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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Driver's License Placed in USPS Mailbox After Speeding Stop

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    The reason why you aren't allowed to place things in a mailbox is, if I were to place something in his mailbox, you were to place something in the box and a few other people did too, then when the letter carrier came to deliver the mail, the box would be full and the mail would go undelivered. So the state would not have to prove that the officer placed the reg there to ovoid postage.
    Not so. The federal prosecutor does indeed have to show that the intent was to avoid the postage, as the statute itself makes crystal clear. 18 U.S.C. 1725 is the statute that makes it illegal, and it states:

    Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits any mailable matter such as statements of accounts, circulars, sale bills, or other like matter, on which no postage has been paid, in any letter box established, approved, or accepted by the Postal Service for the receipt or delivery of mail matter on any mail route with intent to avoid payment of lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense be fined under this title.

    (Bolding added). As you can see from the part I bolded, the intent to avoid postage is an explicit requirement of the statute, and thus an element the government must prove. Given that, I think it is pretty clear that the reason for the statute is targeting avoidance of postage, not preventing cluttered mail boxes.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    New Jersey
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    Default Re: Driver's License Placed in USPS Mailbox After Speeding Stop

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Not so. The federal prosecutor does indeed have to show that the intent was to avoid the postage, as the statute itself makes crystal clear. 18 U.S.C. 1725 is the statute that makes it illegal, and it states:

    Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits any mailable matter such as statements of accounts, circulars, sale bills, or other like matter, on which no postage has been paid, in any letter box established, approved, or accepted by the Postal Service for the receipt or delivery of mail matter on any mail route with intent to avoid payment of lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense be fined under this title.

    (Bolding added). As you can see from the part I bolded, the intent to avoid postage is an explicit requirement of the statute, and thus an element the government must prove. Given that, I think it is pretty clear that the reason for the statute is targeting avoidance of postage, not preventing cluttered mail boxes.
    Not arguing with you. Here is a little info I found on a postal website.

    https://about.usps.com/news/state-re..._2010_0909.htm

    The U.S. Postal Service would like to warn people that only authorized U.S. Postal Service delivery personnel are allowed to place items in a mailbox. By law, a mailbox is intended only for receipt of postage-paid U.S. Mail.
    Recently, there have been reports of people placing non-mail items that did not bear U.S. postage in local mailboxes. The U.S. Postal Service recognizes customers may place non-mail items into mailboxes as a convenient way of “dropping something off,” but those items may cause a smaller mailbox to become full. When a mailbox is full, Postal Service regulations say the letter carrier cannot place mail in the box.
    Additionally, the Postal Service has received complaints of flyers without paid postage being placed in mailboxes. Though many may be unaware, it is important to know that this type of activity is illegal by federal law. It may seem to be an easy way to advertise, but only U.S. Mail delivered by authorized personnel may be placed in mailboxes.
    “We know many customers might not object to having a particular item placed in their mailbox from time to time, but the reasons for restricting use of mailboxes is really two-fold,” said Postmaster Keith Jackson. “First, if there is not enough room in a mailbox due to unauthorized items, the Postal Service can’t deliver the customer’s mail. Secondly, the Postal Service wants to ensure the integrity of our customer’s mailbox. That’s why only Postal Service personnel are authorized to place mail in or remove mail from mailboxes. In fact, U.S. Postal Inspectors advise customers to report people going mailbox to mailbox who are not postal employees. It could be someone completely unaware of the statute placing advertisements, but it could also be someone trying to steal mail.”
    "We recognize that, from time to time, the statute and the Postal regulations may cause conflict with some customers," the Postmaster continued. "When all factors are brought to their attention, however, we hope that the great majority of the public would agree that restricting mailboxes to U.S. Mail not only ensures customers receive their mail, but it also increases the security of the service."
    The Postmaster noted an exception to the general rule: newspapers can be placed in mailboxes only on Sunday; a non-delivery day for the Postal Service. He additionally noted that a newspaper receptacle can be mounted on rural or curbside mailbox post or support.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Driver's License Placed in USPS Mailbox After Speeding Stop

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    Not arguing with you. Here is a little info I found on a postal website.

    https://about.usps.com/news/state-re..._2010_0909.htm
    The USPS write-up throws in all the reasons that the Postal Service could think of that makes it desirable to limit the access of the boxes. I do not disagree that the Postal Service would find cluttered up mail boxes a problem. But as for the reasons behind the actual statute that makes it illegal, I think the main reason behind that is avoiding postage, because that is what the statute itself focuses on. It makes no mention of cluttered mail boxes, though that may be a secondary reason for having this rule. Of course, the USPS wouldn’t want to emphasize the part where it loses postage as the reason for it and would rather emphasize the cluttered mail box because that is what would affect the customer more, and the write-up is meant to try to persuade people to keep the boxes clear, not explain the law.

    In any event, whatever the reason(s) one can point to for having the statute, one thing is quite clear: the government does have to prove that the person depositing the items in the mail box did it with the intent to avoid paying the postage. And for a one time drop off like this, that will be very hard to do since it almost certainly cost the officer more than 47 to put the stuff in the box himself, taking into account gas, time, etc. Where it gets cost effective to avoid postage is when you are putting stuff in every mailbox in the area. And that is what will get the attention of the USPS and prosecutors.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
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    Default Re: Driver's License Placed in USPS Mailbox After Speeding Stop

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    The USPS write-up throws in all the reasons that the Postal Service could think of that makes it desirable to limit the access of the boxes. I do not disagree that the Postal Service would find cluttered up mail boxes a problem. But as for the reasons behind the actual statute that makes it illegal, I think the main reason behind that is avoiding postage, because that is what the statute itself focuses on. It makes no mention of cluttered mail boxes, though that may be a secondary reason for having this rule. Of course, the USPS wouldn’t want to emphasize the part where it loses postage as the reason for it and would rather emphasize the cluttered mail box because that is what would affect the customer more, and the write-up is meant to try to persuade people to keep the boxes clear, not explain the law.

    In any event, whatever the reason(s) one can point to for having the statute, one thing is quite clear: the government does have to prove that the person depositing the items in the mail box did it with the intent to avoid paying the postage. And for a one time drop off like this, that will be very hard to do since it almost certainly cost the officer more than 47 to put the stuff in the box himself, taking into account gas, time, etc. Where it gets cost effective to avoid postage is when you are putting stuff in every mailbox in the area. And that is what will get the attention of the USPS and prosecutors.
    And that is if OP can prove that the officer placed it in the mailbox, not someone walking by and picking it up off the ground trying to be a good Samaritan...
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,789

    Default Re: Driver's License Placed in USPS Mailbox After Speeding Stop

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    Not so. The federal prosecutor does indeed have to show that the intent was to avoid the postage, as the statute itself makes crystal clear. 18 U.S.C. 1725 is the statute that makes it illegal, and it states:
    Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits any mailable matter such as statements of accounts, circulars, sale bills, or other like matter, on which no postage has been paid, in any letter box established, approved, or accepted by the Postal Service for the receipt or delivery of mail matter on any mail route with intent to avoid payment of lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense be fined under this title.

    (Bolding added). As you can see from the part I bolded, the intent to avoid postage is an explicit requirement of the statute, and thus an element the government must prove. Given that, I think it is pretty clear that the reason for the statute is targeting avoidance of postage, not preventing cluttered mail boxes.
    ya. If it was to avoid cluttered mailboxes they would not allow all that dang junk mail that has literally filled my mailbox from time to time. The USPS likes cluttered mailboxes. It generally means additional revenue.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
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    Default Re: Driver's License Placed in USPS Mailbox After Speeding Stop

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    And that is if OP can prove that the officer placed it in the mailbox, not someone walking by and picking it up off the ground trying to be a good Samaritan...
    Well, from the facts one could reasonably infer it was someone from the police department since the police last had the OP’s license and registration. But that doesn’t get you to proving it was any particular cop that did it. So that would indeed be another hurdle to prosecution here, even if the federal prosecutor would otherwise be inclined to prosecute under these facts (and as I’ve said before, I don’t see any federal prosecutor wanting to pursue it). The OP is nevertheless free to complain to the postal inspectors and see where that goes. He just shouldn’t get his hopes up that anything will come of it.

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