PRC Dismisses Part of Postmasters Complaint Over USPS PO Closings Regulations
Filed under: NAPUS, NLPM, post office closings, postal, postal news, Postmasters, PRC, usps
From The National Association Of Postmasters of the US:
On August 11, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued a ruling on the joint NAPUS/League complaint that certain provisions in the USPS’ March 31 proposed post office closing regulations violated current law. (While most of the provisions of the proposed regulations were implemented on July 14, none of the provisions that were subject to the complaint were implemented.) The first part of the complaint argued that the regulations should not have been issued, absent a request for a PRC Advisory Opinion. Since the USPS requested such an advisory opinion on July 27, this part our complaint was settled. The other parts the complaint, were dismissed as being premature, since the USPS has yet to implement final regulations to “consolidate” a Post Office into a station or branch, without conducting a formal discontinuance process, and has yet to implement regulations to designate a postal employee other than a “Postmaster” as the manager-in-charge of a post office. However, the PRC made clear that it would reconsider the complaint, if and when the USPS implemented final regulations on post office consolidations and the definition of “Postmaster.”
PRC’s ruling stated
Notwithstanding the extent consultation has or has not taken place, the Postal Service has not implemented a final rule implicating claims 1 and 2. The Postal Service has specifically delayed issuing final rules in these areas to allow for further consultation and possible revision of the proposed rules. Its decision to not implement final rules that implicate claims 1 and 2 at minimum appears to be evidence that those rules may change and evolve. While, hypothetically, circumstances may warrant adjudication of a dispute involving a pending rulemaking, such circumstances are not present here.Issues raised by Complainants in claims 1 and 2 are premature and therefore not ripe for adjudication. The Commission must, within 90 days of the filing of a complaint,determine whether that complaint raises material issues of fact or law, and either begin proceedings on the complaint or dismiss it.See 39 U.S.C. 3662(a)(1). Because claims 1 and 2 of the Complaint are not ripe, the Commission dismisses them without prejudice. If, in the future, the Postal Service implements a final rule that implicates Complainants’ interests, they may renew their Complaint.