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Q: Legal status of an emailed document in New Jersey ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Legal status of an emailed document in New Jersey
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: islerunner-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 15 Jan 2006 16:21 PST
Expires: 14 Feb 2006 16:21 PST
Question ID: 433782
Does sending someone an email constitute a legal delivery of a document?

Request for Question Clarification by weisstho-ga on 16 Jan 2006 08:36 PST
Very timely question.

Could you give us a bit more detail?  For example, is the document
related to the offer or acceptance of a contract?  If it is a
contract, is it for "goods" (under the Uniform Commercial Code) or for
"services (under the common law)?

Is the document a "notice" as provided for in an agreement?  

The context is important, I believe.

Too, the jurisdiction is relevant. Some states, for example, have
enacted statutes on this topic.

Clarification of Question by islerunner-ga on 16 Jan 2006 09:42 PST
The document is minutes to a condominium association meeting. 
The jurisdiction is the state of New Jersey.
Subject: Re: Legal status of an emailed document in New Jersey
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 16 Jan 2006 09:55 PST

New Jersey is one of numerous states that have adopted a piece of
model legislation known as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. 
You can see NJ's version of UETA here:
AN ACT creating the "Uniform Electronic Transactions Act;"
supplementing Title 12A of the New Jersey Statutes and repealing

In essence, this law maeans that an emailed document can be just as
legally valid as a paper document in many cases.

It also means there are exceptions when an electronic document just won't do.

And of course, as with any law, there are gray areas where a certain
amount of interpretation is involved.

Before proceeding, though, please note the disclaimer at the bottom of
the page.  Google Answers is not a source of legal advice, and I am
certainly no expert on New Jersey law for electronic documents.

With that noted, however, here's my understanding of the main points
of the above-mentioned law:

--both parties have to be in agreement to use electronic documents. 
This can be an explicit agreement (as when a user clicks on an "I
agree" button on a website) or the agreement can be implied from the
context of the communications.

--emails or other electronic documents cannot be used for certain
items listed in the law, such as wills, court orders, eviction
notices, and so on.

--there is nothing that compels anyone to accept electronic documents
in lieu of paper.  If a party to an agreement does not want to use
electronic documents, they are not obliged to use them.

Of course (and as weisstho-ga noted in his earlier remark), context
has a lot of bearing on whether a particular email has status as a
legal document.  The provisions of UETA in NJ should help you to
evaluate the status of the email(s) you have in mind regarding the
condominium minutes.

I trust this information fully answers your question.  

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.

All the best,


search strategy: Google search on [nj law "electronic signatures" ]
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