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Timothy D. Smith
Timothy D. Smith, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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Can I sue the US Post office in small claims court? I had a parcel that was insured at $50

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Can I sue the US Post office in small claims court? I had a parcel that was insured at $5000 that was lost and the insurance simply gave us the run around over and over and now they say it is too late and nothing can be done. I have all my documentation in order and it is a winnning case if I could get it before a judge. However I am finding online that it may not be possible to sue the post office at all? If it is possible to sue them in small claims then I need to know the exact name I need and address of whom I need to sue?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 2 years ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. Unfortunately, you cannot sue the US Postal Service in small claims court. The US Postal Service is a federal government entity, and as such, a state or municipal court cannot assert jurisdiction over them.

You will have to file a suit against them in federal court. Before you can sue a federal government entity in federal court you must notify them with what is called a notice of claim.

Their defense is going to be that they are immune from suit in the present case. In 28 USC § 2680(b), the government retains immunity for "Any claim arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter."

I think the way that you argue against this rather generic statute is to state that you had it insured. As a result, you are technically suing the insuring mechanism of the Postal Service.

At any rate, I would recommend hiring an attorney to potentially file the suit as federal claims and litigation is quite complicated. To that end, I recognize the monetary issue hiring an attorney would pose. It will be incumbent on you to do a cost to benefit analysis to see if it is worth it.

I wish I had better news for you, but I am obligated to tell you the legal reality of the situation.

Best wishes going forward with this issue and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with it.

Timothy D. Smith, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1923
Experience: 10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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