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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Definition of "Received" Relative to Certified Mail

    My question involves business law in the state of: NJ

    Hello -

    I have a contract with a company in NJ (I'm in OH). The contract states they will pay me for services by the 5th of each month. This month I received a 1st class letter stating they didn't owe me money. I replied with a certified letter (return receipt requested) mailed on the 6th stating why I felt they did owe me the money, that they were delinquent, and I wanted payment within 10 days from receipt of my communication.

    The tracking info on the USPS website says the letter arrived on the 9th at the intended post office, but since the address of record in the contract is a P. O. box, they leave a notice for the box owner to come to the desk for a certified letter. Thus far, the letter has not been picked up, and I anticipate they will ignore the notice until 15 days are up and the letter is returned to me. Question: is this considered "received"? If so, when? If not, what must I do to start the clock? There is also a clause that I can void the contract if a delinquent payment is not cured within 10 days of me notifying them. The verbiage on communications is included at the bottom. Note also that the contract stipulates any action must be taken in the state chosen by the defendant. Thanks very much.

    MartyD

    "all communications will be deemed effective upon receipt when delivered by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) to the Parties at the addresses listed below"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Definition of "Received" Relative to Certified Mail

    If you have not gotten the green postcard back, its not received...did you ask for signature?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,714

    Default Re: Definition of "Received" Relative to Certified Mail

    You have told us that the letter is sitting behind the counter of a post office, undelivered, waiting for somebody to sign for it. This is one of the hazards of using a certified letter - you can keep whatever notice you are trying to send from being delivered and read. It's often sensible to send two copies - one certified, one by first class - so you can argue that the first class copy was received even if they're not signing for certified mail. if you get proof of delivery, you may not have a green card indicating who signed for the letter but you have documentation that it reached the recipient's incoming mail.

    If you are trying to start a "clock" dictated by the terms of your contract, you will need to read your contract to determine if it also defines how notice is to be provided. I am not going to promise you of the significance of the apparent exerpt you've pasted at the bottom of your post, as I cannot read the contract from here. If you believe that the contract holds that delivery of the certified letter to the other party's address constitutes notice under the contract, even before they sign for it, and act accordingly, I cannot promise that the other party will agree with your interpretation, will accept that the claims made in your letter are correct, or will decline to escalate the matter if they believe they're entitled to a legal remedy or damages.

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