Is the legally controlling date of a notice the date on the notice or the date it was sent?

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Is the legally controlling date of a notice the date on the notice or the date it was sent?

On the 11th I bought a car. On the 23rd I received a notice by certified mail that the financing was not approved and that I had to bring the car back immediately. I realized that the notice is dated on the 20th but the letter was stamped on the 21st (which is the 10th day). This means that it was impossible for me to get notified within 10 days if they sent it on the 10th day. Is it the date that the notice was dated at or the date it was sent to me that count in court?

Asked on February 26, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would actually usually be the date of receipt of the notice which controls--i.e. the date you in fact got the notice. If you were supposed to receive notice within 10 days, for example, that would mean you get it by or before the 10th day.

Sometimes it may be different to conclusively prove day of receipt; there may be occasions when the only date which can be established with certainty is the day the notice was sent, though in that case, unless it was sent by some instantaneous or same-day means (e.g. fax, email, messenger), it would usually be the case that 2 or 3 days would be added to reflect mail time.

The least relevant date is the date typed on the notice letter itself, since that could be any date--someone could type February 20, or February 2, November 18th, or 1882, or 2037, etc.; that date is often useful to identify the letter/notice (i.e. "notice dated Feb. 20, 2012") but has no legal import.


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