Sequencing & Relative Dating

While determining the absolute time and date that a document was produced or an entry was written is very rare, it is often possible to determine the relative time of the production of a document or specific entries on a document by reference to other entries or documents.  Such examinations are relevant to cases involving medical records, lawyers’ file notes, personal diaries, accounting records, minutes of company meetings and so on.

Through the use of various macroscopic, microscopic, ESDA and VSC techniques it may be demonstrated that a particular handwritten or printed entry has been added at a later time than other entries of known date. Similarly, it may be demonstrated that a series of documents alleged to have been produced on respective dates over a long period of time have in fact been produced all at the one time and/or out of date order. 

Related case studies: 

Diary entry addition

A case was submitted which required determining whether an entry in a diary that read "Meeting 2pm Signing Wend" (sic) was all written sequentially on the one occasion. 

File notes of telephone discussions

An agent put forward a file note of a record of telephone discussions that had allegedly taken place with the client.

Forged Will bearing genuine testator signature

The image below is part of a disputed Will where FDS was able to determine that, while the signature was genuine, the document as a whole was not.  The printed text was produced after the signature had been written and well after the death of the testator.&

Hospital patient history notes

A patient under care in hospital suffered complications which resulted in permanent health problems.  There was a question raised as to the attentio

Police notebook entry

FDS was requested to examine an entry in a police notebook to ascertain whether or not it was a contemporaneous record of events.  The entry read "request witness protection".