What are the potential consequences for tampering with evidence in a civil case?

I’m involved in a civil case as a plaintiff, and have strong evidence suggesting that the opposing party is retroactively modifying/amending/falsifying the content/text of older documents so as to make portray them in a light more favorable to their defense. I can prove this since I have just discovered the original documents from a few years ago in an old drawer of which shows how the documents originally looked before the modifications Defendants have made in their official disclosures of them to me. What can I do? Are there any motions I can file, or is there a good way to indicate Defendants’ tampering to the judge? Are there any consequences for this given that this isn’t a criminal case, but a civil case?

A: In addition to the remedies referenced in the previous answer, you can also seek a jury instruction in which the judge tells the jury that the other side has engaged in “spoliation of evidence.” This is a damning instruction that can really affect the dynamic of the case. But you have to be able to prove what was changed!

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Arizona Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Leave a Reply