October 2020
Post Office COVID-19 Modifications for Certified Mail and Effect on Rule 4 Service
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has modified its Signature Services procedures for Certified Mail and mail requiring signature deliveries.  The USPS is no longer obtaining the recipient's actual signature on the green card.  Several of our insureds have alerted us to this issue.  In one instance, the post office did not deliver certified mail in person and did not get a signature on the green card.  It was discovered the postal worker subsequently wrote COVID-19 on the green card to note the change in process. In another matter involving signature restricted mail, the postal worker signed the mail recipient's name and wrote COVID-19 to the electronic signature pad. 
For a description of the USPS changes and frequently asked questions, please follow this link.

To protect your client and ensure you have good service as required by Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, we suggest you consider serving documents via sheriff or a delivery service as allowed by Rule 4(j) during the pendency of the USPS's changes to its Signature Services procedures.