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Can my ex-roommate get me in trouble for withholding his mail?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by JustJoshin, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. JustJoshin


    Dec 30, 2015
    He moved out over a month ago and still owes me $160 for utilities. I ended up with some of his mail and he finally came by tonight to get it, but of course he didn't come with any money. I gave him his package but told him if he wants the rest of his mail he needs to pay me. He said withholding mail is a federal offense and that he would pay me later (yeah right). And of course no thank you or appreciation that I held his mail for him.

    So can he do anything against me? There's no proof I have any of his mail. I'm kinda concerned cause I have green. He can't get police to search the apartment or anything right?
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Thin ice my friend.
    bassbrad, Papazita, OldDog52 and 4 others like this.
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    According to the United States Code, Section 1708, taking mail or concealing mail that is not intended for the individual in possession of the mail is considered theft and is punishable by law. An amendment to Section 1708 that was made in 1952 made any theft of mail, regardless of the monetary value of the property, a third degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both.

    Can a Landlord Withhold or Dispose of Mail?
  4. Fleebag

    Fleebag Quacker!

    Sep 7, 2013
    Illinois USA
    That law says nothing about throwing the mail away, just make sure the "thrown away" ;) mail is off your premises in case the law comes sniffing around and until until he coughs up the deniro. That law is likely akin to the one that throws you in jail five years for owning a pirated copy of a movie, its possible but unlikely they'll expend the effort.
    BboogieXVII likes this.
  5. Violating federal law over $160 is not smart.

    Every time he comes to pick up his mail is an opportunity for you to demand your money.

    If you never see your money, just move on, and don't stress out over a few bucks. It's not worth it.
    Atshen, Munjibunga and Jazz Ad like this.
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    it's a federal, not a local, crime. and keep in mind your mail delivery person can tell any authorities that he/she delivered the mail to your place.
  7. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    This thread seems like proof to me.

    Give whatever is his back to him, and consider it a $160 life lesson to never deal with him again.
  8. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Especially if comments written and published here might be admissible...
    Munjibunga likes this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just play dumb. Put the mail anywhere but your house. And then when he, or any authority figure, asks about it, just say you were mistaken and hadn't seen any mail for him.

    Also, two can play the game. Checking the mailbox at an address you don't live is also a Federal offense. So remind him of that. And also remind him of the $160. ;)

    Not the most mature answer I know. But I hate a freeloader and someone who doesn't pay his debts. This guy is not going to pay you unless you refuse to drop it. It's up to you how far that goes. Don't get violent. But don't just "work with him" until he "comes around" either.
    Laethyn likes this.
  10. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    Write "DECEASED" over the address in red marker and put it in a mail drop off.

    This post is not to be taken seriously. I am not responsible for any actions taken by this, or any other, posts.
    SnoMan likes this.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Whelp... ya got that last part there wrong.
    Hoff Kinkmeister likes this.
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    If you want to be vengeful, and within full compliance of the law, write "return to sender, addressee moved" on the front of all of the mail, and stick it back in the mailbox. While you can't keep his mail from him, you also have no obligation to hold it for him.
  13. Photobassist


    Dec 18, 2010
    ^ This works every time.
  14. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Guy beat me to it, but I was once in a similar situation. I called the post office and asked what to do, they said to mark it "not at this address" and put it back in the mailbox. Perfectly true and legal.
    Tbone76 likes this.
  15. ptg


    Mar 16, 2008
    This is your answer right here.
    Dougie44, jchrisk1 and SteveCS like this.
  16. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    What most people are saying........

    Refuse or return his mail, but do not hold it hostage and/or lie about it.

    The mail belongs to him, the money he owes you is completely unrelated. Sorry you were taken advantage of.
    carl h. and Bob Lee (QSC) like this.
  17. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Why can't we all just get along?
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member


    Return To Sender
  19. Ditto!
    You've now learned that you can't rely on that person & all it cost you was $160.
    Breaking FEDERAL law will cost you a lot more.
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  20. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Rule of thumb : Just do not dink with anything Federal unless you think 5 years of free room and board is worth whatever you want to pull off. I walked off a job once because that is what they were trying to get me to do.

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