Q: what happens if i did not receive a letter that was claimed to be sent without tracking under section 641 of California
A: Evidence Code section 641 creates a rebuttable presumption that a properly addressed letter has been received. The plain language makes that clear - "A letter correctly addressed and properly mailed is presumed to have been received in the ordinary course of mail."
The effect of a rebuttable presumption impacts the burden of producing evidence, like the presumption that a letter correctly addressed and properly mailed has been received (Evid. Code, § 641), “is to require the trier of fact to assume the existence of the presumed fact [that the letter has been received] unless and until evidence is introduced which would support a finding of its nonexistence [that the letter has not been received], in which case the trier of fact shall determine the existence or nonexistence of the presumed fact from the evidence and without regard to the presumption.” (Evid. Code, § 604.)
The rebuttable presumption that a letter correctly addressed and properly mailed has been received (Evid. Code, § 641) “disappears” and “has no further effect,” once there is evidence sufficient to support a finding that the letter was not mailed. (Evid. Code, § 604; Coffey v. Shiomoto 60 Cal.4th 1198, 1209-1210 (2015)) At that point, the trier of fact must “‘weigh the denial of receipt against the inference of receipt arising from proof of mailing and decide whether
or not the letter was received.’” (Coffey v. Shiomoto, at 1210).
In other words, the statute presumes that the letter, if properly addressed and mailed, was received. You have the burden to try and prove that it was not sent.
Without knowing the details of what was allegedly sent to you, and allegedly not received by you, it is tough to say how you could do this. But, if for example, you were allegedly sent a check, and the office manager of the business that sent you the check explains the process for sending and recording outgoing checks, and that company's records don't line up with what they say the procedure is (e.g. not recorded in the check register, no copy of the accompanying letter in the client file, etc.) then your burden MIGHT be met.
But it is a high burden.
Best of luck.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.