Woman says she did not sign for certified mail found on doorstep

March 28, 2017

EL PASO, Texas – An East El Paso woman contacted ABC-7 after finding a certified mail package on her doorstep, addressed to her, that she says she never signed for.

Mary Montreal told ABC-7 she found that certified mail package — containing important court documents — on her porch in East El Paso March 2, 2017.

Montreal took pictures, showing the package was torn. It contained hundreds of pages, some of which blew away. Others were found all over her porch.

Montreal told ABC-7 she was not home when the package was delivered. She said it was a bit windy and when she came home on March 2, so she had to chase down some pages that escaped the envelope and blew into her yard.

She contacted her Post Office on George Dieter in an attempt to find out who signed for the certified mail and was shown a receipt with a signature. But Montreal said she told the Post Office supervisor it was not her signature and she showed ABC-7 her actual signature on a Military I.D.

Montreal said she asked the Post Office to give her the name of her carrier so she could file a police report, but was told they could not provide her that. So she contacted ABC-7.

“My concern is that they are legal documents and if they’re not all getting to me in a timely fashion that could potentially hurt my case,” Montreal said. “That’s my number one concern. My other concern is, if it’s happen to me, maybe it’s happening to other people.”

A regional spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service told ABC-7 there are three kinds of certified mail:

Basic, which requires a signature from someone at the delivery address to confirm receipt of the mail
Restricted delivery, which requires a signature from the addressee or someone named by the addressee in writing
Adult signature restricted delivery, which requires confirmation that the person signing for and accepting the delivery is 18 years of age or older.

ABC-7 was told a review of Montreal’s complaint by the U.S. Postal Service that her certified mail package was of the “basic” variety, which only requires a signature from “someone” at the delivery address.

ABC-7 was also told the carrier was interviewed and stated he obtained the “customers” signature prior to the delivery, although Montreal maintains that she was not home and never signed for the package.

ABC-7 was also told U.S. Postal Service policy prohibits the disclosure of specific employee names to customers.


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101 Comments on "Woman says she did not sign for certified mail found on doorstep"

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Carol Marchand

Dang it! Giving us all a bad name.

David Hart

Could’ve been in the DPS

Eilene Renee Melchor

Still gotta look

Marc Carlson

A package ?

Susie Schulz

Doesn’t explain how it got on the porch

Jennifer Beardslee

Doesn’t matter. It’s still treated as an accountable

Michelle Tyler

Yeah, I’ve found cert letters in my DPS, but this was a package. No way that was in DPS.

Sandra Crawford

Letter, flat or package, it’s suppose to be signed for. No excuse.

Shaun Haase

It was

Sally Rose Allen

Even if you find a letter in DPS you still have to take it to the door for a signature

Gwendolyn Miranda

NOT supposed to find it dps and get it signed!! Has to go back to the office, otherwise it missed a scan. ANY accountable found while on the road needs to be brought back an scanned by clerks

David Nowels

Do people even read? It was signed for.

Liz Lightfoot

Someone was there to intercept it, why else would it be ripped opened??

Alice Wright

ok , while it def looks bad – you dont know the carriers story – perhaps there WAS some one there – are the legal documents of a divorce type of nature? and the “ex” happened to be there? Was is an adult looking child 15/16/17 who signed for them or maybe it was a petsitter/pet walker/ house keeper who signed for it – c**p happens yes it makes us look MEGA bad , but dont condemn the carrier until all the facts are in.

Jennifer Metz

Sounds weird to me….but I’ve heard certain carriers signing for their customers things….I would never do that and it could’ve been ripped to start with and the wind could’ve taken care of the rest

Mary Brakefield

I don’t mean to sound weird but not every carrier is honest on some things

Joann Philo Handley

I sign for several of my customers i have a form from them giving me permission.

Jennifer Metz

I still wouldn’t want the responsibility and it’s for reasons like this article

Samantha Koplin

I have a signed 3849 for a few people who get a lot of signature required stuff. One of my customers told me she’s going to be getting her meds through the mail now and one needs a signature. She asked if there was any way I could sign and leave, told her I wouldn’t sign, but I’d have her sign a 3849 for it. She signed 2, one for me, one for my sub.

Gwendolyn Miranda

Yes, one of my customers has one laminated inside their box, we have a pic on file at office

Joann Philo Handley

I’ve got a few 3849’s that customers have signed but my new PM found a USPS form that a customer can fill out and sign that makes us the agent so we can sign. I already have 2 filled out and signed by the customer. I also put my subs name on the form so she’s covered also.

Lisa M Hicks

Samantha Koplin you can sign for any customers signature items if they give you permission to do so in writing. Just get them to write you a note.

Brandy Heston

If the carrier says someone signed for it, they should believe him. Period.

Wendy Lewis Stagner

Plus it stated that the carrier had obtained the signature prior to delivery, which means that she knew it was coming since I’m thinking she signed the 3849 slip for redelivery. Maybe she should request the sender to send it return receipt requested or restricted.

Jennifer Langworthy Mccormick
I’m with you. 3849 had to have already been signed and no return receipt was attached. Also, if this was the case, the carrier would have left it in the box. We’re not responsible for what happens after we’ve left the box. This all being said, it is possible that this happens to be an irresponsible carrier. Unless the customer has a security camera proving the carrier forged the signature, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done. I am curious if the time/date of delivery has been looked out. If the customer can be presented with that… Read more »
Wendy Lewis Stagner

IF it wouldn’t fit in BOX I could understand on the porch. I for one deliver it to the box if I have a signed 3849 and it fits and no return receipt. So further proof it was previously signed for OR the person signing would have put it inside the residence. Not buying her story.

Anita Dixon Yancey

I don’t think the carrier had a signed 3849 for redelivery. I think that the carrier meant that he got the signature before handing over the certified (prior to delivery). Certified have to be signed for in person. Signing the 3849 only authorizes redelivery attempt. It still needs to be signed for. That’s what the customer (the SENDER) paid for.

Wendy Lewis Stagner

I’ve had it both ways. Some will sign the portion for redelivery and I’ll take it back out and some have called in saying they’ve signed the 3849 and left it in box stating they want item to be left in box. I scan the signature image with my scanner. If it is a return receipt I tell them I can’t do that. They need to be present. Usually my customers will call in, come in, or leave a note on what they want.

Robin Ries-Harbaugh

Adult signature needed is 21 yrs of age I believe…not 18

Aaron LaFollette

As far as I remember, adult signature just means legal adult, as in 18. What would you do with it if the 18 year old adult was the addressee?

Robby Guevara

It’s 21 I believe.


Read the article.

Robin Ries-Harbaugh


Robin Ries-Harbaugh

And if hes only 18 hes not getting it


I’m pretty sure you are wrong,18 is an adult,it clearly states that in the story.

Larry Cardwell

If she would pay her bills in the first place,She wouldn’t be finding certified mail.

Mary Brakefield

They do send things certified that are not for debt collection. It could be for a court case

Sandra Crawford

I have received certified letters and I pay my bills. Not every certified letter is about bills.

Samantha Koplin

I’ve delivered last house payment notices that are certified. Checks, keys, various items…

Eileen Fletcher

If you read the article it was papers for a court case

Eileen Fletcher

I have an attorney on my route he gets alot of certified letters for cases he works

Larry Cardwell

Probably bankruptcy court..js

Marc Carlson

If you sign for a customers Certified , you face the consequences

Joann Philo Handley

I have 5 customers that i sign for and i have a letter giving me permission to sign for them. I’ve been the carrier on this route full time for 7 years they trust me.

Mary Keegan Fronk

That is not what the customer pays extra for.

Rhonda James Thorne

The carrier stated that someone at the address signed for the package.

Marc Carlson

Joann Philo Handley A signed letter from any customer does nothing to protect you .. show me in the PO603 that says this and i know there is nothing in our Contract that protects you from signing your name for a customer ..

rural carrier from MS

From the PS 603………… form 3801

Marc Carlson

Rhonda James Thorne prior to delivery

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