Small Claims Court: Email as Letter of Demand

Kosmik

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#2
As far as I know, it requires proof/implied proof of receipt so is normally :

1. Registerd Mail
2. Hand Delivered with a witness
3. Fax with receipt confirmation.

It may work if you force a receipt but people can block those from being sent back to you.
 

Arthur

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#3
As per Step 2: "Deliver the written demand by hand or registered post to the opposing party". The SCC has specific rules for what constitutes proper delivery, so hand delivery is best.
 

savage

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#4
The ETC act sees email as a valid form of communication. I'm no expert, but from what I understand from the ETC act, e-mail is as good as a registered letter / fax / hand delivered communications.
 

Jozsef Borbely

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#5
As per Step 2: "Deliver the written demand by hand or registered post to the opposing party". The SCC has specific rules for what constitutes proper delivery, so hand delivery is best.
+

The ETC act sees email as a valid form of communication. I'm no expert, but from what I understand from the ETC act, e-mail is as good as a registered letter / fax / hand delivered communications.
Both seem reasonable. Thats why I was hoping to come across someone that successfully used an email as a letter of demand.

Thanks for the input.
 

Arthur

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#6
The ETC act sees email as a valid form of communication. I'm no expert, but from what I understand from the ETC act, e-mail is as good as a registered letter / fax / hand delivered communications.
Generally that's true for legal delivery of ordinary commercial communications. However, certain types of written communication (such as summonses) have more specific requirements and trump the general rule - that's why a summons cannot be sent by email. The Small Claims Court Court Act sets up specific rules which must be followed. It has a very much more truncated legal process to expedite decisions by the Commissioner, and proof of delivery is therefore more specific. The plaintiff will have to submit proofs of the demand letter and legal delivery, so best follow the rules as defined.
 

Fulcrum29

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#7
I know that certain courts allow you to serve by email, it has been updated to apply to the Children’s Court and Maintenance Court to speed up the process. I don’t know whether this applies to the Small Claims Court, best to hear what the legal eagles on MyBb has to say.
 

Jozsef Borbely

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#8
Generally that's true for legal delivery of ordinary commercial communications. However, certain types of written communication (such as summonses) have more specific requirements and trump the general rule - that's why a summons cannot be sent by email. The Small Claims Court Court Act sets up specific rules which must be followed. It has a very much more truncated legal process to expedite decisions by the Commissioner, and proof of delivery is therefore more specific. The plaintiff will have to submit proofs of the demand letter and legal delivery, so best follow the rules as defined.
Ok so I called a couple clerks of a number of SCC and they said an email does not suffice as a LOD. Thanks all.
 

chrisc

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#10
I sent the Letter of Demand via email. The defendant replied. His reply was deemed proof of delivery, since he clearly had read it

However, said Defendant never turned up to the Court hearing. The magistrate said at the time she would issue an arrest warrant but never signed it. I have made 6 appointments to see the magistrate to have the warrant signed. She cancels the appointment at the last minute, or when I go to see her is "unavailable"

So as far as I am concerned, the system is useless
 

saturnz

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#11
I sent a letter of demand via email, the lawyer that was dealing with my case did not see that as an issue and eventually the court ruled in my favour.
 

chrisc

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#12
The lawyer in the court hearing bent over backwards to be "fair" by delaying the start of the hearing by 5 hours in case the defendant turned up. As the last case was heard, he wanted to know if I still wanted to pursue the case as it "would create all kinds of difficulty". I took that to mean he wanted me to withdraw. I refused and he wrote out an order for the magistrate. She looked at this for 20 seconds, told this lawyer he had not signed it and then put it to one side saying she had to leave

That was in October 2016. I tried to submit the case again, but was told that it is still pending. This can go on for up to 3 years, after which is it prescribed. The prescription date is 13th March 2018
 

ambroseg1

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#13
Thread necro

So I am in the same situation. Scumbag business/person who owes me money, I think knows not to collect registered letters as it has been at their post office since 3 August according to the tracking info. I cannot deliver in person as the company premises is 500km away.

Is a courier delivery considered as proof perhaps?
 

GhostSixFour

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#16
This is very helpful. Thought the sheriff was only there to deliver the summons. Thanks. :D
Just a lovely thought to keep in mind. They can deliver the letter if you send it by email, but the receipt needs to be collected - they will not email that to you. IIRC your issue is quite far away, so just check with the local Sheriff office whether they might mail it to you or will accept a courier picking it up.
 

ambroseg1

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#17
Just a lovely thought to keep in mind. They can deliver the letter if you send it by email, but the receipt needs to be collected - they will not email that to you. IIRC your issue is quite far away, so just check with the local Sheriff office whether they might mail it to you or will accept a courier picking it up.
I have ditched the sheriff idea due to the cost. R400 to deliver a letter of demand for the first attempt. Subsequent attempts are about R270 each. Didn't even know about the proof having to be collected in person. Sounds like a scam. They accept e-mailed letter of demand, yet its blasphemy to email the proof of delivery back to me.

Surely a courier delivery would suffice as proof of delivery? Courier deliver is R100 thus MUCH more economical.
 

GhostSixFour

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#18
I have ditched the sheriff idea due to the cost. R400 to deliver a letter of demand for the first attempt. Subsequent attempts are about R270 each. Didn't even know about the proof having to be collected in person. Sounds like a scam. They accept e-mailed letter of demand, yet its blasphemy to email the proof of delivery back to me.

Surely a courier delivery would suffice as proof of delivery? Courier deliver is R100 thus MUCH more economical.
Didn't investigate the courier option, but I doubt it. The only acceptable means I saw was Sheriff and registered letter, the letter is cheap enough, but you need to wait 2 weeks or something - there was a reason for me not using that, not sure what it was.
 

ambroseg1

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#19
Didn't investigate the courier option, but I doubt it. The only acceptable means I saw was Sheriff and registered letter, the letter is cheap enough, but you need to wait 2 weeks or something - there was a reason for me not using that, not sure what it was.
Problem with the letter is their refusal to collect it at the post office. Notice has been sent to them on 3 August to collect. Places like this I think know not to collect registered letters.
 

GhostSixFour

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#20
Problem with the letter is their refusal to collect it at the post office. Notice has been sent to them on 3 August to collect. Places like this I think know not to collect registered letters.
Then you might be SoL. Have you checked with that sheriff office whether they'll email you the proof of delivery? Perhaps the one you deal with is different the buggers I dealt with.
 
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