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A930Rocket's Avatar
 
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What's the penalty for opening someone's mail...

What's the penalty for opening someone's mail...

A "friend" got a package at the mailbox with his mail and after opening everything, he realized the package with ladies scarves in the amount of $40 was not for him. Doh!

So, he went back to the apartment mailbox kiosk looking for a place to return to the sender. What they had, didn't fit the package. Not wanting leave it on the floor and out in the open, only to have it stolen and the apartment office closed, he brought it back to his apartment to give to the office the next day. He left it inside his apt at the front door to remind himself with some boxes he was going to throw away. Yep, you guessed it. He threw the package away with his trash.

Yesterday, he received a form letter form the postmaster about the penalty for tampering with the mail, so he was up all night worried about it.

i told him to contact the postmaster and explain what happened, but he's worried about a felony charge .

Anything else he should do?


Last edited by A930Rocket; 01-03-2020 at 08:41 AM.. Reason: Changed my son to a friend per my son. lol
Old 01-03-2020, 07:21 AM
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Knowing how totally efficient and well run the post office is......

If it was a piece of mail delivered to him, and he opened it by mistake, I would not worry about it much. That is quite different than grabbing someones mail from their mail box.

We have a different mail carrier almost every week. We get other people's mail all the time. I have had UPS and the USPS deliver packages to me that are not even addressed even close to my address. One was supposed to go to a business 3 miles away. I called them and told them the package was delivered here, and they are welcome to come get it. Or they can call UPS and discuss with them how to deliver the package to them. They came and got it. And I did not open it, as it was not mine.

The family that lives on another block with the same house number, but a different street number has received my packages several times, and I get theirs. We exchanged cell phone numbers and just call each other to set up a time to get the packages.

At my office we had a package we had shipped FedEx, first priority, 8:30 AM hurry hurry that we had over 10 grand of cost in that one roll of film, and FedEx put it on the front porch in a bad part of town. They sent one of the managers to retrieve it and bring it to us. And we had to fight to get the refund on the shipping cost.

Shipping errors happen to all the services. Humans make mistakes.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:40 AM
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My guess is that nothing will happen. He didn't tamper with the mail, he was delivered something that wasn't addressed to him. Many/most folks don't look at mail before they open it because "if it's in your own mailbox then it must be yours."

It is very weird about the postmaster note, but I suspect just a coincidence.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:47 AM
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The problem is that he tossed it. Does he know who was the intended recipient? It seems to me he owes them some scarfs.
Old 01-03-2020, 08:02 AM
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It seems the post office does. He never had any responsibility for them, the PO did. Delivering to the wrong address is not much different than delivering it directly to the garbage can.
I would call the PO and ask what there penalty is for losing the package in the first place. They are the only responsible party here.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A930Rocket View Post
i told him to contact the postmaster and explain what happened, but he's worried about a felony charge .

Anything else he should do?
Just go down to the local post office and talk to a postal CSR. This cannot be uncommon.

Maybe post a note by the mailboxes saying he received someone's scarves and will replace them? Unless he knows who it as as Sooner or Later mentioned.

If he saw the scarves he knows the colors. If the person bought them for themselves they will know the colors as well. Also, if a gift, the sender would know colors and would have asked recipient about them maybe?
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:09 AM
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:14 AM
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Thanks, guys.

He said he'd pay for the scarves ($40 on the receipt) , but he doesn't know the intended recipients name, etc.
Old 01-03-2020, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A930Rocket View Post
Thanks, guys.

He said he'd pay for the scarves ($40 on the receipt) , but he doesn't know the intended recipients name, etc.
He made a mistake. I'm sure this happens often this time of year. The neighbor or sender probably put in a claim for not receiving the scarves.

Have him call the Post Master and explain his mistake and willingness to replace the items.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:39 AM
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Cripes. My Ex went into my mailbox and removed a check and cashed it. I complained to postmaster and was told it wasn't enough of a felony. That is one unusually pro-active post office there.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:02 PM
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it is a federal felony, but requires intent

he didn't have intent and it would hard to prove he did

BUT, it was a major error to toss the things - he has now obstructed delivery

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1701
Old 01-03-2020, 02:30 PM
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F em.......... engaging the government NEVER turns out well.

ignore em........
Old 01-03-2020, 03:16 PM
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It's a shame he said anything. It would have been best to say "Never received a parcel. Sorry, can't help."
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:26 PM
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I had a large styrofoam package of refrigerated insulin arrived on my doorstep one day. Well, I noticed it after a few days because it wasn't in my mailbox and, since I wasn't expecting a package and never entered through my front door, I just didn't see it until I went out the front door one day. Never could get UPS to come back and get it and never could find the right contact info for the guy on the address label. I guess he figured it out on his own.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:13 PM
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I ordered a clutch kit from auto haus. They decided to deliver it themselves, ie by an employee after work to the wrong house. Never to be seen again. Talk about a headache. I'm letting the credit card co. deal with it.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:24 PM
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A friend of mine, bosses wife, and neighbor too, received a package that was supposed to be delivered a block away. She didn't pay any attention to who it was addressed to and opened it. Just happened to be the Dixie Chicks platinum record, and was supposed to be delivered to Lloyd Maines, Natalies father.

She hand delivered it that evening to their home, apologizing for opening the package. Lloyd treated her like crap, made her feel bad, etc... The band got their comeuppance not long after.

I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Douglas View Post
It's a shame he said anything. It would have been best to say "Never received a parcel. Sorry, can't help."

Hes not spoken with anyone.

Hes honest to a fault, but doesnt want any trouble from some overzealous postal worker.

Id go in, explain what happened and offer to pay the $40. It a $40 scarf, not $40k of goods he pilfered from multiple mailboxes. Hell do the same.
Old 01-03-2020, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by island_dude View Post
....That is one unusually pro-active post office there.
This is in a small town and will probably on the 6pm news. 😂
Old 01-03-2020, 05:43 PM
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Does Cliff Clavin deliver there?
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:16 PM
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My local post office doesn't deliver. Just 1,000 + PO boxes. Them sobs can't even put a parcel locker key in the right PO box.

I think your friend is fine from the news.

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Old 01-03-2020, 06:27 PM
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