"He is dead to me". Legal?

I knew that ZIP was an acronym for “zone improvement plan” (hence my capitalization of the term), but my brain never connected the “Z” in “ZIP” with the “zone” we are discussing. Thanks!

Depends on what the mail is. If there are legal documents, bills, etc., reporting someone was dead when they are not might get you into trouble. Why not just write “this guys a deadbeat and nobody knows what happened to him.”

But if you’re less interested in entertaining yourselves and really want to stop getting his mail, just tell your mailman or go to the post office and let them know. That’s the actual way to resolve it.

heh. I’m actually writing letters longhand and sending them back in the postage paid envelopes. For a few I’ve sprung for a stamp. My gf says that in the event of legal action, she will state that she said he was dead and I misunderstood her to be serious. She is liking this, it is kinda therapeutic.:smiley:

If you want to contemplate theoretical legal possibilities, opening up mail that was not addressed to you is what could get you into trouble.

A favorite story:

David, a friend of mine, had a very cranky mom who disliked getting phone calls. Any phone calls. She once got a call from David’s alma mater, and when she realized they were calling to ask for a contribution, snapped, “He’s dead!” and slammed the phone down. A notice of his “death” appeared in the next alumni magazine, and - in a move that Mark Twain would be proud of - David immediately sent in a check to establish a memorial fund in his own name.

Yes, how would anyone prove it was not all a misunderstanding if anyone should actually care enough to do something?

As for the legality - I can’t imagine any laws you are breaking. I suppose someone might try to get you for public mischief if they were stretching for a reason to prosecute- but they would have to show what sort of mischief you were intending to cause or should have known you would cause; simply trying to stop junk mail is not mischief. (if you somehow got the city to hold an unneccessary memorial parade and day of mourning where all the offices and shops closed,*** that*** would be classified mischief; doesn’t sound like Dickweed warrants that consideration.) The only warning is stuff addressed to that person, specifically, you should not open.

Fraud normally requires an intent to obtain a financial benefit, at the expense of someone else. It’s not simply stating something that isn’t true. Where is the intent to obtain a financial benefit here?

My parents still get ads from a place in the name of Mr. and Mrs. <Grandparents Name>. My grandfather died in 1989, and my grandmother died in 1965! My dad lives in the house where he grew up, so it’s the same address, but apparently this place never updates its customer list.

Or, lying to the Post Office. It’s a federal crime to lie to a federal employee (while they’re doing their job). I’m not sure if Post Office employees come in under that or not.

OK according to my ex postal worker business partner, mail fraud does not require for financial benefit, just interfering with the delivery of mail can be chargable. By returning it to carrier “unable to forward” you have fullfilled any legal obligation.

If writing “Return to sender, recipient moved, no forwarding address” is a hassle, you can get a rubber stamp saying that very thing. Then you can write “The Bastard!” across the stamp with a thick felt-tip pen.

Wait. . .what? If I reach into my mailbox and open an envelope placed there by the USPS without first looking at the envelope and insuring that I am the intended recipient. . .I’m a felon?

No but intentionally misrepresenting his status for purposes of denying him his mail is.

My business partner worked at a place called a remote encoding center. They process all the new address, forwards, unreadable addresses, stuff like that. They saw stuff like the OP’s suggestion sometimes. I doubt anything came of 99% of it, but I wouldnt want to invoke the wrath of the post office. One of the other common issues they ended up fixing all the time was malicious forwards. Fill out a change of address for for someone who pissed you off and have their mail sent to who knows where.

Thanks for the clarification.