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Any Lawyers here?

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  1. Apr 4, 2006 #1
    So this has to do with our college mail system. The state of the situation is that it sucks. Mail has been delivered exactly once to my dorm in the last week and a half. We've been complaining to managers and area supervisors for months but despite constant promises the mail service continues to get worse instead of better, and now getting mail twice in a week seems like a treat.

    My hope is not to make a lawsuit or anything (god knows I don't have the time) But i figure as a landlord, our university has the legal obligation to ensure the delivery of mail to it's tenants. I'm hoping a harshly worded letter to the dean and some of the highest ups that happens to quote some legal obligation on there part will finally lead to the problem being corrected, because I know how schools with billion dollar endownments like to make sure they are not sued whenever possible. I go to school at Northwestern, so United States and Illinois law probably apply to the situation.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    ~Lyuokdea
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2006 #2

    Bystander

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    Sounds more like a gripe with USPS than with NW. If your mail is not addressed as "care of NW," it's definitely USPS. The campus PO is a branch of some main office, and you can probably get more action hitting the postmaster/mistress at that office, than by complaining to the non-performing office.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2006 #3

    chroot

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    Is the University actually legally obligated to deliver your mail on a specific schedule?

    - Warren
     
  5. Apr 4, 2006 #4
    hmm, the breakdown is where it falls into the hands of students working for the university. It makes it to the dorm about 50 feet away, which has a mail room which is run by students on work study or whatever. Then they are supposed to sort it and bring it here, it gets sorted, but never brought over here and put into mailboxes. So I think it is long after the USPS is done with it.

    ~Lyuokdea
     
  6. Apr 4, 2006 #5
    That's my question. Supposedly from what I could find not delivering mail can be interpreted as mail fraud, although that seemed to be defined more for individuals purposely destroying mail or something, however, I don't know where the line is drawn between not delivering mail, and not delivering mail in a timely manner.

    ~Lyuokdea
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2006
  7. Apr 4, 2006 #6
    Write a letter of complaint to some relevant bureaucrat. It won't do anything good; it will however feel good to write. Depending on the contents and language of the letter, you may or may not choose to send it.

    You could get a PO box.
     
  8. Apr 4, 2006 #7

    Bystander

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    "... students on work study or whatever ...." It's the "whatever" that's gonna be tough --- you're looking at "protected classes," and lawyers ain't gonna get near it. Get a couple hundred people's signatures on a letter to the postmaster/mistress of the USPS station serving the campus, and see if that individual can impress upon the dorm management the potential for big trouble from interfering with the mail. Helps if you've got Playboy subscribers getting dogeared, drooled on magazines late, missing CARE packages, and such.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2006 #8
    "...our university has the legal obligation to ensure the delivery of mail to it's tenants..."

    That is not necessarily correct.
    Mail origination is out-sourced by design, and thus not the responsibilty of the end distribution party(the university) to ensure original distribution(USPS, etc...) to that university, as that would pose an unreasonable burden.
    The end distribution has no authoritative control on original distribution practice, and is thus necessarilly immune from litigation concerns.

    However, should the end distribution fail to deliver mail to its recipients in a timely manner after proper delivery to the university(especially with respect to time-dependent financial mail) the university assumes, by default, the responsibility. However, this responsibilty is limited to any and all assessed charges and not the original debt.

    This is not automatic, and requires court intervention.

    Should you succeed in resolving this issue out of court, you will be a hero to not only the clients, but the university as well.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Apr 4, 2006 #9

    Moonbear

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    You ought to have a dean of students or student life. (Subtle differences in title from university to university.) If you've already brought the concern to the managers and area supervisors, the dean of students is the person you need to make aware of the problem. It is one thing if sorting the mail adds a day or two to delivery time, and another when it's only delivered once a week. Your mail should still be delivered daily, even if there's a lag in sorting (and that really shouldn't take more than a day, or else they need to hire more people to do that job). The dean can intervene and light a fire under those who need to fix the problem.

    It might be worth a call to the regional post office as well. Depending on whether the university mailroom is acting as a branch of the post office, or as just a mail delivery location, they may or may not have some power to intervene (most likely not...it's probably just like mail being delivered to a company mail room and then distributed to employees internally; it's no longer the post office's responsibility once they deliver it to the company as to how the company gets it distributed internally).

    My only other suggestion is to get a PO Box at the local post office and have any important mail (especially bills) sent there where you can be sure of timely delivery, and just use your campus address for stuff that isn't time sensitive, or for the university mailings that get sent through campus mail.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2006 #10
    And teh students here at work complain when the mail room has been closed and they aren't able to get to their mail. That's just total crap that you have to go through that there. My mother works at a mail box place. I'll ask her if she knows of any applicable laws in regards to this.
     
  12. Apr 5, 2006 #11

    Ba

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    I suggest not just a letter but a registered letter, thus it looks important and one makes sure that it is delivered. Whomever you send it to has to sign for the letter and then you know the date which it is recieved and it can't be 'lost' in the mail.
     
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