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A Bad Assumption in Justice
It's hard to believe that something like this can happen anywhere, much less in the United States:
I've heard a lot of anecdotal horror stories about how badly men are treated by the family court system. This case is especially tragic because it could have been prevented so easily.
Legislators can prevent this from happening again with the stroke of a pen.
The incorrect assumption in this legal process is that something mailed is always received. That isn't true; the postal system is not reliable. There's a dyslexic person somewhere in my chain of mail delivery and I regularly get mail addressed to my neighbors, whose street address is a transposition of mine. I've received damaged mail with large pieces missing. Just last week I had someone else's mail stuck tightly to the back of my own. (I unstuck it and, since its stamp hadn't been canceled, just threw it in my outgoing mail.) Mail can be stolen from mailboxes, lost in truck or plane crashes during delivery, or lost in other ways. And yes, mail can be sent to an old address and could be thrown away instead of forwarded.
Legal deadlines should be established with respect to when the paperwork is received, not sent — that's basic fairness. And all that's needed to both confirm receipt and establish the deadline is to send paperwork by certified mail.
I believe spending $2.65 for certified mailing of the original notices to appear would have prevented this tragic situation.
Legislators, raise your pens. It is your responsibility to fix this broken process.