INTERLINEATION, contracts, evidence. Writing between two lines.
2. Interlineations are made either before or after the execution of an instrument. Those made before should be noted previously to its execution; those made after are made either by the party in whose favor they are, or by strangers.
3. When made by the party himself, whether the interlineation be material or immaterial, they render the deed void; 1 Gall. Rep. 71; unless made with the consent of the opposite party. Vide 11 Co. 27 a: 9 Mass. Rep. 307; 15 Johns. R. 293; 1 Dall. R. 57; 1 Halst. R. 215; but see 1 Pet. C. C. R. 364; 5 Har. & John; 41; 2 L. R. 290; 2 Ch. R. 410; 4 Bing. R. 123; Fitzg. 207, 223; Cov. on Conv. Ev. 22; 2 Barr. 191.
4. When the interlineation is made by a stranger, if it be immaterial, it will not vitiate the instrument, but if it be material, it will in general avoid it. Vide Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 26, s. 8; Com. Dig. Fait, F 1.
5. The ancient rule, which is still said to be in force, is, that an alteration shall be presumed to have been made before the execution of the instrument. Vin. Ab. Evidence, Q, a 2; Id. Faits, U; 1 Swift's Syst. 310; 6 Wheat. R. 481; 1 Halst. 215. But other cases hold the presumption to be that a material interlineation was made after the execution of an instrument, unless the contrary be proved. 1 Dall. 67. This doctrine corresponds nearly with the rules of the canon law on this subject. The canonists have examined it with care. Vide 18 Pick. R. 172; Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 3, c. 4, n. 115, and article Erasure.