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Homeless have no right to Post Office boxes

Posted at 2004-08-17 08:28:08 by Declan McCullagh
in Politech category "freespeech"

From a 9th Circuit opinion dated August 12, 2004...

CARL A. CURRIER; DAVID BAR; WILLARD JOHNSON; SEATTLE HOUSING AND RESOURCE EFFORT, a Washington non-profit corporation, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. JOHN E. POTTER,* Postmaster General of the United States, individually and in his official capacity; DALE E. ZINSER, Seattle District Manager of the United States Postal Service, individually and in his official capacity; UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, Defendants-Appellees.

These homeless persons experienced various difficulties when they attempted to take advantage of these services. The Postal Service denied Bar and Currier's request for postal box rental because they lacked physical addresses. Even after Currier submitted an identification card issued by a homeless shelter, he was still not permitted to rent a box. Johnson was allowed to rent a box after providing his driver's license. They were all told that they were ineligible for no-fee postal boxes and that they could receive general delivery service only at the Main Post Office...

Currier challenges the Postal Service's general delivery and no-fee postal box regulations on First Amendment and equal protection grounds. He asserts that the Service's provision of general delivery mail service at only Seattle's Main Post Office--rather than at the 32 branch offices in the greater Seattle area--violates homeless persons' First Amendment right to receive mail...

Because we conclude that the challenged regulations are reationally justified and thus do not violate equal protection, we are satisfied that the Service has also not breached its statutory mandate.

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