I need to serve someone papers, and I need to be able to prove that I served them. It is an acceptable method to drop them off at their homes mail box, but then if contested I wouldn't be able to prove it. Is it legal to have a friend take a video of me delivering the envelope, on a cellphone?

  • It is probably legal, but would probably not be valid proof (you could have tampered the movie, filmed things somewhere else, dropped some other papers...). Note sure about the specifics in Canada or BC, but in most countries there are people who are paid to do this for a reason: they are sworn in and if they say they did serve the papers, they will be believed.
    – jcaron
    Jan 29, 2016 at 13:32
  • 2
    Sam, I noticed that on this question and another question that you are using the [public-domain] tags. Just to let you know, the public domain is a copyright matter, not just things that happen in the public :)
    – Zizouz212
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:46
  • @jcaron one could show the document on video, and then place the document into an envelope, seal it, and put it in the mail box, all on video. That would be hard enough to fake. If the video shows the time in the corner, so much the better.
    – phoog
    Jan 29, 2016 at 16:12
  • And how would you prove that the date/time are actually the real ones? What if the mail slot and its environment are generic enough that you could do the same thing in the building next door? Again, it's an interesting element, but unless you take a LOT of measures, it's definitely not proof. Send the thing via registered mail, or deliver it in person and ask for a signature on a delivery notice, or use the services of a professional.
    – jcaron
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:26
  • 1
    @andre3wap Even if someone with authority serves the documents in the mailbox, someone can come and remove them. The point though is that the person doing the serving wants the person being served to see the documents, but the person being served wants to avoid receiving the documents. If the law says that putting them in the mailbox is sufficient, then it's not necessary to prove that the person being served actually got them out of the mailbox. It's that person's responsibility under the law to read his or her mail.
    – phoog
    Jan 29, 2016 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


It is illegal for anyone other than the USPS to put mail in someone's mailbox *.

From https://about.usps.com/news/state-releases/tx/2010/tx_2010_0909.htm

By law, a mailbox is intended only for receipt of postage-paid U.S. Mail.

* Except for newspapers on Sunday

The Postmaster noted an exception to the general rule: newspapers can be placed in mailboxes only on Sunday; a non-delivery day for the Postal Service.

  • No no you're confused, we're talking about the mailbox/mail slot in someone's home, your article is about the main mailbox on the street.
    – SamT
    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:08
  • 2
    The question is asking about Canada which makes this completely irrelevant. Jan 30, 2016 at 14:51
  • 1
    The question is not asking whether it's legal to put something inside a mailbox, but rather the legality of filming it. Not sure how this answer comes to play.
    – Zizouz212
    Jan 31, 2016 at 17:41
  • @SamT In the US it is illegal to put mail in someone's personal mailbox (the one at their home). Please reread the article, in particular " By law, a mailbox is intended only for receipt of postage-paid U.S. Mail."
    – Steve Kuo
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .