We do evaluations of questioned documents involving signatures, handwriting, ink, paper, and printing processes, on documents such as wills, trusts, business contracts, leases, deeds of trust, promissory notes, stock certificates, prenuptial agreements, medical charts, dental charts, anonymous notes, ballots, loan documents, etc.
Following are examples of typical questions raised in cases submitted for examination to Rile and Hicks include:
Wills and Trusts -- Is the signature genuine? Have pages been substituted? Who wrote the interlineations making changes to the terms?
Leases and Contracts -- Are the signatures genuine? Have pages or text been substituted or removed? Was a page signed in blank?
Medical Records -- Have entries been added after the fact? Have pages been removed or rewritten and substituted? Who wrote certain entries in the chart? Is a specific signature genuine or a forgery?
Anonymous Notes or Writing -- Which employee wrote a threatening note? Who wrote which entries on a multi-page document with several writers?
What Should be Submitted to Rile and Hicks?
In general, it is always recommended to submit the best evidence possible, i.e., the original of the questioned documents, and in the case of a signature or handwriting authentication, original genuine exemplars (as many as possible) dated as close in time as possible to the questioned document.
Please download our Guidelines for Exemplars and 101 Sources for help in preparing and submitting documents.
While we can do an examination of a photocopy, it will result in a qualified opinion being expressed in a report. Also, please note that no forensic document examiner can verify as genuine the signature on a photocopy, due to the ease with which genuine signatures can be manipulated onto a copy through the use of copiers and computer software.
For medical records cases, we will need to examine the entire original file. Our office and laboratory are set up in such a way that the examination in the laboratory may be viewed through a window from an adjoining room. We do not do any destructive testing. Typically, medical records examinatins can take about two hours; longer if the file is larger or extensive pages or entries are in question.
For more information, see What to Submit.