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Delivered By Hand (Definition: All You Need To Know)

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What is the definition of delivered by hand?

What is considered to be hand delivered?

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Let me explain to you what by hand delivery means and why it’s important!

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What Does Delivered By Hand Mean

Delivered by hand or hand delivery refers to a package or letter that is delivered by the sender as opposed to a postman depositing the letter in a mailbox.

In other words, when a letter is “hand” delivered, it means that it was delivered by the sender in such a way that the recipient received it directly from the “hands” of the sender.

According to the Collins Dictionary, hand delivered is defined as:

(of a letter or parcel) delivered by the sender rather than a postman or courier a hand-delivered letter/parcel
Author

In other words, when a letter or a parcel is delivered by the “sender” rather than a postman or courier, you can say that it’s a hand delivered letter or hand delivered parcel.

What does delivered by hand mean from a legal perspective.

From a purely legal perspective, my definition of delivered by hand is:

A letter, package, or parcel delivered to the recipient in person as opposed to other means such as deposit of the letter in the mailbox, email, fax, or other
Author

In other words, when a letter or package is delivered in such a way that the receiving party is delivered the package in person, the letter is considered delivered by hand.

Delivered By Hand Confusion

From a legal perspective, what does it mean when you see via hand delivery on letter or hand delivered?

Historically, before the age of technological advancements allowing companies like FedEx, UPS, and Amazon to deliver parcels or letters in person, the notion of “delivered by hand” made more sense.

The option a person had was to either pay for a letter to be sent by the postman or deliver the package himself or herself in person (or by hand).

However, in today’s age, if you send a letter via FedEx who delivers it in person, is that considered express delivery or delivered in hand?

Alternatively, if you send a package or letter using a courrier, is that considered a hand delivered letter?

As you can see, hand delivered can be confusing from a legal perspective. 

In essence, you can hand deliver a letter by FedEx, UPS, or to the extent that the recipient signs the receipt of the letter in person. 

Hand delivery can also be done by courier, or yourself process server.

However, it’s best to use the phrase delivered by hand or hand delivery when you are delivering the package yourself to the recipient.

If you use a process server, courier, or FedEx, state on the letter via a process server, via courier, or via FedEx (this will make it clear how the letter was delivered).

Contract Notification Clause

In most commercial contracts, you have a notification provision where the parties can mutually define how they can provide one another notices and notifications.

In many contracts, you have a provision that says that notices must be in writing and will be deemed received by the other party if delivered by hand, prepaid courier, registered mail, postage prepaid, email, or facsimile.

If the contract provides these nuances in how notification can be delivered to the other party, it begs the question what does delivered by hand mean exactly?

In the context of a commercial dispute, the plaintiff had lent money to the defendant. 

In exchange for the loan, the lender had the option to exercise its rights to extract sand and gravel from a parcel of land if certain conditions were met.

Once those conditions were met, the plaintiff attempted to notify the defendant that it intended to exercise its option to extract sand and gravel from the parcel of land.

However, the plaintiff attempted to fax the letter to the defendant, the fax machine did not work.

The plaintiff could not deliver the package to the defendant’s address as it was a PO Box.

Finally, the plaintiff sent its representatives to the defendant’s house to deliver the letter in person, however, the defendant refused to answer the door.

The letter was therefore left the letter by the defendant’s door.

Ultimately, the matter ended up in court where the defendant alleged that it was never notified by the plaintiff of the exercise of its option.

The court considered that the letter was hand delivered as the notification clause indicated that the notice shall be “deemed to be received by the addressee” if delivered by hand.

The court considered that the plaintiff’s representatives effectively did deliver the letter by hand even though they left the letter at the defendant’s door who had refused to open the door.

Handed Delivered Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does by hand delivery letter mean in simple terms?

The notion “delivered by hand” commonly refers to something being delivered by a person as opposed to a machine or other means.

For example, if you deliver your letter directly to the addressee by physically giving the letter to that person, you can say that the letter was hand delivered.

A letter or parcel can also be considered hand delivered if it’s sent by messenger, courier, postman, or any person when it’s given to the person by hand.

The delivery by hand can be opposed to the delivery by a machine or other means, like delivery by email, delivery by facsimile, or other forms of delivery.

From a legal perspective, although you can have a letter sent by FexEx and delivered by hand to another person, you may want to indicate on the letter Via FedEx as opposed to Delivered by Hand.

The delivered by hand phrase should be used when the sender or a sender’s representative is looking to deliver a letter or notice directly to the addressee.

I hope I was able to clarify the meaning of delivered by hand so you know what it means and how it works.

Good luck with your delivery!

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Now, let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Understanding Delivered By Hand

  • Delivered by hand or delivery by hand common refers to the instance when the sender is delivering something to the recipient in person
  • The notion of delivered by hand can be contrasted with delivery by email, or by facsimile 
  • From a legal perspective, when something is delivered to the addressee in person either directly by the sender, by messenger, courier, or process server, that can be considered as hand delivered 
  • In contract, it’s important to clearly state how a contracting party can notify another party to avoid any confusion and interpretation challenges on how a letter or notice under the contract can be given 
Addressee definition
Amazon out for delivery
Awaiting delivery scan
Certified mail meaning
Courier meaning
Delivered by fax
Delivered to agent for final delivery
Messenger meaning
On FedEx vehicle for delivery
Registered mail meaning
Scheduled delivery pending
USPS delivery attempted 
What does delivery exception mean 
What does forwarded for delivery mean
What does no contract delivery mean 
What does out for delivery mean
What does tendered for delivery mean 
What is a white glove delivery
What is informed delivery
Author
Assumption of risk 
Breach of contract 
Breach of warranty 
Carrier contract 
Contractual obligations 
Contract language 
Destination contract 
Duty of cooperation 
Duty of good faith 
Duty of performance 
Express warranties 
Extended warranty 
Implied warranty
Legal remedy 
Perfect tender rule 
Reasonable notice 
Right of assurance 
Right to cure 
Replevin 
Shipment contract
Special warranty deed  
Warranty of title 
Warranty vs guarantee
Author
Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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