Jury Summons--How do they know that you received it?

Strangely, I also get mail in my apartment’s mailbox that is either for another neighbor in my apartment (right address, wrong apartment number), or someone at a wrong address (but same apartment number).

The part that gets me is that this happens at (what is, to me) an alarming rate. Probably 5-8 per month.

I always get the mail to the correct person. But, I rarely get mail given to me that might have been misdelivered to another person. If my mail is misdelivered to other people as often as other people’s are misdelivered to me, I would assume I would get 5-8 pieces of mail per month handed to me that arrived at the wrong address. I get maybe 1 per year that way.


The IRS uses regular mail,until they get to legal Notices, such as a 90-day letter, aka a SNAD aka a Statutory Notice of Deficiency. There, it must go certified to the Last Known Addree. There’s a considerable body of law on that, but (ianal), timely mialing by Certified Mail is considered proof, even if not signed for. Sometimes the iRS uses a “Certificate of Mailing” which has the USPS sign off that that that mail was indeed rcvd at the Post Office.


Unless your tax deficiency came to over $5000 on this item, you should not have had to pay any penalties. Yes, the auditor may have asserted them, but you should have appealed that. But you would have to pay interest.

There are many other ways of mail being misdelivered. Sometimes letters stick to other ones, and get put into the wrong slot. We often get letters with the same number but a different street. We just had a Netflix disk misdelivered - someone eventually put it on our doorstep. We put the stuff back into the mail to be correctly delivered, but some people may dump it, and if the guy down the street who hates you gets your mail, you are out of luck.

Mailing houses often conduct experiments where they mail a large number of pieces of mail to various locations, and collect information on how many go missing. I was on an IEEE committee 20 years ago that did this, and the loss rate was > 2% (though this was second class mail.)

I worked as a carrier, and can testify you don’t look at every piece of mail as you deliver it.

IANAL, but as I understand it, a judge is well within his rights to slap a contempt of court charge on any summoned juror who fails to appear. I’m sure the chances of this happening are not high unless the actual number of potential jurors who do show up is insufficient to make up the desired number of panels. In such cases, it seems reasonable to assume that there’s no way for the judge to prove that x juror did in fact receive his or or notice, but the embarrassment/inconvenience of being hauled off to court and having to contest the charges is certainly enough incentive to ensure that enough folks will respond to the summons.

So assumed guilty until proven innocent? That doesn’t sound very American, and various cites in this thread do seem to show mail get mishandled.

Why can’t/doesn’t the court use registered mail? Seems like a simple way to handle it, and it’d establish proof of receipt, without risking punishing an unlucky innocent.

Because it would cost a whole lot more, for no effective gain.

The number of cases where the mail is mishandled is way less than the number of people who do get the notice, and just don’t show up. So sending it registered mail would not help in the majority of cases.

And they don’t get punished right away, for a single notice that has gone astray. That only happens after they have ignored repeated notices from the court. It’s very unlikely that all of these notices would just happen to be in that tiny >2% of mail that goes astray (and is not returned to sender).

That’s true, but then there’s the evil roommate/hostile mailman/mail thieving vengeful neighbor scenario. Wanna get someone arrested? Steal/don’t deliver their jury notices.

It kind of naively assumes people always honest and ethical, in some places nothing could be further from the truth.

I just received a jury summons forwarded to me from North Carolina. I have lived in Oregon for the past five years. My Oregon address is correct with the DMV here and the Tax Office back in NC. The fire dept. in NC burned my house down for practice. I recently reported my concerns about packages being delivered to the empty lot (there was a lot of “spice” reported coming into the community, I did not want my former address to be a drop point, as someone had already mysteriously had a Direct TV dish delivered there while the house was being removed) and dealt with both the police department and the post office to make sure that no more mail or packages were delivered to that address. Yet I still get a summons for Jury duty in NC? How do you change you address with the court system when you move?

I have faxed in the required proof of change of address, and will also seen it certified return receipt to establish a paper trail since I expect this will not be the last I hear of it.

That’s interesting! How did you evaluate that a piece went missing? Was it some kind of “respond back if you got this”?

Zombies don’t normally get called for jury duty.

elvenflow you have responded to a 6 year old thread. I would suggest you start a new thread to get your question answered.

You call the clerk of courts or whoever mails out jury summons in NC and tell them you don’t live in the state anymore. You might want to ensure that you are no longer registered to vote there too.

I spent a semester abroad when I was in college and during that time I received numerous jury notices with increasing levels of urgency at the apartment near my home campus that I rented with some other students. I called the court when I returned to the US and they told me not to worry about it, although this was a college town so they probably factor these things in.

Even sending certified mail is not a guarantee that the recipient will get it.

Some years ago I was on the Board of Trustees for a home owners association, serving as treasurer. The State Department of Natural Resources sent me a certified mail containing a notice that we owed them some money for a permit. Even though I had lived at the same address for some forty years, the Post Office returned the mail (with our correct address on it) to the DNR labeled “Undeliverable”. I only found out about this sometime later when I got a regular letter from the DNR asking basically WTF?

When I found out what had happened I went up to our local P.O. and had some harsh words with them, which went off them like water off a duck’s back.

I think the basic problem was that our mail route is considered a “training” route, so we get all the new carriers. That, along with the fact that English is definitely not the first language for a lot of our carriers, and mail delivery can get a little shaky on occasion. Except for junk mail, of course. The P.O. never misses on these.

It’s weird to see an OP by jtgain that says “IANAL” !

But it is a nice zombie warning. :slight_smile:

Well, if it takes five years to arrive… :smiley:

I’m not sure of the details. I just heard the results.

I’ve been to jury rooms quite a few times since this thread started. The people working the desk in the jury room try to call the people who did not respond to the roll call (not very many in my experience.) I don’t know how long they persist, but if they get you and you say you missed the mail, get rescheduled, and show up, nothing is going to happy. In my county at least you get one free postponement.

Our jury summonses are done from the drivers license and voting list. Some number of people on these lists have moved and/or are dead, so I doubt they expect 100% compliance.

Well we dont live in America! We live in the US