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If a litigant refuses to sing for a registered letter which is returned to the sender, does it matter?

Tigard, OR |

A litigant was sent, via certified mail, a request to view and copy exhibits (request for production) contained in their statement of proof and the litigant simply refused to sign for and pick up the envelope, do I care? I served them and intend to object to their introduction of any exhibits based on their failure/refusal to produce even though they do not know what the envelope contained. Haven't I done my part?

Any thoughts on if the same situation occurs with a Request for Admissions? Seriously, I mean in the same type of situation, say I respond to a request for production and send the documents certified mail and they don't pick up the documents they requested, it that my fault too? Any answers?

Attorney Answers 4


I'm not sure how much luck you'll have objecting to all of the opposing parties exhibits just because they would not receive a certified letter. You might try sending the Request first class mail instead of a method that requires a signature for receipt. Then, your proof of service can be made as a declaration under the penalty of perjury that you mailed the Request on a certain day. Then, when the opposing party refuses to produce in the statutorily required period, you can make a motion to the court to compel production. I suggest you consult with a lawyer about the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure if you're going to try to use these rules to your advantage in your case.

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You need proof of service. Use the information that you sent the document by certified mail. Because you don't have signature, I see that as lacking toward your proofs.

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I have my certificate of service / proof of service. The way I see it, I also have proof of the litigants refusal to produce. Am I missing something?


Registered mail describes letters, packets or other postal documents considered valuable and in need of a chain of custody that provides more control than regular mail. The posted item has its details recorded in a register to enable its location to be tracked, sometimes with added insurance to cover loss. Traditionally, registered mail was a manual process which gave rise to a great variety of distinctive handstamps and registration labels.[1] Many countries have issued special postal stationery for registered mail. Earlier similar services were known as Money Letters. Today, however, the registration process is largely computerized with barcode registration labels replacing the traditional analog labels having only a printed serial number.

Generally, the item is pre-paid with the normal postage rate and an additional charge known as a registration fee. Upon payment of this fee the sender is given a receipt, and (usually) a unique numbered registration label is affixed to the letter. As the letter travels from post office to post office and through any sorting office, it has to be signed for on a ledger. This process is completed when the letter is delivered and the receiver signs for the item. With computerization and barcode technology, much of the logging once done manually has become simpler and leads to greater options for the sender and receiver alike to access the status of their shipment via the internet. Many postal authorities provide tracing information for registered items on their website.

In the United States, registered mail may be used for mailing classified material up to the Secret collateral level
Refusing Certified Mail

Before refusing certified mail, you should inspect it while the carrier or clerk still has it. The mail is not considered refused until the carrier or clerk actually presents it to you in person. Otherwise, it may be considered undeliverable-as-addressed following a notification process.

Involving Legal Proceedings

Although it is not illegal to refuse certified mail, it can count against you (as the recipient) because the sender may be forced to hire process servers to complete the task and they may recoup their fees from you following a court order.


If a moving party can provide proof of attempting to serve an individual with notices and motions via certified mail (marked "Refused"), then a court may pass judgment in favor of the sender because he has tried all he could to bring all parties to court for a hearing. This process varies from state to state.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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Maybe you should file motions for discovery directly with the court - introduce your attempt(s) to serve thru certified mail as the reason for the formal request thru the court.
The best advice though: HIRE AN ATTORNEY ASAP!

Good luck

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