry's assistant destroys all noncurrent files more than 5 years old. This includes many of the original development and construction records for the complex. SOX probably does not apply because the apartment complex is not owned by a publicly traded company, but Larry is more than likely guilty of common law spoliation of evidence.

References in periodicals archive ?
He supported the president in the Bank War, the French Spoilation Claims, and the Texas debates.
But the two stood together on the French Spoilation Claims, the Maine boundary, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, the Caroline and Creole affairs, the McLeod case and, always, in defense of Andrew Jackson.
Although the logic of accumulation in the postrevolutionary societies differed markedly from that of capitalism, the direction of their productive activity, including the spoilation of the environment, largely resembled the patterns of capitalist development.
To you, my Lord, and to your Corporation, be assured that amalgamation means spoilation, dissolution, or, perhaps, extinction.
The spoilation of the Church's property, the fraudulent alienation of the state domains, the theft of the common lands .
land from unauthorized incursions, spoilations, and theft could well