laying legal groundwork --registered mail?

I’ve had a water problem with the owner of the condo above me. I would like to “officially” tell him to fix his water problem in a letter.

Do I:
Send it Registered Mail?
or some other type of mail, so I can have proof that he got the letter I sent?

Certified mail , return reciept requested is the product you use to show evidence that the letter was delivered. Registered mail is for items of financial value.
Having a return reciept for a certified item proves that something was delivered, but doesn’t prove anything about what was in the envelope.

So of course you have to keep a copy the letter, along with the returned receipt. I suppose he could argue in court that what you sent wasn’t what you have a copy of, but I don’t think the judge is likely to buy it.

What one law firm I used to work for does is write “Via Certified Mail [item number]” on the letter itself. And then, of course, attach the mailing receipt and the return receipt with the same item number.

That’s what I do. On the upper right side (right side justification) of the letter itself below the date and above the mailing address, I put this:

Via U.S. Mail
CMRRR - 1234 5678 9012 3456

Of course, to do this, you will have to get your blank certified mail slip from the post office before you finalize the letter. You can also pick up your Green Card (return receipt) at the same time.

While I agree with all that has been said. does anyone have any stats on how often mail is signed for by the intended recipient? I have gotten a coupla certified items in my life. In each case, I assumed the news wasn’t good, and I’ve not claimed the mail.

I don’t have stats, but my understanding of the general rule is that if you mail something, then there is a rebuttable presumption the mail was actually delivered. Using CMRRR helps the sender because it is hard for the recipient to rebut the presumption of delivery once the recipient signs the green card. If the recipient refuses to sign for the CMRRR, then the mail is returned unclaimed, which rebuts the presumption of actual delivery.

I have seen some court opinions where the sender sends the letter by CMRRR with another copy sent by regular mail simultaneously. I believe it was a situation where a contract or statute required CMRRR. The CMRRR letter came back unclaimed, but the one sent by regular mail was not returned. The court held that was sufficient to satisfy the CMRRR requirement.

Cool. I was just discussing this situation with a friend. His business frequently has to send out mail CMRRR. He formed a company called Lottery Winning Disposition, got a PO box, and has much higher percentage for claimed CMRRRs!

I make no representation that what I read applies to your situation or that what I read is the current status of the law. Check your current and local law.

All I read was some opinion I found on Google. I don’t know what year the opinion was or what jurisdiction.

Again, I make no representations as to the current status of the law or whether the opnion quoted below may or may not apply to your situation. CHECK YOUR CURRENT LOCAL LAW YOURSELF OR WITH THE HELP OF YOUR ATTORNEY [NOT ME]. Here is what one California court said about CMRRR in 2005 just to see what one court, at the time, had to say about it in connection with the specific set of facts presented in that case:

I know of one situation where a certified delivery wasn’t claimed (possibly because the recipient correctly suspected bad news). The sender’s attorney then FedExed a copy to the recipient’s office, which a secretary signed for. Done.

While I am not an attorney, I would be very surprised if as a general matter of law any notice HAS to be by certified mail (a particular contract could of course specify that kind of thing, as could a particular law). I believe this is the gist of the first part of Bearflag’s post.

For your neighbor, you could take a copy of the letter upstairs and take a video of yourself slipping it under his door. That would provide reasonable proof of delivery, too. But certified mail is usually easier, and more familiar for courts to deal with.

Unless I am mistaken, and assuming a Return Receipt is paid for, there’s only one difference between Certified and Registered. The latter moves from station to station in a locked pouch/container. Certified travels as 1st Class.

Make sure you mark the certified return receipt at “signature confirmation” so the person who picks up the letter will have to prove he is the one picking it up. Otherwise anyone can pick it up.

You could use registered mail for the same purpose, but why bother? It’s more money and it’s, as one sender said, to keep a very close eye on the letter from point of mail to point of delivery. So it’d be used for things like jewelry and such