2014 US Code
Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure (Sections 1 - 6005)
Part I - Crimes (Sections 1 - 2725)
Chapter 83 - Postal Service (Sections 1691 - 1738)
Sec. 1703 - Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers

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Publication TitleUnited States Code, 2012 Edition, Supplement 2, Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CategoryBills and Statutes
CollectionUnited States Code
SuDoc Class NumberY 1.2/5:
Contained WithinTitle 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 83 - POSTAL SERVICE
Sec. 1703 - Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers
Containssection 1703
Date2014
Laws In Effect As Of DateJanuary 5, 2015
Positive LawYes
Dispositionstandard
Source CreditJune 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 778; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §37, 63 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 91-375, §6(j)(16), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 778; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(B), (G), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2146, 2147.
Statutes at Large References35 Stat. 1125
62 Stat. 778
63 Stat. 95
84 Stat. 778
108 Stat. 2146
Public and Private LawsPublic Law 91-375, Public Law 103-322

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18 U.S.C. § 1703 (2014)

§1703. Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers

(a) Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, unlawfully secretes, destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail entrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General or the Postal Service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(b) Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, improperly detains, delays, or destroys any newspaper, or permits any other person to detain, delay, or destroy the same, or opens, or permits any other person to open, any mail or package of newspapers not directed to the office where he is employed; or

Whoever, without authority, opens, or destroys any mail or package of newspapers not directed to him, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 778; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §37, 63 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 91–375, §6(j)(16), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 778; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(B), (G), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2146, 2147.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

1948 ACT

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§318, 319 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §§195, 196, 35 Stat. 1125, 1126).

Section consolidated sections 318 and 319 of said title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed. The embezzlement and theft provisions of each were incorporated in sections 1709 and 1710 of this title.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

1949 ACT

This section [section 37] corrects typographical errors in section 1703 of title 18, U.S.C.

AMENDMENTS

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted "fined under this title" for "fined not more than $500" in subsec. (a) and "fined under this title" for "fined not more than $100" in last par.

1970—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91–375, §6(j)(16)(A), amended subsec. (a) generally, which prior to amendment read as follows: "Whoever, being a postmaster or Postal Service employee, unlawfully detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail intrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General; or secretes, or destroys any such letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 91–375, §6(j)(16)(B), substituted "Postal Service officer or employee" for "postmaster or Postal Service employee".

1949—Subsec. (a). Act May 24, 1949, §37(a), substituted "secretes" for "secrets".

Subsec. (b). Act May 24, 1949, §37(b), substituted "newspapers" for "newspaper".

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1970 AMENDMENT

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–375 effective within 1 year after Aug. 12, 1970, on date established therefor by Board of Governors of United States Postal Service and published by it in Federal Register, see section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91–375, set out as an Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal Service.

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