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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7312
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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I once found a law-maybe Pa or federal and can't find it

Customer Question

I once found a law-maybe Pa or federal and can't find it again. It said that if one page is
intialed on a document all pages have to be on that document. I would prefer pa laws and rules. Can you help with that? Thank you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to helping you today.

Do you remember whether it was in a statute or case law? I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to assist due to the time and expense involved in legal research but I can take a quick look if you can identify which of those two sources it was in.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
HI, I think it was a federal statute. I remember it said that if any pages are intialled they all must be. It was under contract law.
I am sorry this is late. They are having technical problems and this box to write to you didn't come up. Janet
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

So, essentially, what you are a looking for is a law that 1) applies in PA, and 2) That says if the bottom of one page is initialed then all pages must be initialed for the contract to be valid?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
that is right but I need the rule or law written here. Do you think you can do that
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

I'll take a look but I am 99% certain that is not the law anywhere in the US now. It may have been at one time but the only way it would be now is if the contract itself states that "in order to be valid each party must initial each page of this contract".

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

However, before I look I need to make sure that you're not going to give a negative rating if the law doesn't say that. I have no control over whether the law is or is not in your favor or supports what you believe. HOwever, some customers give us negative ratings when they don't like the law, even when we provide an absolutely accurate response.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

I'm going to have to opt out. I have been searching and don't come up with anything even remotely like you state. The law is exactly what I thought it was but I'll let another expert check to see as well.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 10 months ago.

Hello Janet: Another expert here and I'll try to add something to this discussion. Many non-legal professionals make the mistake of thinking that there is a clear-cut rule of law for every single human activity. That is not the case. There are tens of thousands of possible areas of human activity which have no case or statutory law dealing with them.

I know what you think you read, but if you did read that, it is meaningless without a further explanation of what is the result if a document has some pages without initials. Without the total context of the statement, the mere statement that all pages must be initialed has no legal significance whatsoever. If you believe that a court would invalidate an entire will, trust, contract etc.… on that basis, forget about it. A missing initial on the page at best might suggest some skulduggery is going on with the document. Such suggestion might be the basis for some inquiry by the court as to what the meaning of the missing initial might be, and how it affects the parties to the document. The document contestor would still have to prove the invalidity of the document on other grounds, such as forgery, fraud, undue influence etc... This is the rule of law that you are seeking.
There are legal treatises written on the subject of signature validity,, and some might feel peripherally with initialing pages; however, I do not believe that you will find any case authority, and certainly not statutory authority, in Pennsylvania or in federal law which requires any particular result from pages missing initials. If this explanation is now satisfactory, please indicate such in a reply, and I will send you back an answer requesting a formal rating

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