A lot of people question if it is legal to send legal documents through mail.
Whether you are sending contracts, deeds, demand letters, court judgments, or other important applications, it is important to know the ins and outs of mailing legal documents.
In this article, we discuss all you need to know about sending and receiving legal documents by mail.
Additionally, we provide ways in which you can safely send and receive legal documents through mail. Also, we advise on the service of court documents through mail.
What Are Legal Documents?
Legal documents are also any documents that are used in a legal setting.
Such documents include inter alia contracts, deeds, wills, SSI applications, divorce papers, and lease agreements.
Legal documents are often sensitive and confidential, so it is necessary to take extra care when mailing them so that they do not reach the wrong hands or are opened before the intended recipient acknowledges receiving them.
Can I Send Legal Documents Through Mail?
Yes, it is legal to send legal documents through mail. This is a process widely embraced in the legal profession.
For example, court process servers will usually send legal documents through mail. However, this process will only happen where the process server proves to the court that they made several unsuccessful attempts to reach a party to a lawsuit. The process server will initiate this process by filing paperwork to the court stating that the party is unreachable. A Judge will then order the process server to send the legal documents to such a party through mail.
Additionally, a landlord can legally send a lease agreement through mail where they cannot meet the tenant to sign the lease in person. However, such an agreement will usually be consensual.
It is important to take certain precautions to ensure that the legal documents that you have sent by mail arrive safely and securely. For example, a process server can send a legal document through mail as long as the server has proof that the recipient’s residence is the mailing address.
Is It Legal to Receive Legal Documents Through Mail?
Yes, it is legal to receive legal documents by mail.
When one is receiving such documents through mail, they will usually be required by the post office to confirm acceptance of the mail by way of signature.
In some cases, the sender of the legal documents would require a “Return Receipt Requested.”
A “Return Receipt Requested” is a type of service that functions similarly to service by certified mail except that the signature record will be mailed by the post office back to the sender.
The return receipt will be evidence of proof of delivery. It contains information such as when and to whom the legal documents were delivered to.
How to Send Legal Documents Through the Mail Safely
As stated above, it is important to ensure that legal documents are safely and securely sent by mail.
Sending legal documents through the mail can be risky when one fails to take the proper precautions.
For example, if a process server sends important court documents to the wrong recipient, the intended recipient will stand at a loss.
Additionally. sending notice of court orders or legal proceedings such as litigation papers through mail will usually be the last option and authorized by a Judge. This is because most courts require a hand-delivered notice to a recipient. Such delivery will usually be made by an officer of the law such as a deputy or sheriff.
Since legal documents are usually time-sensitive and confidential, it is important to securely send them. But how can one safely send legal documents? The tips below provide useful information on the same.
- Use certified mail carriers: Certified mail provides proof of delivery and requires a signature upon receipt. Sending mail through the United States Postal Service is a safe way to send legal documents. The USPS also has Click2Mail service which ensures that legal documents are securely sent through the mail. Click2Mail retains records of barcode tracking scans for a period of up to two years from the date of mailing.
- Use a sturdy envelope: Make sure your envelope is sturdy enough to protect your documents during transit.
- Don’t include unnecessary information: Avoid including any unnecessary information in the envelope or in the letter itself.
- Double-check the address: Make sure you have the correct address before sending your documents.
Is it safe to send legal documents through the mail?
It is important that one is careful before using certified mail to send a legal notice.
If possible, consult an attorney or a lawyer about the court rules and state rules regarding the legality of sending and receiving legal notices, contracts, lease agreements, and court documents through mail.
The Minnesota Supreme Court in Eischen Cabinet Co. v. Hildebrandt, 683 N.W.2d 813,818 (Minn: 2004), ruled that unless a statute or rule requires the use of certified mail, one should not use certified mail unless they are willing to accept the risk that its receipt will be delayed and that receipt will only be acknowledged when the mail comes into the hands of the recipient or in his own mailbox and confirmed by way of the recipient’s signature. Divergently, if a statute or a rule requires sending documents through certified mail, an assumption of delivery is made once a document has been sent.
Sending and receiving legal documents through mail is acceptable in every way in legal practice.
In many scenarios, the parties to a court proceeding or a contract etcetera may be living in different states and mail will be the only possible communication tool.
However, important documents made by the court are rarely sent by mail unless authorized by a Judge.
Additionally, if you send a legal court document by mail ensure that you file a certificate of service form.
A certificate of service will guide the court as evidence of service of legal documents.
With these precautions in mind, you can send legal documents with confidence.