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How to prove that an email has been sent?

I need to prove a person received an email with an attachment for a legal matter. I have the email saved in my inbox and sent items.... but is there a legal way to absolutley confirm this email was sent, and opened..... and most important that the attachment was sent exactly how it shoes in my sent box.

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marked as duplicate by Canadian Luke, iglvzx, slhck, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Mokubai Jun 16 '12 at 6:32

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Those features are not a part of plain old email. You'd need a special, pre-arranged setup to accomplish this. So if you are trying to prove something you've already done, you would appear to be out of luck. If the recipient is cooperating, you could have them forward it back to you, but I do't know is that would stand up as evidence. –  uSlackr Jun 15 '12 at 19:23

3 Answers 3

Proving that the e-mail was sent wouldn't prove that the e-mail was received. Thus you appear to be asking for the impossible.

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Here you are asking for two things: non-repudiation and integrity. Non-repudiation guarantees that the receiver cannot deny receipt of the email. And integrity guarantees that the attachment is delivered unaltered. Unless you are on a trusted domain that the defendant is on and have PKI enabled, you will have to kick it old school and print the attachment and send it certified mail.

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You would have to have access to the destination computer in order to prove it was received AND opened. The destination recipient's ISP may or may not have records of having received the email (highly unlikely, but possible) but they wiill not give you any access without a subpena (at least in the US). You have a very difficult uphill battle ahead of you. Access to the recipient's computer would also require legal action. And, if they deleted the email, you would likely require a forensic analysis expert to see if any remnant of the email remains on their computer. Again, difficult and unlikely, even with full access to the computer in question.

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