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41 votes
Accepted

Are U.S. mailboxes federal property?

The real story is that the articles you link to are logically fallacious. The first hedges its assertions by saying a mailbox is "effectively considered" to be federal property. It cites 18 USC 1705,...
  • 26.5k
36 votes
Accepted

Are these unsolicited seed packages illegal?

Reports I've seen are that these seed shipments have false customs declarations, claiming that they contain something else, e.g. this one which was declared as "ring". That would violate 18 ...
36 votes
Accepted

Receiving a certified letter and the contents is not address to you

If the envelope had someone else's name and not your name, you should in theory not have opened it, and should instead have marked it "Not known at this address. Return to Sender." and ...
24 votes
Accepted

Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's mail?

Do not throw away mail that is not addressed to you. If you receive misaddressed mail, write "Not at this address" on the envelope and put it in a mailbox, or give it to the mailperson (source: ...
  • 364
23 votes
Accepted

Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's standard mail?

As indicated here, throwing away mail is the crime of obstructing mail. There is no exception for "junk mail" i.e. standard mail. It is possible (virtually guaranteed) that an individual postmaster or ...
  • 170k
15 votes

Are these unsolicited seed packages illegal?

We have an intersection of two very different effects. Agricultural import laws This is an area of law that normally, consumers have no reason to deal with. However the laws apply to absolutely ...
12 votes
Accepted

Misdelivered merchandise -- can you legally (if not morally) keep it?

Reading the examples from the ftc site what they mean is if someone sends you a good (intending for you to be the one who owns it) and asks you to pay for it, then it counts as a free gift If a good ...
11 votes

What is the proper way of handling non-USPS packages for long-gone tenants?

Focusing on the legal question, the obstruction of correspondence statute would not be applicable to UPS package deliveries. To repeat 18 USC 1702, Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package ...
  • 170k
11 votes
Accepted

How to prove a party received a specific letter?

It's true that you can't prove what was in the envelope. But assuming this ends in small claims court or some sort of collections action lets play out how it works. The company is going to claim that ...
  • 8,362
10 votes

Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's mail?

This is a concise summary of the rule in Australia. The recipient is obliged to cross out the address mark it "return to sender no longer at this address" and post it or otherwise deliver it to the ...
  • 162k
9 votes

Receiving a certified letter and the contents is not address to you

You are A. X sent you a letter clearly intended for B. Doing nothing is bound to create some confusion or worse, but legally you are not forced to do anything. However: That letter might be about X ...
  • 27.1k
8 votes

If I accidentally send a package to the wrong person, is it still my property?

I would think that this would be treated the same as lost property. In most places, if you notice lost property (for example because the postman hands it to you) you have the choice of ignoring it (...
  • 27.1k
8 votes

Misdelivered merchandise -- can you legally (if not morally) keep it?

Both Federal2 and Maine law prohibit anyone who sends you merchandise you did not order from billing you for it or from pressuring you to return it. By law, you may keep the merchandise and consider ...
8 votes

Tenant's Son Living on property

Close family members can stay as long as the tenant wants The tenant is entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of the property which includes living with their close relatives - spouse, de facto and children ...
  • 162k
8 votes

Receiving a certified letter and the contents is not address to you

Why does the sender have b degnan's address, and why are they sending a registered letter to that address? It's quite possible that there were multiple letters sent out, and some envelopes got ...
6 votes

Can a landlord use the delivery of U.S. mail as a method of surveillance?

Residents agree that the receipt of mail by any individual not listed as a Resident or Occupant in this Agreement at the Leased Premises shall be proof of occupancy of that individual and a ...
  • 170k
5 votes

Is it illegal to send mail through the US Postal Service with a missing or fake return address?

First, return addresses are intended simply to provide a mechanism by which an undeliverable or returned letter can be returned to the sender. If you have a practical concern then consider the ...
5 votes
Accepted

When (if ever) is USPS's Certified Mail/Registered Mail/Signature/etc. valid for proof in court?

You appear to be conflating two different legal concepts: evidence and proof. evidence something that furnishes proof: testimony; specifically: something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain ...
  • 162k
5 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for an apartment manager to put advertisement stickers on my mail?

If the sticker is not easily removable, it would likely fall under defacement of the mail which is illegal according to 18 U.S. Code § 1705 - Destruction of letter boxes or mail: Whoever willfully ...
  • 4,205
5 votes

Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's mail?

In the United States with USPS, this appears to depend on letter type. "STANDARD" is what the junk mail gets mailed as (and it does not get forwarded with a Change-of-Address), whereas "FIRST CLASS" ...
  • 4,810
5 votes
Accepted

What if someone put a non-lethal "bomb" in a package addressed to them to get back at a mail stealing thief

"Revenge" is not a legal concept. If you injure someone other than in self defence or for another legal reason than you are committing assault. Hence dangerous booby traps for trespassers ...
  • 12.2k
5 votes

Is it illegal for me to take my mail out of my neighbors mailbox

In the US it is generally illegal for you to open somebody else's mailbox. Your best course of action is to contact your neighbor and let them retrieve the package for you. In practice it might ...
5 votes

Mail sent to my address for someone who doesn't live there and I don't do any work for free

There appears to be a contradiction to my lack of enslavement or indentured servitude with a concept that someone can put mail in my mailbox and then expect me to work for someone else if that mail ...
4 votes

How to prove a party received a specific letter?

A common practice for law firms is to make a photocopy of correspondence issued, and to send it by multiple channels. For instance, you may scan and email it to a customer service email address as ...
  • 11.7k
4 votes

Is it really illegal for someone who's not a postman to use a mailslot in the USA?

A mail slot is not a mailbox. So putting a key through a mail slot after locking the door is not the same as putting the key in a mailbox.
  • 8,362
4 votes
Accepted

What is the legal stance of a person who receives misaddressed court documents

You aren't allowed to open it or destroy it. (18 USC 1702). USPS says (at http://faq.usps.com/): If the mailpiece is delivered to the correct location but the recipient on the mailpiece does not ...
  • 3,904
4 votes

Can an owner ban a person from a property when a contract is in place?

He can probably cancel your contract for cause and ban you. If he does so, you can send someone else to get the packages, forward them to someplace other than your home, or retrieve them with a "civil ...
  • 145k
4 votes

Is there any legal standard that USPS first class mail doesn't qualify as legal proof of delivery?

First-class mail is acceptable for many different kinds of delivery in legal contexts. It is often not sufficient for service of a summons or subpoena, as noted in the other answer. But I don't think ...
  • 46.5k
4 votes

Can my apartment complex return packages to sender if they are not picked up?

The key language to be taken notice of in that code is 'by fraud or deception'. If the property manager has provided reasonable notice of a clear-out, then the code doesn't apply due to lack of fraud ...

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