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Author Topic: Stolen Greg Black mouthpiece  (Read 4914 times)
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Matt K

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« Reply #80 on: May 30, 2017, 12:05PM »

In that case I must have understood your previous post, my mistake. Your assessment is in line with what sonicsilver and myself are saying -- that given our current knowledge Zac is the legal owner of the piece because legally speaking, he never lost possession of the mouthpiece.
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What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
BGuttman
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« Reply #81 on: May 30, 2017, 12:23PM »

Thing is, we had an item lost in the Mails with distinct identification (specifically, Zac's name on it).  I think the Post Office was a little forward in passing this along with insufficient effort to restore it.  Zac has offered to BUY the thing from the guy who took it in an auction -- it's that important to him.  I think the guy who won it in the auction should sell it to Zac for what he paid for it, not what he thinks he can auction it for.

There is lots of shady dealings here.  Just not theft.
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gregs70

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« Reply #82 on: May 30, 2017, 12:43PM »

https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/609.htm#1097213 for details of the USPS insurance. 

I work for an insurance company.  If your car is stolen and you get paid for it, that is the end of it.  Ownership transfers to the insurance company.  If it is recovered, they can auction it off and keep whatever they get.  You can't demand it back.  All you can do is attend the auction and hope.  Yes, the USDPA sold it off quick and have not yet paid off on the insurance, but large governmental organizations of all kinds are ready to take your money quick when it is owned them but slow to pay when they owe you. 
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I'm not a total idiot - there are still a few pieces missing!

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schlitzbeer
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« Reply #83 on: May 30, 2017, 01:23PM »

In that case I must have understood your previous post, my mistake. Your assessment is in line with what sonicsilver and myself are saying -- that given our current knowledge Zac is the legal owner of the piece because legally speaking, he never lost possession of the mouthpiece.

Nope, the other guy is making a lot of assumptions. An insurer reimburses for losses incurred during shipping, not the ownership rights of the item. If Zach recovers the item, usps should pay him his costs of recovery. Most people taking they payout for the loss and buy a replacement. I think this mouthpiece is a little more important to Zach. It's very interesting how what we know, , or it's sounding , overrides the actual processes of recovery. The item was lost, turn in a police report of a lost/stolen item. Forward a copy to eBay and postal inspector for investigation. The item has been found on eBay. File claim on eBay  and USPS for recovery. Mail fraud is a federal level felony. Never known of a case of a car being stolen through the USPS . It's a really small box.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/20/stolen-1957-chevy-returned/5650155/


"I work for an insurance company". Yeah? I work in asset recovery. Two different approaches.
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Matt K

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« Reply #84 on: May 30, 2017, 03:24PM »

I see what you're saying, I suppose I'm skipping to the point that basically everyone does seem to agree with:

Quote
As the item is now found , usps needs to step in and recover and return. To argue that Zach doesn't own it, because he's been paid , is a joke. He hasn't been paid .

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Euphanasia

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« Reply #85 on: May 30, 2017, 03:32PM »

If Zach recovers the item, usps should pay him his costs of recovery.

"Should," with relation to USPS? Sorry--that isn't going to happen. They shouldn't lose packages. They shouldn't drop boxes. They shouldn't take several months to pay out on an insurance claim. Problem is, they do.

In this case, it appears that they didn't apply due diligence to the recovery of Zach's mouthpiece. That's not surprising. When they lost three tuba dent balls from a package shipped to me, I was able to tell them what was engraved on them, how much they weighed, and that these were undoubtedly the ONLY tuba dent balls in the USPS lost and found at that moment. That didn't help. I ended up having the shipper replace them at his cost. USPS doesn't take the time to search for lost items. Even if they did, having a name engraved on a mouthpiece isn't enough. I could claim that my name is Vincent Bach Mt. Vernon N.Y. 1.5G or Almont and see what turned up, but I'm pretty sure they're not going to look at every mouthpiece in their inventory to try to find mine. And yes, that's quite terrible.

That said, trashing on the seller, who paid for that mouthpiece and was unaware that it was identifiable and could be returned to its rightful owner, is not the right course of action. At this point, from his perspective, the item is bought and paid for, along with the twenty-five Manny's razors, fifteen-hundred AOL CD Roms and the Abdominizer that were in the box with it, and which he'll get no money for. He's going to try to get maximum profit out of the items he paid for. It's not what I would do, but I can't really blame him.

It's also not a good idea to try to get the USPS to do the "right thing."

Neither of the above courses of action will get that mouthpiece back into Zach's hands. Once it was sold at auction, (and no it shouldn't have been, but it was,) it became for all intents and purposes, the legal property of the person who purchased it.

Want to see what happens when you fight the Post Office on things like this? See:

https://www.inc.com/chuck-blakeman/the-post-office-can-and-will-sell-your-stuff-even-before-the-delivery-date.html
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« Reply #86 on: May 30, 2017, 03:55PM »


Want to see what happens when you fight the Post Office on things like this? See:

https://www.inc.com/chuck-blakeman/the-post-office-can-and-will-sell-your-stuff-even-before-the-delivery-date.html


Euph,

Chuck Blakeman's account is fascinating, and almost surely explains how and why the mouthpiece came to be in the hands of the (apparently innocent and law-abiding) Atlanta-area eBay reseller.  Clearly the USPS does NOT follow their own procedure about hanging on to "dead parcels" for at least 30 days (Priority Mail) or 60 days (Insured and Registered parcels) before shipping them off to the Atlanta Mail Recovery Center:   
http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22352/html/updt_009.htm

So what should Zach do in this case - sue the Postal Service for not complying with their own rules?  Fat chance!   :(

Lesson learned - next time I ship via USPS I'll double-tape my package and insure for full value!   Idea!

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« Reply #87 on: May 30, 2017, 05:04PM »

Euph,

Chuck Blakeman's account is fascinating, and almost surely explains how and why the mouthpiece came to be in the hands of the (apparently innocent and law-abiding) Atlanta-area eBay reseller.  Clearly the USPS does NOT follow their own procedure about hanging on to "dead parcels" for at least 30 days (Priority Mail) or 60 days (Insured and Registered parcels) before shipping them off to the Atlanta Mail Recovery Center:   
http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22352/html/updt_009.htm

So what should Zach do in this case - sue the Postal Service for not complying with their own rules?  Fat chance!   :(

Lesson learned - next time I ship via USPS I'll double-tape my package and insure for full value!   Idea!



It's 100% anecdotal. Chuck, made a claim and dialed phone numbers. Did he disclose that he filed a police report? Any action other than a barrage of phone calls, which are unverifiable? He ran out the clock. Doesn't mention at all if he used the legal system? Sure, it's slow, but that's what w have.

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/ReportMailTheft.aspx

Next, try doing a simple search on mail theft, fraud, etc. All kinds of cases, and more so when surveying federal court filings.


https://about.usps.com/doing-business/auctions/welcome.htm

The eBay seller looks like someone who trades in stuff bought at USPS sell-offs, so it's fair to assume he acquired it legally, in the absence of any indication to the contrary. It would not be Zach's mouthpiece any more.


https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/609.htm#1097213 for details of the USPS insurance. 

I work for an insurance company.  If your car is stolen and you get paid for it, that is the end of it.  Ownership transfers to the insurance company.  If it is recovered, they can auction it off and keep whatever they get.  You can't demand it back.  All you can do is attend the auction and hope.   Yes, the USDPA sold it off quick and have not yet paid off on the insurance, but large governmental organizations of all kinds are ready to take your money quick when it is owned them but slow to pay when they owe you. 

https://about.usps.com/doing-business/auctions/welcome.htm

"All live auctions at our Atlanta Mail Recovery Center have been canceled. All auctions of undeliverable, unclaimed, damaged, and claim-paid merchandise are now conducted online. ".

What we have here is a group of bandwagon riders.
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Euphanasia

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« Reply #88 on: May 30, 2017, 10:21PM »

It's 100% anecdotal. Chuck, made a claim and dialed phone numbers. Did he disclose that he filed a police report? Any action other than a barrage of phone calls, which are unverifiable? He ran out the clock. Doesn't mention at all if he used the legal system? Sure, it's slow, but that's what w have.

Not true. We (meaning Zach) also has the ability to work outside of the legal system and purchase his mouthpiece back directly, provided that the seller is still willing to accommodate him. I've tried fighting the USPS just like Chuck did, and failed. So have many others here. Perhaps you have anecdotal evidence that shows that one can win a lawsuit, forcing the USPS to retrieve prematurely-auctioned items from a purchaser. As I see it, my anecdote outweighs your lack of an anecdote.

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/ReportMailTheft.aspx

Next, try doing a simple search on mail theft, fraud, etc. All kinds of cases, and more so when surveying federal court filings.


https://about.usps.com/doing-business/auctions/welcome.htm

https://about.usps.com/doing-business/auctions/welcome.htm

"All live auctions at our Atlanta Mail Recovery Center have been canceled. All auctions of undeliverable, unclaimed, damaged, and claim-paid merchandise are now conducted online. ".

Yep. The auctions are conducted online. But it ain't Ebay. USPS won't ship your items to your house. Somehow, you have to get to Atlanta to pick up your items. What's your point? Are you implying that the seller couldn't have purchased the auction from the Atlanta Mail Recovery Center? That's just not true.

Did you click on the link in that link you pointed us toward? If so, you'd find this:
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.AdvSearchResultsNew&agency=4703&rowCount=10&StartRow=11

That's 22 pages of items located in Atlanta that USPS won't ship.

What we have here is a group of bandwagon riders.


And what we have here starts with the same three letters as "trombonist," but ends with a couple of "L"s.
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« Reply #89 on: May 31, 2017, 12:48AM »

I've tried fighting the USPS just like Chuck did, and failed. So have many others here. bandwagon Perhaps you have anecdotal evidence that shows that one can win a lawsuit, forcing the USPS to retrieve prematurely-auctioned items from a purchaser. As I see it, my anecdote outweighs your lack of an anecdote.

And what we have here starts with the same three letters as "trombonist," but ends with a couple of "L"s. <---That's your best effort?

As for attending an auction, that's the language used. That's an assumption that it went through an auction. Chuck also used his column to talk about books. The mouthpiece is personalized and is unique, compared to several copies of a book. Two different things. So, did you file   police reports and speak with a postal inspector? I actually enjoy a good academic discussion with a heavy dose of sarcasm. To call another X, is a moment of looking in the mirror.
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« Reply #90 on: May 31, 2017, 07:10AM »

This isn't helping Zach get his mouthpiece back.
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« Reply #91 on: Jun 01, 2017, 05:35AM »

Yes this is definitely on the post office. You probably could take the USPS to small claims court. You may even be able to claim damages. That would be a civil suit and separate from the criminal case. The threshold for victory In a civil suit is much lower (reasonable doubt).

The USPS might not be criminally negligent but may lose a civil suit. It would depend on. What the investigation turns up. Not sure if the police would do it over an object only worth $200 even though the personal value is much higher after all.

Even if this person has proof of purchase it still may be possible for it to be seized. Ie. Pawnshops can't buy hot goods and claim they didn't know.

It depends on how it ended up in this person's hand. Nobody as far as I know is claiming that they stole it. But that doesn't mean that the USPS handled the situation legally.

Related: https://www.quora.com/How-do-pawnbrokers-verify-that-the-item-pawned-is-not-stolen

I like Matt's solution.  Since the Postal Service lost and then sold the item at auction they are the party who is at fault here.  I would buy the piece back and then take the postal service to small claims court for whatever it cost you to retrieve your property.  You'll have plenty of proof to win a civil suite. 
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Matt K

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« Reply #92 on: Jun 01, 2017, 05:53AM »

Don't know how I didn't notice this earlier, but I should clarify the level of proof required for civil vs. criminal:

Criminal cases require proof "beyond a reasonable doubt"

Civil cases require a "preponderance of evidence" which Cornell Law defines as:

Quote
A requirement that more then 50% of the evidence points to something. This is the burden of proof in a civil trial. For example: At the end of civil case A v. B, 51% of the evidence favors A. Thus, A has a preponderance of the evidence, A has met their burden of proof, and A will win the case.

It is still a good option and seems that it would be done in addition to reporting it to the report mail theft link provided earlier and filing a police report.  If my understanding of small claims court is correct, these things would be valid evidence. 
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« Reply #93 on: Jun 01, 2017, 06:17AM »

I'm pretty sure the USPS, as part of the Federal Government, is immune from civil suits and damages can only be addressed through a tort process. I've read opinions from multiple people claiming to be lawyers who hold this opinion.

There's a description of tort proceedings against the USPS here: http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2005/html/pb22170/a-c4_002.html. Most of it describes actions taken in cases of personal injury, for example, if you're hit by a mail truck or injured by falling debris inside of a post office.

Then there's this:

254.3   Unauthorized Payments

Tort payments should not be made by tort claims coordinators on any of the following types of claims:

a.   Any claim arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter...


Sovereign immunity. It's an ugly thing, but there it is. Even in cases of injury, you would have to prove intent to defraud rather than simple error. There's a case where a package containing marijuana was accidentally delivered to a man's house, and he ended up in jail for three months. He filed a tort claim and lost--apparently because the mis-delivery was an "error" rather than a planned attempt to imprison him. It stinks, but that's how the rules work for USPS. As many have already stated, the best recourse is to insure packages for their replacement value.
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Matt K

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« Reply #94 on: Jun 01, 2017, 06:35AM »

I always forget that the USPS isn't a public-private thing like Amtrack and that they're actually part of the federal govt.  That is correct then, they do have immunity from that sort of thing.  Insure full value or go UPS/FedEx!  I've been using UPS for most of my shipments recently. They do automatic $100 and most of my packages have been around that price so its only been a few cents cheaper than the USPS alternative for the stuff I've used it for. FWIW.
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« Reply #95 on: Jun 01, 2017, 06:47AM »

I did a quick google search and it looks like you can't sue the Federal government in small claims court as others have said, since State and local governments have no authority over federal agencies.  I guess this is a good reason to not use the USPS in the future and stick with FEDEX or UPS, if I'm shipping anything of value I always ensure it for what it's worth and require a signature.  Hindsight is 20/20 and I hope that somehow you can retrieve your property at a reasonable cost to you. 
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« Reply #96 on: Jun 01, 2017, 06:59PM »

Something definitely stinks about this situation. Dead letter mail is supposed to be held for around 90 days. Other sources say 60 to 90, and the idea is that they are waiting to see if anyone claims the items. Of course there is little to no information about how one claims items that are USPS dead letter.

Anyway, the problem is that the main reason for mail becoming "unclaimed" is that the label is removed or destroyed somehow, making it impossible to tell where it is supposed to be going. I do not know if they perform any type of investigation on the packages. With United Parcel Service, items with no label end up in "overgoods" where they will supposedly open the package to try to figure out where it is supposed to be going.

This is one reason why I often put an address label INSIDE the box, hoping that should something get lost, it may still show up.
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« Reply #97 on: Jun 02, 2017, 09:50AM »

I got the mouthpiece back today. No damage and it is i. The original bag. I have been trying to contact the seller to pay him but he isn't answering.
All in all a crappy situation that turned out great. Now I am going to insure it and send it to Greg again!
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« Reply #98 on: Jun 02, 2017, 09:52AM »

I got the mouthpiece back today. No damage and it is i. The original bag. I have been trying to contact the seller to pay him but he isn't answering.
All in all a crappy situation that turned out great. Now I am going to insure it and send it to Greg again!

Put the address inside the box, too and tape the crap out of the whole thing  Good!
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« Reply #99 on: Jun 02, 2017, 10:10AM »

This isn't helping Zach get his mouthpiece back.


Apparently, it hasn't hurt either! lol

Glad it was returned!  Good!

...Geezer
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