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"misuse" of priority box - what's The Law?

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Old January 15th 04, 12:25 AM
Scot Kamins
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In article ,
"michael adams" wrote:


We're not talking about "common sense." We're talking about what's
legal and what isn't.

Scot Kamins
Collecting the Modern Library 1917-1970
Modern Library Collecting Website at:
Old January 15th 04, 03:43 AM
William M. Klimon
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"Francis A. Miniter" wrote in message

Comment from a lawyer. It would seem to me that the interest that the
USPS would want to protect is that of getting a return on the investment
of providing free packaging materials. If you took their boxes and sent
them via UPS or FedEx, etc., there would be a loss of revenues to the
USPS. The use of USPS materials could then be viewed by the Feds as a
theft - either of property or services - and a theft is, of course, a
criminal act. The theft would be more than a common law offense as
government property is involved, and I believe (I have not taken the
time to look it up) there is a specific federal law dealing with theft
from the U.S. Government.

"Whoever steals, purloins, or embezzles any property used by the Postal
Service, or appropriates any such property to his own or any other than its
proper use, or conveys away any such property to the hindrance or detriment
of the public service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
more than three years, or both; but if the value of such property does not
exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more
than one year, or both."--18 U.S.C. sect. 1707.

The Domestic Mail Manual, which is part of the CFR by incorporation, also
specifies that any mail sent in Priority Mail packaging, no matter how
altered, is subject to Priority Mail rates. DMM E120.1.4

William M. Klimon

Old January 15th 04, 08:29 AM
John Wilson
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Htn963 wrote:

the use of the USPS's priority mail boxes, even old ones,
for any other use than their eponymous function is
definitely a violation of the rules.

Would this apply to mail sent from abroad? I frequently receive
packages here in Japan in US global priority packaging, and just as
frequently recycle that packaging when sending packages abroad, often
- though not always - to the US.

I sometimes turn the packages inside out, and in any case much of the
surface area tends to be concealed by the thick brown paper tape I
generally wrap them with, but the packaging is still fairly easily
identifiable. Sometimes, of course, I do ship such items by EMS (which
is trackable via the USPS global priority online tracker service, so I
presume it is in partnership), but I also send such packages by
regular airmail. I have never had a recipient complain that they were
charged at a higher rate or received notice from any quarter that
anything was amiss.

Have I merely been lucky, or can I continue to send packages in this
way without worrying about it?

Old January 15th 04, 12:59 PM
Cathy Krusberg
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Kris Baker wrote:

One point to note: USPS recently began putting all
mailers on notice that Media Mail can (and will be)
opened for inspection. This is not a new rule; First Class
and Priority (package First Class) requires a warrant
before inspection, but lower classes that cannot contain
private correspondence are not (and have never been)
exempt from inspection.

I was under the impression that Media Mail packages
*could* contain private correspondence -- IF said
correspondence was incidental to (i.e., relevant to) the
contents of the package. A change permitting such content
was made in postal service regulations in (IIRC) the
late 1970s, and the regulation permitting it was still
in force a few years ago when I asked a postal clerk for
an interpretation of the rule.

I'll admit I haven't tried to check current regulations,
because I'd probably be surfing the USPS site for half
an hour that I don't want to spend online at the moment.
Anybody know/can learn more about the current status of
this topic?

Cathy Krusberg

Old January 15th 04, 05:16 PM
Randy Burns
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"paghat" wrote in message

Some while ago (during the Unibomber's antics) every book package I
shipped got delayed -- sometimes by factors of a couple of months -- & in
trying to track what happened it turned out packages were being warehoused
near San Francisco in order to be opened & inspected, but without funding
for enough inspectors.

This still leaves one unanswered question: did the Unibomber use bubble



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