Question: Is It Illegal To Throw Away Someone’s Mail?

Throwing away someone else’s mail is a felony — here’s how to get rid of it legally.

Here’s how to stop it – write “Return to Sender” on the mail, or “No longer at this address.” Also, mark out any bar codes.

Then pop back into a mailbox.

Is it illegal to throw away someone elses mail?

It is against the law and punishable by prison time for anyone to intentionally open, throw out or otherwise destroy or even cause to not be delivered the mail of anyone other than the addressee/recipient of any and all U.S. mail be it letters or packages.

Is Withholding someone’s mail illegal?

Unless you are an authorized mail agent (such as a place like Mailboxes etc), possessing mail addressed to someone else without their permission is a federal crime. A mail agent can hold someone’s mail for a reasonable amount of time and then either forward it or return it to the senders if forwarding isn’t possible.

Can you destroy someone else’s mail?

Yes, you can get into legal trouble by throwing away someone else’s mail. 18 USC Section 1702 ( 18 U.S. Code § 1702 – Obstruction of correspondence ) states: So, if you destroy your former roommate’s mail, you have committed a crime that potentially subjects you to a fine, or prison, or both.

What do you do with old tenants mail?


  • Write “Return to Sender” on the exterior of the envelope. Then place the mail in an outgoing mailbox.
  • Place a sticky note on your mailbox. State “[Former Resident’s Name] does not live at this address” on either the door or the mailbox itself.
  • Cross out the barcode.
  • Approach your mail carrier directly.

Can I sue someone for using my address?

Is it possible to sue someone for using your address for the purpose of committing fraud? If someone uses your ID in an effort to commit fraud, this is a criminal act. If they do not actually manage to harm you, then there would be no basis for a lawsuit, because lawsuits require damages (generally.)

Can I sue someone for opening my mail?

You could sue for the value of the item and any damages to your property. It would probably cost more to sue the person than you would get out of it. You can call the local police or the postal inspector. Mail theft

What happens if you steal someone’s mail?

If you steal mail, you could be facing serious punishment under US Code Section 1708. Because the USPS is a federal agency, mail theft is charged as a federal offense. Conviction of any federal crime, even mail theft, can result in significant federal prison time and fines.

Is it a federal offense to throw away someone’s mail?

3 Answers. Do not throw away mail that is not addressed to you. If you receive misaddressed mail, write “Return to Sender, Addressee no longer resides here” on the envelope and put it in a mailbox. Also, if you contact USPS they may redirect the misaddressed mail for you.

How do I stop someone from using my address?

How to Stop Someone From Using My Address for Deliveries

  1. Write “Not at this Address” on the envelope or piece of mail you receive.
  2. Place the mail back in the mailbox and leave for the mailman to pick up.
  3. Contact the USPS office in your area to speak to a representative and file a complaint if you are still receiving unwanted mail.

How do I stop receiving someone else’s mail?

How to finally stop receiving mail that’s addressed to someone else

  • Step 1: Don’t Throw It Away.
  • Step 2: Cross Out the Bar Code.
  • Step 3: Let Your Mail Carrier Know the Deal.
  • Step 4: Go to Your Post Office.
  • Step 5: File a Complaint.

What do you do with mail that isn’t yours?

Write “not at this address” or “return to sender” on all of it. Your first course of action should be to take everything out of the mailbox that’s addressed to that other person and write “return to sender” on it. Then just put it back in the mailbox.