If you go to the internet and search for “USPS Sucks,” you will get more than one million results in 0.23 seconds with those specific words. Why? Because the postal service in the U.S. indeed sucks, which is just an example of how much the federal government sucks at almost everything. Most people can attest to the fact that, more often than not, letters and packages sent through the post office get lost in the matrix and disappear into thin air. So, what happens if and when the post office misplaces or loses your letter or package? Very angry and mad at the post office, you will most likely say, “the government is responsible for the loss and, therefore, it is liable.” Well, that is what should happen in theory, but it is obviously never the case, so enter what is known as the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
If you went to law school, you may have learned about the doctrine of sovereign immunity, where the King basically has to give consent to get sued, and likewise, the government cannot be sued without its consent. It is like you cannot sue the King – an idea traceable to many moons back to feudal England and derived from British common law doctrine based on the notion that the King could do no wrong.
Technically, the government has agreed to some level of liability through the Federal Tort Claims Act. Thus, the FTCA may be your lifeline when suing the federal government. Essentially, the Act provides an individual with the legal means, procedure, and circumstances under which they may be permitted to sue the government. However, while it may be the most important part of this Act, there exist a myriad of exceptions, listed under “28 USC § 2680 – Exceptions to the Federal Tort Claims Act” to the types of claims that may be payable under the FTCA. This means that there are instances in which you cannot bring suit against the federal government.
Unfortunately, one of those instances where a claim will be dismissed immediately includes – in verbatim, “any claim arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter.” That is stupidly broad! So, any claims or matters arising out of any single loss of a letter or package out there, irrespective of whether the package is destroyed, stolen, or the delivery guy hates your name for no reason and, thus, decides to leave it in a dark alley will be dismissed by the federal government immediately. This is because even though the federal government so graciously chose to waive its sovereign immunity to let you sue them, you may not bring a suit against them for any claims or matters arising from the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter. This is probably because they get 47,000 complaints a day – with 46,000 of those coming from Vinny of Miletti Law® and the rest from you guys and girls – all because the government has cunningly decided to screw us all in the name of “you cannot sue the king without the king’s consent” despite the amount of loss incurred or harm suffered due to their inefficient services, such as at the postal office, which suck at best.
Nonetheless, should you have a claim, make sure that you exhaust your administrative remedies before you can file a suit in the federal court against the federal government. Under 28 USC § 2401 of the FTCA, you are required to bring your complaint within the agency that is giving rise to your problems within two years. Assuming that you send a letter or documents through USPS’s regular mail and then it disappears into thin air, then you would have a claim. After making your complaint, the post office will take you on a ride because they often suck at what they do – imagine if they suck at delivering a 100grams letter, how much do you think they suck at listening to or investigating your complaint when they do not even want to help you? Two to three years down the line, they serve you with a determination, and finally, you are so happy that you can sue – only to be dismissed automatically by the federal government because it is what – a matter or a claim arising out of an exception as stated under 28 USC § 2680!
Well, while it is the way it is and this is where we are, just remember that if you wish to sue the King, the King has to give you permission to do it. Then, get a copy of the FTCA and check if the federal government has its sovereign immunity waived or not, after which you can file your lawsuit. However, make sure you do not fall into any of the exceptions outlined under 28 USC § 2680. Again, not only should you not fall under any of the exceptions, but you also have to go to the agency directly to ensure that you have exhausted the administrative remedies.
As we conclude this discussion, here is a free piece of advice – if you wish to send anything by way of the post office, it may be best to send it through certified mail or signature confirmation. Otherwise, you will regret sending anything via regular mail because either it is never going to reach its destination or recipient, or it will take six months to do so. Their services are just disgusting and terrible, and there is nothing you can do if they lose, miscarry, or negligently transmit your letter or any other postal matter.
With that, feel free to view our video The Federal Tort Claims Act, What You Need To Know Before Suing The King! and get it yourself directly from the horse’s mouth. Otherwise, in case you need further clarification regarding the information shared in the video and this blog post or require our services, we are just a call or email away!
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