Validity of undated and uninitialed SIGNED Agreement?

I'm involved in a legal action. The other party signed a 6-page agreement, which was notarized (and dated 1/25/17). The agreement was drafted with flexibility / fill-ins, including the date on the first page. This was NOT completed, and was left "______ December 2016."

Additionally, the other party made a change to the document, in the left margin. The change was NOT initialed by the other party. There is enough handwriting, in fine black ink, that a layperson would could come to the conclusion that it WAS the signatory who made the change.

Is this considered a legal document? Would the court use the date of the Notary, as the date the Agreement was signed?

Update:

Fox: I do NOT agree with the change that was made. The signatory changed the Agent to sell a property without my concurrence. I have evidence it is not what was agreed to.

Cat: I am using a lawyer, and he thinks we should move forward - including using the hand-written in different Agent. Also, there is a line for Listing Price. Again, I had no input into the price, and do not agree with it.

Update 2:

Fox: I do NOT agree with the change that was made. The signatory changed the Agent to sell a property without my concurrence. I have evidence it is not what was agreed to.

Cat: I am using a lawyer, and he thinks we should move forward - including using the hand-written in different Agent. Also, there is a line for Listing Price. Again, I had no input into the price, and do not agree with it.

3 Answers

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  • 4 years ago

    Yes, that's a legal document. There is some question about what the judge might do with the hand writing. Keep in mind that if both sides except the hand writing, then the judge will also accept it.

    Keep in mind that a contract isn't a piece of paper, it's an agreement. So if there was a disagreement about something, the judge isn't going to only look at one document.

    As an example, I come to do some work for you. I write up an estimate of $20,000. You cross it out and write $19,000. I see that you changed it, and i start doing the work.

    The contract is valid. I confirmed that I agreed to the change by going to work. However, there's a problem. The contract is legal, but I could later say, "hey, no, I didn't see that he made the change." And so now your stuck going to court and having to prove that the change was legit.

    If a lawyer was handling this deal for you, he would insist on doing the paper work over again. This type of thing is legal, but it can tend to lead to problems. The contract isn't just about what would happen in court. It's also about each side understanding exactly what's expected of them.

  • 4 years ago

    The written agreement is the strongest evidence of the agreement, but not the only possible evidence. Is there any real, reasonable conflict about what was agreed to? Is the precise date important?

    Do you disagree with the handwritten change? Can you offer some evidence that it was not part of what you agreed to? If it comes down to who wrote it, then the court or arbitrator is not going to listen to a layman's testimony. But ... it shouldn't come down to that.

    Really, it seems like you need professional advice, where you can discuss ALL the facts in depth.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Yes, and yes.

    All those things are questions of evidence.

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