The U.S. Postal Service is hemorrhaging money big time, and this week announced a plan to cut Saturday delivery to avoid potential insolvency. According to reports the postal service expects to stop delivering and collecting letters and other first-class mail on Saturdays beginning August 5th.
This massive change may have serious implications on legal notice statutes which rely on USPS mail delivery, and is particularly relevant to the lien and bond claim notices sent under state mechanics lien laws.
How The Postal Service’s Saturday Delivery Decision May Impact Your Mechanics Lien Rights
If you are a reader of this blog you know about preliminary notice requirements. To preserve your company’s right to file a mechanics lien or bond claim, a timely preliminary notice must be filed in most circumstances. These preliminary notices are almost exclusively delivered by U.S. Postal mail. It’s obvious that a change in how the USPS operates will have an impact on the sending and delivery of these notices.
The USPS has been enveloped with turmoil for quite some time now, and so this is not the first time we’ve written about these situations. An previous article relevant to this situation is “Preliminary Notice Deadlines May Be Impacted By Slower First Class Mail Delivery,” which was published last year when the organization announced that mail may take longer than usual in most cities.
Ending Saturday delivery presents an interesting problem for legal notice situations such as the requirement to send preliminary notices.
Preliminary notice statutes consider compliance effective at either the time a notice is placed into the mail or the time when the notice is received. In either case, removing Saturday delivery and collection is going to impact the amount of time you have to get these notices processed.
In those states where compliance is effective at the time a notice is placed into the mail, the inability to mail these notices on a Saturday means that your preliminary notice period may be cut by two days (Saturday & Sunday) instead of just the standard one-day. Three-day weekends will cut into your notice period by three days.
In those states where compliance is effective at the time of receipt, the removal of Saturday delivery means your delivery date could be pushed back an extra day.
While seemingly insignificant, this single day can make a big difference – especially when a notice statute requires notice within just 8 days (like Oregon) or 10 days (like Louisiana).