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My problem concerns a letter that has already been placed in an envelope and mailed. My question is when does the sender lose their right to that letter that they placed in an envelope addressed to the person the letter is directed too and mailed? does the sender lose all rights and control over that letter once it is placed in a U.S. Postal mailbox for delivery? And if so can the person that letter is addressed to enforce his right over that letter even if that is returned back to the sender because of some error in the address?

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My question is when does the sender lose their right to that letter that they placed in an envelope addressed to the person the letter is directed too and mailed? does the sender lose all rights and control over that letter once it is placed in a U.S. Postal mailbox for delivery?

It's not clear what you mean by "right to [a] letter." It certainly is the case that, once a letter is deposited in a USPS mailbox, the sender has no right to get it back. If you meant anything more than that, please clarify.

And if so can the person that letter is addressed to enforce his right over that letter even if that is returned back to the sender because of some error in the address?

Subject to the issue mentioned above, if the letter is never delivered to the addressee, it is unlikely that the addressee has any rights regarding it.

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And if so can the person that letter is addressed to enforce his right over that letter even if that is returned back to the sender because of some error in the address?

How would the addressee even know about the letter if it was returned to sender without being delivered?

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It's not clear what you mean by "right to [a] letter." It certainly is the case that, once a letter is deposited in a USPS mailbox, the sender has no right to get it back. If you meant anything more than that, please clarify.

Subject to the issue mentioned above, if the letter is never delivered to the addressee, it is unlikely that the addressee has any rights regarding it.

Let be a bit more clearer, I not only learned of letter that was "allegedly" mailed but managed to obtain a copy of that letter. The letter was "template" type of letter which certain information was left over from the previous person, which led me to believe that it was done in a rush. I don't believe it was drafted on that date or mailed around that date if it was mailed at all. If it was mailed at all it was mailed to the wrong address again in a mad rush. I want to exert my rights (as the owner) over that letter and demand its return back to me, for my inspection and records. Is there any statute or existent caselaw analogous to my situation?

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If this letter was allegedly mailed to you and returned to sender, you have no rights to it. It still belongs to the sender.

That’s where I would normally not argue this point but (I did not return the letter back to the sender and would not have) and there is two other reasons why I believe your positioning your frame of thought is where; (1) the addressee has no knowledge of the letter that was already mailed to them therefore no harm is done ; (2) the addressee doesn’t have a copy of the alleged copy of the letter which he wishes to challenge.

While in my case (1) I have knowledge of the letter and (2) I also managed to obtain a copy of the letter and (3) I am exerting my ownership rights over not only the letter but the actual envelope containing the letter (for the postmark date). How can challenge this issue in court then?

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While in my case (1) I have knowledge of the letter and (2) I also managed to obtain a copy of the letter and (3) I am exerting my ownership rights over not only the letter but the actual envelope containing the letter (for the postmark date). How can challenge this issue in court then?

Your knowledge that the letter was allegedly mailed to you doesn't change the legal analysis. If the letter is returned by the post office to the sender as undeliverable for whatever reason, you don't have any rights to the letter as you never received it in the first place. Note that when mail is returned to the sender by the Post Office, the sender becomes the ultimate addressee of the mail.

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Your knowledge that the letter was allegedly mailed to you doesn't change the legal analysis. If the letter is returned by the post office to the sender as undeliverable for whatever reason, you don't have any rights to the letter as you never received it in the first place. Note that when mail is returned to the sender by the Post Office, the sender becomes the ultimate addressee of the mail.

Let me put it a different way, how do I go about having the sender preserve the envelope that has the “postmark” date of the letter that was actually mailed. The actual letter is the least of my worries what I need is the image date on the post mark on the envelope that I am seeking.

Do I send them notice or request to preserve the postmark on the envelope for litigation purposes. The reason I ask is because I have every reason to believe this letter was never mailed out on the date of the letter or a few days later and I wish to challenge this issue, there is a pattern of practice that emerged a while ago and this is one more that needs to be added to that pattern. So should mail them a notice to preserve that enevlope for pending litigation?

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Let me put it a different way, how do I go about having the sender preserve the envelope that has the “postmark” date of the letter that was actually mailed.

There is no way you can compel the sender to do anything.

what I need is the image date on the post mark on the envelope that I am seeking.

Why?

Your questions won't make a lot of sense until you tell us what your relationship is with the sender, what's going on between the two of you, and why the postmark is so important.

Do I send them notice or request to preserve the postmark on the envelope for litigation purposes. The reason I ask is because I have every reason to believe this letter was never mailed out on the date of the letter or a few days later and I wish to challenge this issue, there is a pattern of practice that emerged a while ago and this is one more that needs to be added to that pattern. So should mail them a notice to preserve that enevlope for pending litigation?

That's up to you.

But, if you do, then what happens if they ignore your request. Are you willing and able to file a lawsuit? Is the sender going to sue you for something?

Again, we have no idea what this is all about so it's difficult to provide any helpful comments.

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The reason why the image of the postmark is important is simple, if the envelope is produced I expected it to show a wide gap in the window period between the date of the letter and when the envelope was actually mailed by the image of the postmark and if the envelope is not produced then it will support my suspicion that that letter was never mailed out.

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The reason why the image of the postmark is important is simple, if the envelope is produced I expected it to show a wide gap in the window period between the date of the letter and when the envelope was actually mailed by the image of the postmark and if the envelope is not produced then it will support my suspicion that that letter was never mailed out.

So what?

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So what?

Actually LegalwritterOne. As for the so what part. The reason why asking is for two reasons first (1) I've seen legal briefs and arguments that made mole hills into mountains with much less supporting proof and (2) I'm sick and tired of these misrepresentations and am calling them on it.

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If you didn't get the letter, you didn't get it. Arguing about when it was mailed is irrelevant. If the other side says they mailed it and it came back, they'll do something to establish that IF it's relevant. There are mole hills and then there are gopher holes that take you nowhere but into a long dark tunnel of wasted time and energy.

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There are mole hills and then there are gopher holes that take you nowhere but into a long dark tunnel of wasted time and energy.

That's the metaphor that I feel that I am up against a field full of countless gopher holes and tunnels that I am covering up and blocking off and this is just one more gopher that I am unmasking for what it is and blocking off.

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The reason why the image of the postmark is important is simple, if the envelope is produced I expected it to show a wide gap in the window period between the date of the letter and when the envelope was actually mailed by the image of the postmark and if the envelope is not produced then it will support my suspicion that that letter was never mailed out.

Let’s cut to the chase. Does this have anything to do with the FOIA matter you are pursuing? If so, what relevance does the difference between the date put on the letterhead and the postmark day matter? Note that the date on the letter itself only indicates when it was written. One cannot logically assume something is mailed on the same day it was written absent some other fact that establishes that the date of the letter and date of mailing are always the same; for example, letters generated by certain automated processing systems that are routinely mailed the same day they are printed.

If it’s not the FOIA matter, what is it? In the law, details matter a lot. You ought to know that by now from prior posts. The answers you get are only as good as the information you give. You started out this thread asking a question in a somewhat misleading fashion, in my view, perhaps intended to get the answer that you wanted. You asked about ownership of mail that was sent but returned by the post office to the sender. But now I see you are really asserting that the letter was never sent at all. Well, an answer about mail sent and returned to the sender wouldn’t necessarily do you any good if the real fact was that the letter was never sent at all, right?

If you want to provide more details about what is going on here, you might get some more specific answers that might be useful. If not, that’s your choice, but in that event you’ll have to resolve this issue on your own some other way.

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In the law, details matter a lot. You ought to know that by now from prior posts. The answers you get are only as good as the information you give. You started out this thread asking a question in a somewhat misleading fashion, in my view, perhaps intended to get the answer that you wanted. You asked about ownership of mail that was sent but returned by the post office to the sender. But now I see you are really asserting that the letter was never sent at all. Well, an answer about mail sent and returned to the sender wouldn’t necessarily do you any good if the real fact was that the letter was never sent at all, right?

If you want to provide more details about what is going on here, you might get some more specific answers that might be useful. If not, that’s your choice, but in that event you’ll have to resolve this issue on your own some other way.

I understand that details matter and am trying to give enough details to get me the right answers but on the other side of the token too much information on a public page more likely than not haunt me in the future an possibly jeopardize my situation if I give too much information, yes this does concern FOIA.

Here is the problem in a nutshell, I filed a FOIA request electronically, received a electronic acknowledgement advising me that the submission was receeived. A week later I contacted the federal agency FOIA office about the FOIA request that that was submitted electronically, they told me that it did not appear in their data base, this went on for a while, I was constantly told that my request did not appear in their database. then out of the clear blue. They electronically mailed to me a copy of the acknowledgement letter. My experience tells me that the date of the letter conflicts with the actual tracking number. This I am tring to challenge. By the way I don't expect for the letter to be mailed the same day but a few days later.

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yes this does concern FOIA...They electronically mailed to me a copy of the acknowledgement letter. My experience tells me that the date of the letter conflicts with the actual tracking number. This I am tring to challenge. By the way I don't expect for the letter to be mailed the same day but a few days later.

O.K., and why does it matter whether the date of the letter doesn’t match the date the tracking number was assigned? The goal with a FOIA request is to get the records you are seeking from the agency (assuming it even has the records). How does this fight over the date of the letter help you get those records?

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O.K., and why does it matter whether the date of the letter doesn’t match the date the tracking number was assigned? The goal with a FOIA request is to get the records you are seeking from the agency (assuming it even has the records). How does this fight over the date of the letter help you get those records?

Well let me put it this way, if you met up to an agency or a corporation. . . that set a pattern or practice with an intention of delaying, evading or preventing the legitimate processing of an application or request of your client or yourself. . . wouldn’t you start calling them on it, at least the ones that you can successfully prove. That’s exactly what I am trying to do.

As for if whether it has the records sought, I managed to move beyond that. Now I am more focused on the pattern of practice that is showing by their actions. . .

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Well let me put it this way, if you met up to an agency or a corporation. . . that set a pattern or practice with an intention of delaying, evading or preventing the legitimate processing of an application or request of your client or yourself. . . wouldn’t you start calling them on it, at least the ones that you can successfully prove. That’s exactly what I am trying to do.

I would only if the effort would help me further some significant end goal. I’d not do it just to make a point; that’s not terribly productive.

As for if whether it has the records sought, I managed to move beyond that. Now I am more focused on the pattern of practice that is showing by their actions. . .

Meaning what? That you got the records you sought and now simply wish to make the point that the agency is either inefficient in handling these requests or, perhaps, deliberately delays them? In my view, that’s not productive. You’ll spin your wheels trying to get information you may not be able to get, and even if you do, what then? What good will it do you?

Or do you mean that the agency has said it has the records but is refusing to release them based on one more FOIA exemptions? If that's the situation, then it seems to me the focus should be on rebutting the agency’s claims to exemption, if possible. I don’t see how the issue of the letter being sent on a day different than the date on the letter helps with that.

There is a reason for my questions here. In a FOIA action, the focus is getting the records. If what you are trying to do here won’t further that goal, then at least in the context of a FOIA claim, it’s not worth your time to do. However, if the timing of the letter or whatever is material to the FOIA action, then there may be a way to get the information you need about when, if at all, the letter was actually sent. Again, details matter. I’ve seen lots of people get off-track in dealing with the government pro se — chasing things that ultimately don’t them a lick of good, while not focusing on the issues they ought to focus on to achieve their goals.

It’s no secret that some agencies don't like to release some information under FOIA and will try hard to find a justification to avoid releasing it. Focusing on what gets those records released is the best way to whack an agency for that kind of behavior. Allow yourself to get diverted into side issues and you may play right into the delay game of the agency.

I’m not saying your inquiry isn’t worthwhile. What I am saying is that I can’t see the benefit of it with what little I know of the situation you have. And without knowing more, I can’t really suggest how, if at all, you might get what you want. But start with what it is you really want to achieve and then ask yourself how this fits into that goal. If you can’t draw the connection, then it may turn out to be a wild goose chase. If you wish to share your thinking on how this helps you with the FOIA matter, maybe I’ll be able to see something that might help you. Of course, it’s fine if you don’t. In any event, as I counsel associates to do, I suggest you always ask yourself how whatever is you have will fit into the ultimate goal you have in mind. By doing that, you keep yourself on track to that goal rather than pursuing something that will turn out to be a waste of time.

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No, I haven’t gotten the records, but agency did not state that it could not be located or was destroyed as it was required to do by regulatory law, and yes they are refusing to release them based on one or more FOIA exemptions that quite honestly don’t apply to “post” decisional documents. . . as for the letter, envelope and tracking number they also play a big role in this because I believe that a pattern and practice of delaying and refusing to produce disclosable records at all cost exist in my case that they have gotten blatant . See; Mayock v. Nelson, 938 F.2d 1006 (9th Cir. 1991).(Citing. Maycock v. INS, 714 F.Supp. 1558, 1559-60 (N.D.Cal.1989) where Maycock alleged that INS had a pattern and practice of (1) failing to produce certain categories of FOIA information and (2) failing to comply with FOIA requests within the statutory, ten-day period.

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Now I am more focused on the pattern of practice that is showing by their actions. . .

Well, here's another metaphor for you:

Tilting at windmills.

An English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, sometimes used to describe confrontations where adversaries are incorrectly perceived, or where a goal is pursued in vain, like pointing out bureaucratic inefficiencies to a bureaucrat.

The time you are wasting on this issue is rather silly but that, of course, is your choice.

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adjusterjack, I understand that my questions might seem silly or a complete waste of time to you, but then again your ill-informed, don’t know the history of this nor my circumstances, therefore next time ask questions or you should be more informed about the history or a topic and know the angles before you aanswer a question or make these metaphors that do not fit the category of the issue being discussed But thanks anyways ill-informed criticism.

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Well asking this question proved to be counter-productive too much information went out with no positive feed-back. I feel that I am now in a worst position than when I first started my question by putting more laundry on the clothes line than was needed. This one question that needs more information than I cannot afford to part with in order to get an knowledgeable answer, thanks anyways.

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