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  1. #1
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    Nov 2019
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    2

    Default Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    The owner of storage facility provided proof that they mailed a certified letter in regards to the sale of items of mine BUT it appears that the USPS failed in their responsibility because they received no signature from me and I am the only person who could physically answer the door if knocked upon. The USPS only reports:

    "Delivered, Front Desk/Reception/Mail Room"

    There is no Front Desk, Reception, or Mail Room where I live. Obvious shortcut of postal employee who did not want to be bothered with coming to my door (mail is delivered to a collection of numbered boxes for 50-60 units). I believe the owner of storage units is off the hook on this one but do I have any recourse with the USPS? I lost a considerable amount. Enough so that the owner has already said that she owes me money from the sale.

    Was just a matter of absent minded, and turmoil at the time. My wife joined the Army and will be gone for a total of 16 weeks between Basic Training and then followed by her Specialized training. All by myself I have an almost 2 year old that gets 5 home visits a week for speech and communication issues and a 3 1/2 year old with Autism and just as many home visits himself along with 4, 3-hour days of preschool at the local school district location. My life is in constant turmoil and I screwed up. I showed up to pay the balance in full a matter of a few days from when it was auctioned.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,283

    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    You're right. The storage company is off the hook.

    I don't know how far you'll get but the USPS Office of the Inspector General appears to be the place to file a complaint about employee misconduct.

    https://www.uspsoig.gov/hotline

    There's an online complaint form. Make sure you take a screen shot of it when as you complete it.

    Or you can file by mail.

    I suppose you can try your local PO first but I'm guessing it will be like talking to a wall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,286

    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    Sorry. Certification only really guarantees proof of mailing. Proof of receipt, unless you've asked specifically for the return receipt, is not guaranteed. The fact that the tracking might show delivery is UNRELIABLE. There is no special handling on the delivery of certified letter inherent in the service.

    Sorry, if your lease/state laws only require the mail to be sent certified, there's no obligation that you actually receive it.

    Still RRR doesn't guarantee delivery, and even if it did the post office's responsibility is to the sender NOT TO YOU.

    In the meantime, I read the section of the California Business and Professions code. Return receipt or other proof of receipt is not required. The code only requires the mail be SENT by either certified mail or first class mail with a certificate of mailing. That is, the only thing that is required is that lessor MAILED the notice.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    You're right. The storage company is off the hook.

    I don't know how far you'll get but the USPS Office of the Inspector General appears to be the place to file a complaint about employee misconduct...
    Thank you for the advice and time to read and respond. Appreciated. I think you are right about like talking to a wall. Sadly my local post office has a bad reputation and probably for the simple reason that the employees know they are valuable and not expendable. For the last 4 years they have always been hiring and are always short-handed. There google reviews are horrendous as numerous employees that I have witnessed first hand will talk down and argue with people that anywhere else would have serious employment consequences.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    Sorry. Certification only really guarantees proof of mailing. Proof of receipt, unless you've asked specifically for the return receipt, is not guaranteed. The fact that the tracking might show delivery is UNRELIABLE. There is no special handling on the delivery of certified letter inherent in the service...
    I would lean towards disagreeing with you, in part because I did not include the piece of information that a "Return Receipt Requested" was added to the Certified transaction along with this quote via USPS website...

    Certified Mail®
    Prove you sent it. See when it was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made, and get the signature of the person who accepts the mailing when combined with Return Receipt.

    Notes
    Purchase at your Post Office.
    Present for mailing to a Postal employee if a postmarked sender’s receipt is requested.
    Combine with Return Receipt to get electronic or physical delivery record showing the recipient’s signature.
    The recipient may be required to show an acceptable primary ID before USPS will deliver the mailpiece.
    She is a nice enough lady and will ask when I see her to get my "refund" if I can see the signature from her return receipt and take a pic of it. The night she told me I was in shock and almost disbelief with the only thing running through my head was of all the stuff I lost.

    On a brighter side, I also thought of how it was going to make my wife happy as it was that much less "clutter" to be stored and moved when she gets stationed somewhere else about the first of January. And I was right. It was good news to her 😂

  5. #5
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    Sep 2010
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    19,286

    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    would lean towards disagreeing with you, in part because I did not include the piece of information that a "Return Receipt Requested" was added to the Certified transaction along with this quote via USPS website...
    RRR doesn't change anything with this regard. The storage company has done all they need to do as soon as it was mailed whether it was delivered or the receipt returned or not. Again, the USPS has ZERO DUTY TO YOU. Any obligation for failure to properly deliver is between them and the mailer. Further, RRR doesn't give any additional delivery obligation. All it does is require them to return the receipt when it was. Again, the "tracking" on the mail item is entierly MEANINGLESS whether you used RRR or not. It's purely information on certified mail. All the certification covers is the actual mailing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,786

    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    As long as the rental unit owner complied with the law, the only realistic possible action I can see might be against whomever signed for the letter and failed to deliver it to you.

    In the long shot unrealistic situation where the Usps fraudulently registered a signature claiming the item was delivered and it actually wasn’t, you may have an action against the Usps. I seriously doubt that is a realistic possibility but some Usps workers have been found to be less than honest. There is too much chance of the worker being caught in a situation like this I doubt it is what happened here.


    certification is more than proof of mailing. It includes proof of delivery or an attempt to deliver if not completed and it does require the recipient to sign for the item. Whether the notice of receipt is sent to the sender or merely held by the Usps is optional. The Usps holds records of the receipt for 2 years.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    RRR doesn't change anything with this regard. The storage company has done all they need to do as soon as it was mailed whether it was delivered or the receipt returned or not. Again, the USPS has ZERO DUTY TO YOU. Any obligation for failure to properly deliver is between them and the mailer. Further, RRR doesn't give any additional delivery obligation. All it does is require them to return the receipt when it was. Again, the "tracking" on the mail item is entierly MEANINGLESS whether you used RRR or not. It's purely information on certified mail. All the certification covers is the actual mailing.
    If the USPS accepted mail that required a signature of the addressee, then they failed in their duty to obtain it and it lead to in-fact no notification to the addressee that personal property was to be sold at auction, there is a question of whether notice was served or not. And while OP would have no claim against the USPS he/she may very well have a claim against the storage facility for failure to assure that actual notice of the pending sale was delivered. It is not sufficient to mail a letter and wash your hands of the responsibility to notify an owner of the pending action. The Federal courts hold this to be so.

    There are plenty of Federal cases for you to read if you care to educate yourself.

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?h...ivered++&btnG=

    One such case is JONES v.FLOWERS et al. where a tax sale of a property was involved. The court said that when taking a person's property requires notification, merely sending a letter may not meet the statuary requirement that the owner was actually served notice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    If the USPS accepted mail that required a signature of the addressee, then they failed in their duty to obtain it and it lead to in-fact no notification to the addressee that personal property was to be sold at auction, there is a question of whether notice was served or not. And while OP would have no claim against the USPS he/she may very well have a claim against the storage facility for failure to assure that actual notice of the pending sale was delivered. It is not sufficient to mail a letter and wash your hands of the responsibility to notify an owner of the pending action. The Federal courts hold this to be so.

    There are plenty of Federal cases for you to read if you care to educate yourself.

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?h...ivered++&btnG=

    One such case is JONES v.FLOWERS et al. where a tax sale of a property was involved. The court said that when taking a person's property requires notification, merely sending a letter may not meet the statuary requirement that the owner was actually served notice.
    Op stated sender did require rrr and presumably it was received. Even if the sender did not request a return receipt, the Usps retains the records of the signature for 2 years. The sender can obtain those records from the Usps.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    There's no obligation on the lessor to get a return receipt. All he needs to do is show he mailed it.
    The USPS has no responsibility to the recipient here.
    Certified mail is proof that it was sent. Everything else is an optional service. The USPS shouldn't have allowed anybody other than the addressee to sign the return receipt, but even if they did, there's nothing the addressee can do about it.

    Even if the USPS had some duty to the addressee to put it right in his hands, they aren't going to accept any "consequential" damages over failing to do so. Doubtful that if someone did improperly sign, he has any consequential claim against them. Besides, even if they did, it's not their fault he didn't pay his storage unit bills.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    38,786

    Default Re: Certified Letter Not Received (Proof) - Storage Unit Sold

    If the Usps was criminal in their actions (falsified a signature, which I admit is highly unlikely), yes, they could be liable to the op.

    certified mail requires a signature by the recipient whether the sender requests a copy of the receipt or not. It does not require the addressee sign for it. In general, unless one chooses restricted delivery (can restrict to any adult or to the actual addressee), all it requires is a person at the address sign for it.

    Certified Mail
    ® service is a numbered service that:

    • Provides the sender with a mailing receipt (as shown in these examples of Form 3800 / Receipt for Certified Mail)
    • Also provides electronic verification that an article was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made. Delivery status can be retrieved in three ways:
      • Over the Internet at www.usps.com by entering the USPS Tracking® number shown on the mailing receipt
      • By telephone using the item's USPS Tracking number
      • By bulk electronic file transfer for mailers who provide an electronic manifest to the USPS

    • Maintains a record of delivery, which includes the recipient's signature, that is kept at the Post Office™ of delivery two years from the date of mailing

    NOTE: The delivery record is not automatically mailed back to the sender with this service:



    Certified Mail® service is also available combined with three other services:
    • Certified Mail Restricted Delivery - Customers may direct delivery of Certified Mail only to the addressee (or addressee’s authorized agent)
    • Certified Mail Adult Signature Required - Customers may direct delivery of Certified Mail only to an adult (individual who is 21 years of age or older)
    • Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery - Customers may limit delivery of Certified Mail only to a specific addressee or authorized agent who is 21 years of age or older
      • Available online and to commercial mailers only







































    In the case of the op where it was a collective box system, it could be that all certified mail is taken to a management office and left there if the person at that office was willing to sign for it.

    Anyway, that means there is proof of delivery or in case of a failed delivery, proof of that. That can be important here. Obviously all the sender has to prove is they mailed a notice to the lessee at the last known address. That means the unit operator is out of the picture here. The possibility I addressed was that whomever did sign for the letter failing to deliver it to the op. That could allow a claim by the op against that party. They accepted the responsibility of delivering the notice to the lessee when they signed for it. Failure to fulfill that duty could make them liable for the ops losses.

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