Prohibited Use of Postal Mailboxes

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Submitted by Greenwell Springs Postmaster Joseph Augustus

The Greenwell Springs Post Office has been contacted recently regarding materials not bearing postage that have been placed in or on mailboxes.  Because of this, the Post Master at that office has requested that the following articles be printed as a reminder of the laws concerning the use of mailboxes.

Article 3.13: Use for mail box receptacles may be used only for matter mail bearing postage.  Delivery of unstamped mail should not be delivered, placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle.  Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by a mail carrier.

Article 3.25: Advertising: Any advertising materials (flyer, cards, notes) or any other matter placed on or inserted in mail box receptacle or its support is prohibited.

Article 8.3.1: Penalty: Whoever knowingly and willingly deposits any mailable materials such as statements of accounts, circulars, sale bills, or other like materials on which no postage is paid, in any letterbox established, approved, or accepted by the Postal Service for the delivery of mail matter on any route, with intent to avoid payment or lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense, be fined not more than $5,000.00 per individual or $10,000.00 per organization.

In short, please do not put anything in or on anyone else’s mailbox. If you have something to mail, send it through the Postal Service.  If you have something to deliver to someone yourself, do not leave it in a mailbox.  This includes commercial as well as personal letters.

If assistance is needed in any other postal issues or concerns, please feel free to contact the Post Master at 261-4985.


  1. ward

    August 25, 2010 at 9:54 am

    The rising cost of postage is in part due to email and electronic banking. One way to combat this is to return “junk” mail to the originator. Example: If you receive a credit card application in the mail, it will come with a prepaid return envelope. Simply remove your personal information from the application and place it in the return envelope. This will cost the company soliciting you postage and put less trash in your recycle bin.

  2. Denise

    August 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I have never fully understood why you have to buy your own mailbox, put it up where the post office tells you to place it and then they get to tell you what can and can’t be put in it or else we may be faced with a huge fine!?!

  3. Tim Lazaroe

    August 25, 2010 at 10:46 am

    While we’re discussing the Postal Service, perhaps someone can tell us why the Central Post Office still closes for a 75-minute lunch break?

    • dave

      August 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      Just betting, have not researched. I understand that USPS, while quasi-governmental, has a fairly well negotiated labor deal. Probably calls for a 60 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks, just a guess. Probably taking lunch and one break at once. Also possible that he does his banking on that break as well and that is what gives the extra 15 minutes. Bottom line, one man operation since carriars don’t run out of there. I wish they would combine Greenwell Springs & this office. Heck, I wish we had a single zip code. At any rate, a door-to-door letter from here to California in 48 hours for 44 cents is still the deal of the century.


  4. Mike Mannino

    August 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    How about manning with enough people to at least alternate lunch periods for uninterrupted service. Only with the Federal Government do we get the least amount of service for the highest price. And thats across the board!!!

  5. Donna Dufour

    August 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    That’s funny. When I had something inappropriate left in my mailbox the Post Office wasn’t interested. But when I received an mailed anonymous vulgar letter some what threatening they said that was an offense.

  6. Paul

    August 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    If you think there is something inappropriate or abusive going on at a post office, such as closing too often or too long, you can call the USPS Office of Inspector General. They audit and investigate the services of the U.S. Post Office and it’s employees.

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