A Florida HOA is in breach of contract: the next step is to send a 'demand' letter seeking actionable remedy. There is a history with HOA of using email: is there any compelling reason to send the demand letter via USPS registered mail?

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    What will happen if the HOA ignores the email and later denies that they ever received it? Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 18:35
  • There is no reason toi use registered mail, that is for inherently valuable documents or items, such as a stock certificate that could be endorsed and transferred. **Certified mail**(with the optional return receipt) provides proof of delivery and is much less expensive. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 3:14

3 Answers 3


Why use USPS to Deliver Demand Letter when email is available

The answer essentially lies in NateEldredge's comment, and is consistent with Firefighter's Inst. for Racial Equal v. City fo St. Louis, 220 F.3d 898, 903 in that regular mail (and impliedly email) as a method of service is generally inadmissible "because the court cannot be assured that delivery has occurred".

Even if the HOA replied to your email, phoog is right in that the possibility of falsification of email records may prevent some courts from admitting service by email.

  • The next question is, why do we need to use Certified Mail. The US Postal Service delivers over 99% of first class postage properly. Someone who claims they did not receive a mailed letter is probably not being truthful. One could make the probability of delivery close to 5-9's (99.999%) by mailing three letters for under $1.50 USD.
    – jww
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 20:23
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    @jww It has nothing to do with USPS delivery rate (and I'm with you in that USPS is very effective), but with the fact that Certified Mail (or the equivalent from a commercial carrier) involves a signature of whoever received the mail at the destination address. Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 21:17
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    Jww: statistical mistake. If 99 out of 100 letters are delivered correctly, then probably 98 will admit receiving the letter, one will lie that they didn’t receive it, and one will say the truth that they didn’t receive it.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 8:04
  • If it's sent to the wrong address there's a much higher probability that it won't be received, and sending 3 times won't increase the chance of being received (unless someone sees 3 letters and decides "hmm I better do something with that").
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 9:45
  • @StuartF "If it's sent to the wrong address there's a much higher probability that it won't be received" Obvious, and that means that the sender has not complied with his procedural duty of serving on the adversary the legal document(s). "sending 3 times won't increase the chance of being received" When mail does not reach sender's intended destination, a reasonable sender would double check that he is providing the right address in his subsequent attempt(s). Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 11:38

in some jurisdictions and circumstances e-mail is insufficient.

In an e-mail does not constitute at all to being in wrtiting ("schriftlich/Schriftform"). Several types of actions necessarily requires things to be in writing, which the law requires to be on paper, signed, and affixed to the paper in a manner that can't be easily altered ("Dokumentenecht"). A pencil note wouldn't be "in writing" as a result, because pencil isn't "Dokumentenecht".

Among the things that have to be in writing are notices of quitting or firing from a job, as well as changes to rental agreements.

  • Note in the US an email is generally considered to be "in writing". Indeed the federal esign act says as much. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 6:37
  • @DavidSiegel which is why I explicitly said for which jurisdiction the paragraph is - Germany.
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 8:20
  • Yes I understand that, and I was not in any way intending to suggest that it was incorrect. I merely wished to inform any that might incorrectly suppose that the German rue also applied in the US. I am not sure what rule applies in other parts of Europe. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 8:33
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    @DavidSiegel reworded title line?
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 8:35

Often, the governing documents of the HOA or a state statute will dictate a particular method of providing notice.

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