spoliation [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ The intentional destruction, alteration, or concealment of information potentially relevant to litigation, investigation, or other legal proceeding.

General Notes

The routine destruction of information in accordance with establish policies and procedures is not generally considered spoliation, as long as there is no reasonable expectation that some legal action may arise.

Other Definitions

  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 s.v. spoliation): The intentional destruction, mutilation, alteration, or concealment of evidence, usually a document. The seizure of personal or real property by violent means; the act of pillaging. The taking of a benefit properly belonging to another.
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): n. ~ The intentional destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence, especially documents. Notes: In general, courts have found that the routine destruction of records after reasonable, scheduled retention periods is not spoliation. However, if there is a reasonable likelihood of litigation or audit, destruction of relevant records may be considered spoliation, even if the retention period has passed.
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. spoliation of evidence): The intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.