A letter was mailed to me by the PA UC Board, but I did not receive it (I live in an apartment building where my landlord distributes mail picked up from a common mailbox). Because I did not receive the letter, I did not appear at a hearing, and as a result, the petition for which the hearing was held was denied. I then of course appealed, but was denied because "receipt [of the hearing notice] was presumed." I am seeking one or more Pennsylvania legal precedents to serve as grounds with which to appeal this "receipt was presumed" statement, which is quite obviously logically flawed, especially in my particular situation where I more than occasionally receive my neighbors' mail, and they receive mine. Thanks for reading. -Pete
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In Pennsylvania, the law presumes that a letter was delivered if it was properly addressed and sufficient postage was on it, and the letter was never returned to the sender. Therefore, you are not going to be able to find any Pennsylvania case law that holds otherwise.
1. If you tell me what type of case this is and what the Petition was for, I might be able to suggest an alternative;
2. In many instances, the Court requires a litigant who files a Petition to furnish the Court with stamped envelopes addressed to the parties involved; do you know if this was one of those instances ?
Hello Andrea -
1. The case was with the PA Unemployment Compensation Board of review; their decision was final, though I have the opportunity to appeal to the PA Commonwealth Court. I was petitioning for back-dating of the start date of my unemployment.
2. In order to file *this* petition with the PA Commonwealth Court, I am required to mail letters to the involved parties (though not provide stamped envelopes).
Hi, Pete, Thank you for your additional information,
Your recourse is to file a Motion or Petition to Vacate Decision, for Hearing with the Unemployment Compensation Board and allege that you did not receive notice of the first hearing date, serious inequity would be done if a hearing were not held, there would be a miscarriage of justice if the Petitioner (you) were not given the opportunity to be heard, you would be prejudiced, and you would suffer irreparable harm without such opportunity to be heard,
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Thank you Andrea. Boy does that sound like a hail Mary, so I'm assuming that based on your experience, there is nothing more specific I can say. How often have you found that this approach works in this type of situation?
Good Morning, Pete, I'll have to remember that, By the way, you have to repeat that three times every night before you go to bed and three times in the morning, as soon as you wake up :)
How often does this work ?
Good question. If they are a fair and even handed group, they should grant your Petition and I do not see any reason why they should not grant your Petition,
There is something called "Judicial Notice" which means that certain things are taken as true without the necessity of proof or the submission of evidence. For example, years ago the US Postal Service delivered a letter on the day after it was mailed, and proof of receipt did not have to be shown. Unfortunately, the mail is no longer delivered the day following the date of mailing, but a litigant can still ask the Judge to "take Judicial Notice" that the letter he mailed on Monday was delivered to the addressee on Tuesday.
Actually, you can use part of that in your Petition and say something like this,
"Years ago, the US Postal System was more efficient than it is today."
"Because the US Postal System was efficient, it was presumed that a letter was received the day following the day of mailing."
"In recognition of delivery of a letter on the day following the day of mailing, the Courts took Judicial Notice of this fact."
"In today's world, the number of letters that are mailed has increased immeasurably."
"As a result of the aforesaid increase, many Courts recognize the reality that a letter is no longer delivered on the day following the day of mailing."
"In recognition of these realities, Courts no longer take Judicial Notice that a letter was delivered on the day following the day of mailing. and, in fact, in many instances the Court will require proof of mailing by way of a US Postal Receipt and will require proof of delivery by way of a Return Receipt signed by the Addressee."
Each of the above statements should be placed in a separately numbered paragraph in the Petition along with your other arguments,
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Thank you Andrea - that gives me enough to work with. I also appreciate your pointing out that I will need to number the separate statements in my petition. I'll research this to be sure my petition is in the appropriate format.
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