USPS LOTTERY STATUTES

 

Sec. 3005. False representations; lotteries

(a) Upon evidence satisfactory to the Postal Service that any person is engaged in conducting a scheme or device for obtaining money or property through the mail by means of false representations, including the mailing of matter which is nonmailable under [1] 3001(d), (h), or (i) of this title, or is engaged in conducting a lottery, gift enterprise, or scheme for the distribution of money or of real or personal property, by lottery, chance, or drawing of any kind, the Postal Service may issue an order which -

(1) directs the postmaster of the post office at which mail arrives, addressed to such a person or to his representative, to return such mail to the sender appropriately marked as in violation of this section, if the person, or his representative, is first notified and given reasonable opportunity to be present at the receiving post office to survey the mail before the postmaster returns the mail to the sender;

(2) forbids the payment by a postmaster to the person or his representative of any money order or postal note drawn to the order of either and provides for the return to the remitter of the sum named in the money order or postal note; and

(3) requires the person or his representative to cease and desist from engaging in any such scheme, device, lottery, or gift enterprise. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the mailing of matter which is nonmailable under such [1] 3001(d), (h), or (i) by any person shall constitute prima facie evidence that such person is engaged in conducting

(b) The public advertisement by a person engaged in activities covered by subsection (a) of this section, that remittances may be made by mail to a person named in the advertisement, is prima facie evidence that the latter is the agent or representative of the advertiser for the receipt of remittances on behalf of the advertiser. The Postal Service may ascertain the existence of the agency in any other legal way satisfactory to it.

(c) As used in this section and section 3006 of this title, the term ''representative'' includes an agent or representative acting as an individual or as a firm, bank, corporation, or association of any kind.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the mailing of

(1) publications containing advertisements, lists of prizes, or information concerning a lottery, which are exempt, pursuant to section 1307 of title 18 of the United States Code, from the provisions of sections 1301, 1302, 1303, and 1304 of title 18 of the United States Code,

(2) tickets or other materials concerning such a lottery within that State to addresses within that State, or

(3) an advertisement promoting the sale of a book or other publication, or a solicitation to purchase, or a purchase order for any such publication, if (A) such advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order is not materially false or misleading in its description of the publication; (B) such advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order contains no material misrepresentation of fact: Provided, however, That no statement quoted or derived from the publication shall constitute a misrepresentation of fact as long as such statement complies with the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (C); and (C) the advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order accurately discloses the source of any statements quoted or derived from the publication. Paragraph (3) shall not be applicable to any publication, advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order which is used to sell some other product in which the publisher or author has a financial interest as part of a commercial scheme. For the purposes of this subsection, ''State'' means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.

(e)

(1) In conducting an investigation to determine if a person is engaged in any of the activities covered by subsection (a) of this section, the Postmaster General (or any duly authorized agent of the Postmaster General) may tender, at any reasonable time and by any reasonable means, the price advertised or otherwise requested for any article or service that such person has offered to provide through the mails.

(2) A failure to provide the article or service offered after the Postmaster General or his agent has tendered the price advertised or otherwise requested in the manner described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, and any reasons for such failure, may be considered in a proceeding held under section 3007 of this title to determine if there is probable cause to believe that a violation of this section has occurred.

(3) The Postmaster General shall prescribe regulations under which any individual seeking to make a purchase on behalf of the Postal Service under this subsection from any person shall -

(A) identify himself as an employee or authorized agent of the Postal Service, as the case may be;

(B) state the nature of the conduct under investigation; and

(C) inform such person that the failure to complete the transaction may be considered in a proceeding under section 3007 of this title to determine probable cause, in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection.


 Footnotes

[1]So in original. Probably should be followed by ''section''. Sec. 3006. Unlawful matter

Upon evidence satisfactory to the Postal Service that a person is obtaining or attempting to obtain remittances of money or property of any kind through the mail for an obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy, or vile thing or is depositing or causing to be deposited in the United States mail information as to where, how, or from whom such a thing may be obtained, the Postal Service may -

(1) direct any postmaster at an office at which mail arrives, addressed to such a person or to his representative, to return the mail to the sender marked ''Unlawful''; and

(2) forbid the payment by a postmaster to such a person or his representative of any money order or postal note drawn to the order of either and provide for the return to the remitter of the sum named in the money order. Sec. 3007. Detention of mail for temporary periods

(a) In preparation for or during the pendency of proceedings under sections 3005 and 3006 of this title, the United States district court in the district in which the defendant receives his mail shall, upon application therefor by the Postal Service and upon a showing of probable cause to believe either section is being violated, enter a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction pursuant to rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure directing the detention of the defendant's incoming mail by the postmaster pending the conclusion of the statutory proceedings and any appeal therefrom. The district court may provide in the order that the detained mail be open to examination by the defendant and such mail be delivered as is clearly not connected with the alleged unlawful activity. An action taken by a court hereunder does not affect or determine any fact at issue in the statutory proceedings.

(b) This section does not apply to mail addressed to publishers of newspapers and other periodical publications entitled to a periodical publication rate or to mail addressed to the agents of those publishers. Sec. 3012. Civil penalties

(a) Any person -

(1) who, through the use of the mail, evades or attempts to evade the effect of an order issued under section 3005(a)(1) or 3005(a)(2) of this title;

(2) who fails to comply with an order issued under section 3005(a)(3) of this title; or

(3) who (other than a publisher described by section 3007(b) of this title) has actual knowledge of any such order, is in privity with any person described by paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, and engages in conduct to assist any such person to evade, attempt to evade, or fail to comply with any such order, as the case may be, through the use of the mail; shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each day that such person engages in conduct described by paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection. A separate penalty may be assessed under this subsection with respect to the conduct described in each such paragraph.

(b)

(1) Whenever, on the basis of any information available to it, the Postal Service finds that any person has engaged, or is engaging, in conduct described by paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a), the Postal Service may, under the provisions of section 409(d) of this title, commence a civil action to enforce the civil penalties established by such subsection. Any such action shall be brought in the district court of the United States for the district in which the defendant resides or receives mail.

(2) If the district court determines that a person has engaged, or is engaging, in conduct described by paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a), the court shall determine the civil penalty, if any under this section, taking into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations of such subsection, and, with respect to the violator, the ability to pay the penalty, the effect of the penalty on the ability of the violator to conduct lawful business, any history of prior violations of such subsection, the degree of culpability, and such other matters as justice may require.

(c) All penalties collected under authority of this section shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States.

(d) In any proceeding at any time under this section, the defendant shall be entitled as a defense or counterclaim to seek judicial review, if not already had, pursuant to chapter 7 of title 5, of the order issued under section 3005 of this title. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude independent judicial review otherwise available pursuant to chapter 7 of title 5 of an order issued under section 3005 of this title.

Jeffrey A. Babener
Babener & Associates
121 SW Morrison, Suite 1020
Portland, OR 97204
Jeffrey A. Babener, the principal attorney in the Portland, Oregon law firm of Babener & Associates, represents many of the leading direct selling companies in the United States and abroad.

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