Complaint of Randall Ehrlich, 32429-32431 [2020-11518]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 104 / Friday, May 29, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Introduction The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list. Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request’s acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request. The public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s) can be accessed via the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3011.301.1 The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service’s request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3030, and 39 CFR part 3040, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3035, and 39 CFR part 3040, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II. II. Docketed Proceeding(s) 1. Docket No(s).: MC2020–137 and CP2020–146; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Express International, Priority Mail International & First-Class Package International Service Contract 3 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: May 22, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3040.130 et seq., 1 See Docket No. RM2018–3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19–22 (Order No. 4679). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:06 May 28, 2020 Jkt 250001 and 39 CFR 3035.105; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: June 2, 2020. 2. Docket No(s).: MC2020–138 and CP2020–147; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 617 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: May 22, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3040.130 et seq., and 39 CFR 3035.105; Public Representative: Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: June 2, 2020. This Notice will be published in the Federal Register. Erica A. Barker, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–11614 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. C2020–1; Order No. 5519] Complaint of Randall Ehrlich Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is noticing an order denying a motion to expand issues in the Complaint of Randall Ehrlich v. United States Postal Service, which relates to alleged discrimination by Postal Service management in continuing a suspension of mail service due to a dog hold on the Complainant’s residence. This notice informs the public of that denial. ADDRESSES: For additional information, Order No. 5519 can be accessed electronically through the Commission’s website at https://www.prc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Table of Contents I. Introduction and Procedural History II. Motion To Expand Issues III. Commission Analysis I. Introduction and Procedural History On December 23, 2019, Randall Ehrlich (Complainant) filed a complaint pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3662(a) and 403(c) concerning an ongoing suspension of mail service to his home.1 The Complainant alleges that the Postal Service unreasonably discriminated against him in its suspension of mail delivery to his front porch mailbox. Complaint at 13. He requests that the Commission require delivery to be 1 Complaint of Randall Ehrlich, December 23, 2019 (Complaint). PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32429 restored to his front porch mailbox and that ‘‘all discriminatory acts and omissions’’ against Complainant ‘‘cease immediately.’’ Id. at 14. On January 13, 2020, the Postal Service filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint.2 Complainant responded to the Motion to Dismiss on January 31, 2020.3 Chairman’s Information Request No. 1 was issued on January 16, 2020,4 which the Postal Service responded to on January 23, 2020.5 Chairman’s Information Request No. 2 6 was issued February 4, 2020, to which the Postal Service responded on February 18, 2020,7 after requesting 8 and receiving 9 an extension of time to respond. Complainant replied to the Response to CHIR No. 2 on February 24, 2020.10 On March 17, 2020, the Commission concluded that the Complaint raised material issues of fact, and therefore denied the Postal Service’s Motion to Dismiss pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3662(b) and 39 CFR 3030.30(a)(1).11 Additionally, the Commission appointed a Presiding Officer to set a procedural schedule and conduct limited discovery for the purpose of determining disputed issues of fact in the case.12 The Commission stated that the scope of the discovery proceeding would be limited only to fact-finding conducted by the Presiding Officer on specific issues of fact to resolve whether a violation of 39 U.S.C. 403 occurred, namely: 1. Whether any dogs remain at Complainant’s residence that are 2 United States Postal Service Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice the Complaint of Randall Ehrlich, January 13, 2020 (Motion to Dismiss). 3 Response to Motion to Dismiss, January 31, 2020 (Response). 4 Chairman’s Information Request No. 1, January 16, 2020 (CHIR No. 1). 5 Responses of the United States Postal Service to Questions No 1–2 of Chairman’s Information Request No. 1, January 23, 2020 (Response to CHIR No. 1). 6 Chairman’s Information Request No. 2, February 4, 2020 (CHIR No. 2). 7 Response of the United States Postal Service to Questions 1–4 of Chairman’s Information Request No. 2, February 18, 2020 (Response to CHIR No. 2). 8 United States Postal Service Motion for Extension of Time to File Response to Questions 1– 4 of Chairman’s Information Request No. 2, February 11, 2020 (Postal Service Motion). 9 Order Granting Motion for Extension of Time to File Responses to Chairman’s Information Request No. 2, February 12, 2020 (Order No. 5425). Order No. 5425 also granted Complainant additional time to respond to the Postal Service’s answers. Order No. 5425 at 2. 10 Response to USPS’s Answers to Chairman Information Request No. 2, with Third Ehrlich Declaration, February 24, 2020 (Reply to CHIR No. 2 Responses). 11 Order Denying Postal Service Motion to Dismiss Complaint and Notice of Limited Formal Proceedings, March 17, 2020, at 7 (Order No. 5455). 12 Order No. 5455 at 8; see 39 CFR 3030.21. E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 32430 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 104 / Friday, May 29, 2020 / Notices aggressive or could be a threat to carrier safety. 2. Whether postal management followed non-discriminatory processes in its continuance of a dog hold on Complainant’s residence. 3. Whether the alternate mailbox site proposed by the Complainant was a reasonable compromise between carrier safety and Complainant’s security concerns. 4. Whether the Complainant is obligated to comply with a mailbox relocation if there are no aggressive dogs remaining at his residence. 5. Whether a locked mailbox at the mailbox site approved by the Postal Service would alleviate Complainant’s security concerns. Order No. 5455 at 8. On March 18, 2020, the Presiding Officer issued a ruling scheduling a prehearing teleconference between the parties and established initial case management procedures.13 The prehearing teleconference was held as scheduled.14 The Presiding Officer subsequently propounded the first set of interrogatories to the Complainant and to the Postal Service on April 16, 2020, pursuant to 39 CFR 3001.12(a), 3001.26(a), and 3001.27(a).15 Since then, the Presiding Officer has issued several other rulings modifying the procedural schedule and setting forth additional case management procedures.16 II. Motion To Expand Issues jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES On May 13, 2020, Complainant filed a motion 17 requesting that the Commission expand the issues under consideration to include the following issues related to dog holds under the Seattle District Animal/Insect Policy (Policy): [1.] Whether the Policy, in blanketly stating that carriers shall not deliver mail to homes where dogs are kept only behind a screen or storm door, without consideration for the dog’s age, sex, size, breed composition, sterilization status, degree of training, assistance animal legal status (protection under state or 13 Presiding Officer’s Ruling Scheduling Prehearing Teleconference and Establishing Initial Case Management Procedures, March 18, 2020. 14 Notice of Posting of Recording, April 17, 2020. 15 Certificate Regarding Discovery, April 16, 2020. 16 Presiding Officer’s Ruling Establishing Procedural Schedule and Additional Case Management Procedures, April 16, 2020; Presiding Officer’s Ruling Denying Request for an Indefinite Abeyance and Granting 30-Day Extension of Procedural Deadlines, April 24, 2020; Presiding Officer’s Ruling Adjusting Procedural Schedule, May 8, 2020. 17 Complainant’s Motion to Expand Issues, May 13, 2020 (Motion). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:06 May 28, 2020 Jkt 250001 federal law, such as Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, or Washington Law Against Discrimination), animal control complaint history, adverse designation legal status, ambulatory capability or degree of incapacitation, weight, and other factors, illegally discriminates against postal customers without air conditioning or those who simply wish to enjoy a natural breeze inside their dwelling instead or artificially cooled air, rendering its continued enforcement violative of 39 U.S.C. 403(c). [2.] Whether the presence or supervision by the customer of the dog while behind the screen or storm door negates the foregoing Policy proscription, rendering its continued enforcement violative of 39 U.S.C. 403(c). [3.] Whether a gate or secondary barrier behind the screen or storm door negates the foregoing Policy proscription, rendering its continued enforcement violative of 39 U.S.C. 403(c). [4.] Whether Mr. Ehrlich’s carrier, Tonya Voisine, with or without USPS condonation, has engaged in retaliatory, harassing, and destructive behavior, which constitutes unreasonable or undue discrimination against Mr. Ehrlich in the course of delivering and retrieving his mailpieces in violation of 39 U.S.C. 403(c). Motion at 2. In support of the Motion, Complainant submitted a declaration providing statements in support of his assertion that the Policy unreasonably discriminates against dog owners without air conditioning.18 He also reiterates his concern that the mail carrier assigned to his route would continue to ‘‘tamper with, deface, and destroy’’ his mail if she is not removed from the route. Third Declaration at 2. The Postal Service responded to the Motion on May 20, 2020.19 The Postal Service urges that the Commission deny the Motion in its entirety. Opposition at 1. It asserts that expanding the scope of the proceeding beyond the limited issue of potential discrimination against the Complainant in the maintenance of a dog hold is contrary to the intent of Order No. 5455. Id. at 6. It also states that expanding the scope of issues under consideration is unnecessary because the Postal Service is taking steps to permanently restore mail delivery to the front porch mailbox at Complainant’s residence. Id. 18 Third Declaration of Randall Ehrlich, May 13, 2020, at 2 (Third Declaration). 19 United States Postal Service’s Opposition to Complainant’s Motion to Expand Issues, May 20, 2020 (Opposition). PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 II. Commission Analysis The Commission has previously stated that it lacks the jurisdiction to rule on internal postal personnel issues such as carrier assignments and disciplinary actions.20 The Motion and supporting Third Declaration seek to reintroduce the Complainant’s prayer for removal of the mail carrier assigned to his route. Given the precedent on the Commission’s lack of jurisdiction, it would be inappropriate to expand the issues considered to include those over which an appropriate remedy could not be granted. Complainant also seeks to shift the focus of the Complaint away from a dispute between the Postal Service and himself, and introduce a referendum on the Postal Service’s policy writ large. The Commission found discrete material issues that it referred to the Presiding Officer for resolution after careful examination of the Complaint and responses. Moreover, the Commission notes that the parties are in the midst of ongoing discovery under the direction and supervision of the Presiding Officer in an attempt to resolve those discrete issues. The extensive procedural history of this matter as well as the discovery already underway suggest that the Commission avoid expanding the scope of the issues under consideration at this juncture. If Complainant’s allegations of undue discrimination vis a vis similarly situated dog owners are proven true, then the Commission could grant the relief of ordering restoration of porch delivery to the Complainant’s residence without the introduction of the additional allegations. Whether the Complainant does or does not have air conditioning or the structure of his storm door are not necessary elements in obtaining the relief sought in his claim. Finally, the Postal Service alleges in its Opposition that it is taking steps to restore porch mailbox delivery to Complainant, thereby rendering his Motion moot. The Commission commends the Postal Service for taking steps towards resolving the issue but declines to rule on the mootness claim at this time. It is ordered: 20 See Docket No. C2015–2, Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, July 15, 2015 (Order No. 2585); Docket No. C2019–1, Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, December 12, 2018, at 11 (Order No. 4924) (‘‘Complainant requests several remedies related to Postal Service personnel—including the removal of a letter carrier from her route as well as initiation of disciplinary actions, including the termination of several employees. . .[t]hese actions are outside the Commission’s authority to grant relief. Labor and personnel decisions are the purview of the Postal Service as the postal operator.’’). E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 104 / Friday, May 29, 2020 / Notices 1. Complainant’s Motion to Expand Issues, filed May 13, 2020, is denied. 2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this Order in the Federal Register. By the Commission. Erica A. Barker, Secretary. gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on May 8, 2020, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 614 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2020–130, CP2020–137. Sean Robinson, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law. [FR Doc. 2020–11518 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P [FR Doc. 2020–11505 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–12–P POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement Product Change—Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Date of required notice: May 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Robinson, 202–268–8405. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on May 20, 2020, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 616 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2020–135, CP2020–143. SUMMARY: Sean Robinson, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law. [FR Doc. 2020–11510 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Date of required notice: May 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Robinson, 202–268–8405. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on May 22, 2020, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 617 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2020–138, CP2020–147. SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2020–11511 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] POSTAL SERVICE BILLING CODE 7710–12–P Product Change—Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement POSTAL SERVICE Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Date of required notice: May 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Robinson, 202–268–8405. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Postal Service® hereby jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:06 May 28, 2020 Jkt 250001 Sean Robinson, 202–268–8405. The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on May 15, 2020, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 148 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2020–134, CP2020–142. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2020–11509 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–12–P POSTAL SERVICE Sean Robinson, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law. BILLING CODE 7710–12–P FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Robinson, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law. POSTAL SERVICE AGENCY: 32431 Product Change—Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. Notice. Product Change—Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Date of required notice: May 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Robinson, 202–268–8405. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on May 12, 2020, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 147 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2020–132, CP2020–139. SUMMARY: Sean Robinson, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law. [FR Doc. 2020–11507 Filed 5–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–12–P AGENCY: ACTION: POSTAL SERVICE The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Date of required notice: May 29, 2020. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Product Change—Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 104 (Friday, May 29, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32429-32431]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11518]


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POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. C2020-1; Order No. 5519]


Complaint of Randall Ehrlich

AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Commission is noticing an order denying a motion to expand 
issues in the Complaint of Randall Ehrlich v. United States Postal 
Service, which relates to alleged discrimination by Postal Service 
management in continuing a suspension of mail service due to a dog hold 
on the Complainant's residence. This notice informs the public of that 
denial.

ADDRESSES: For additional information, Order No. 5519 can be accessed 
electronically through the Commission's website at https://www.prc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 
202-789-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Introduction and Procedural History
II. Motion To Expand Issues
III. Commission Analysis

I. Introduction and Procedural History

    On December 23, 2019, Randall Ehrlich (Complainant) filed a 
complaint pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3662(a) and 403(c) concerning an 
ongoing suspension of mail service to his home.\1\ The Complainant 
alleges that the Postal Service unreasonably discriminated against him 
in its suspension of mail delivery to his front porch mailbox. 
Complaint at 13. He requests that the Commission require delivery to be 
restored to his front porch mailbox and that ``all discriminatory acts 
and omissions'' against Complainant ``cease immediately.'' Id. at 14. 
On January 13, 2020, the Postal Service filed a motion to dismiss the 
Complaint.\2\ Complainant responded to the Motion to Dismiss on January 
31, 2020.\3\
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    \1\ Complaint of Randall Ehrlich, December 23, 2019 (Complaint).
    \2\ United States Postal Service Motion to Dismiss with 
Prejudice the Complaint of Randall Ehrlich, January 13, 2020 (Motion 
to Dismiss).
    \3\ Response to Motion to Dismiss, January 31, 2020 (Response).
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    Chairman's Information Request No. 1 was issued on January 16, 
2020,\4\ which the Postal Service responded to on January 23, 2020.\5\ 
Chairman's Information Request No. 2 \6\ was issued February 4, 2020, 
to which the Postal Service responded on February 18, 2020,\7\ after 
requesting \8\ and receiving \9\ an extension of time to respond. 
Complainant replied to the Response to CHIR No. 2 on February 24, 
2020.\10\
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    \4\ Chairman's Information Request No. 1, January 16, 2020 (CHIR 
No. 1).
    \5\ Responses of the United States Postal Service to Questions 
No 1-2 of Chairman's Information Request No. 1, January 23, 2020 
(Response to CHIR No. 1).
    \6\ Chairman's Information Request No. 2, February 4, 2020 (CHIR 
No. 2).
    \7\ Response of the United States Postal Service to Questions 1-
4 of Chairman's Information Request No. 2, February 18, 2020 
(Response to CHIR No. 2).
    \8\ United States Postal Service Motion for Extension of Time to 
File Response to Questions 1-4 of Chairman's Information Request No. 
2, February 11, 2020 (Postal Service Motion).
    \9\ Order Granting Motion for Extension of Time to File 
Responses to Chairman's Information Request No. 2, February 12, 2020 
(Order No. 5425). Order No. 5425 also granted Complainant additional 
time to respond to the Postal Service's answers. Order No. 5425 at 
2.
    \10\ Response to USPS's Answers to Chairman Information Request 
No. 2, with Third Ehrlich Declaration, February 24, 2020 (Reply to 
CHIR No. 2 Responses).
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    On March 17, 2020, the Commission concluded that the Complaint 
raised material issues of fact, and therefore denied the Postal 
Service's Motion to Dismiss pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3662(b) and 39 CFR 
3030.30(a)(1).\11\ Additionally, the Commission appointed a Presiding 
Officer to set a procedural schedule and conduct limited discovery for 
the purpose of determining disputed issues of fact in the case.\12\ The 
Commission stated that the scope of the discovery proceeding would be 
limited only to fact-finding conducted by the Presiding Officer on 
specific issues of fact to resolve whether a violation of 39 U.S.C. 403 
occurred, namely:
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    \11\ Order Denying Postal Service Motion to Dismiss Complaint 
and Notice of Limited Formal Proceedings, March 17, 2020, at 7 
(Order No. 5455).
    \12\ Order No. 5455 at 8; see 39 CFR 3030.21.
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    1. Whether any dogs remain at Complainant's residence that are

[[Page 32430]]

aggressive or could be a threat to carrier safety.
    2. Whether postal management followed non-discriminatory processes 
in its continuance of a dog hold on Complainant's residence.
    3. Whether the alternate mailbox site proposed by the Complainant 
was a reasonable compromise between carrier safety and Complainant's 
security concerns.
    4. Whether the Complainant is obligated to comply with a mailbox 
relocation if there are no aggressive dogs remaining at his residence.
    5. Whether a locked mailbox at the mailbox site approved by the 
Postal Service would alleviate Complainant's security concerns.

Order No. 5455 at 8.

    On March 18, 2020, the Presiding Officer issued a ruling scheduling 
a prehearing teleconference between the parties and established initial 
case management procedures.\13\ The prehearing teleconference was held 
as scheduled.\14\ The Presiding Officer subsequently propounded the 
first set of interrogatories to the Complainant and to the Postal 
Service on April 16, 2020, pursuant to 39 CFR 3001.12(a), 3001.26(a), 
and 3001.27(a).\15\ Since then, the Presiding Officer has issued 
several other rulings modifying the procedural schedule and setting 
forth additional case management procedures.\16\
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    \13\ Presiding Officer's Ruling Scheduling Prehearing 
Teleconference and Establishing Initial Case Management Procedures, 
March 18, 2020.
    \14\ Notice of Posting of Recording, April 17, 2020.
    \15\ Certificate Regarding Discovery, April 16, 2020.
    \16\ Presiding Officer's Ruling Establishing Procedural Schedule 
and Additional Case Management Procedures, April 16, 2020; Presiding 
Officer's Ruling Denying Request for an Indefinite Abeyance and 
Granting 30-Day Extension of Procedural Deadlines, April 24, 2020; 
Presiding Officer's Ruling Adjusting Procedural Schedule, May 8, 
2020.
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II. Motion To Expand Issues

    On May 13, 2020, Complainant filed a motion \17\ requesting that 
the Commission expand the issues under consideration to include the 
following issues related to dog holds under the Seattle District 
Animal/Insect Policy (Policy):
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    \17\ Complainant's Motion to Expand Issues, May 13, 2020 
(Motion).
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    [1.] Whether the Policy, in blanketly stating that carriers shall 
not deliver mail to homes where dogs are kept only behind a screen or 
storm door, without consideration for the dog's age, sex, size, breed 
composition, sterilization status, degree of training, assistance 
animal legal status (protection under state or federal law, such as 
Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, or Washington Law 
Against Discrimination), animal control complaint history, adverse 
designation legal status, ambulatory capability or degree of 
incapacitation, weight, and other factors, illegally discriminates 
against postal customers without air conditioning or those who simply 
wish to enjoy a natural breeze inside their dwelling instead or 
artificially cooled air, rendering its continued enforcement violative 
of 39 U.S.C. 403(c).
    [2.] Whether the presence or supervision by the customer of the dog 
while behind the screen or storm door negates the foregoing Policy 
proscription, rendering its continued enforcement violative of 39 
U.S.C. 403(c).
    [3.] Whether a gate or secondary barrier behind the screen or storm 
door negates the foregoing Policy proscription, rendering its continued 
enforcement violative of 39 U.S.C. 403(c).
    [4.] Whether Mr. Ehrlich's carrier, Tonya Voisine, with or without 
USPS condonation, has engaged in retaliatory, harassing, and 
destructive behavior, which constitutes unreasonable or undue 
discrimination against Mr. Ehrlich in the course of delivering and 
retrieving his mailpieces in violation of 39 U.S.C. 403(c). Motion at 
2.
    In support of the Motion, Complainant submitted a declaration 
providing statements in support of his assertion that the Policy 
unreasonably discriminates against dog owners without air 
conditioning.\18\ He also reiterates his concern that the mail carrier 
assigned to his route would continue to ``tamper with, deface, and 
destroy'' his mail if she is not removed from the route. Third 
Declaration at 2. The Postal Service responded to the Motion on May 20, 
2020.\19\ The Postal Service urges that the Commission deny the Motion 
in its entirety. Opposition at 1. It asserts that expanding the scope 
of the proceeding beyond the limited issue of potential discrimination 
against the Complainant in the maintenance of a dog hold is contrary to 
the intent of Order No. 5455. Id. at 6. It also states that expanding 
the scope of issues under consideration is unnecessary because the 
Postal Service is taking steps to permanently restore mail delivery to 
the front porch mailbox at Complainant's residence. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ Third Declaration of Randall Ehrlich, May 13, 2020, at 2 
(Third Declaration).
    \19\ United States Postal Service's Opposition to Complainant's 
Motion to Expand Issues, May 20, 2020 (Opposition).
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II. Commission Analysis

    The Commission has previously stated that it lacks the jurisdiction 
to rule on internal postal personnel issues such as carrier assignments 
and disciplinary actions.\20\ The Motion and supporting Third 
Declaration seek to reintroduce the Complainant's prayer for removal of 
the mail carrier assigned to his route. Given the precedent on the 
Commission's lack of jurisdiction, it would be inappropriate to expand 
the issues considered to include those over which an appropriate remedy 
could not be granted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ See Docket No. C2015-2, Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, 
July 15, 2015 (Order No. 2585); Docket No. C2019-1, Order Granting 
Motion to Dismiss, December 12, 2018, at 11 (Order No. 4924) 
(``Complainant requests several remedies related to Postal Service 
personnel--including the removal of a letter carrier from her route 
as well as initiation of disciplinary actions, including the 
termination of several employees. . .[t]hese actions are outside the 
Commission's authority to grant relief. Labor and personnel 
decisions are the purview of the Postal Service as the postal 
operator.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Complainant also seeks to shift the focus of the Complaint away 
from a dispute between the Postal Service and himself, and introduce a 
referendum on the Postal Service's policy writ large. The Commission 
found discrete material issues that it referred to the Presiding 
Officer for resolution after careful examination of the Complaint and 
responses. Moreover, the Commission notes that the parties are in the 
midst of ongoing discovery under the direction and supervision of the 
Presiding Officer in an attempt to resolve those discrete issues. The 
extensive procedural history of this matter as well as the discovery 
already underway suggest that the Commission avoid expanding the scope 
of the issues under consideration at this juncture. If Complainant's 
allegations of undue discrimination vis a vis similarly situated dog 
owners are proven true, then the Commission could grant the relief of 
ordering restoration of porch delivery to the Complainant's residence 
without the introduction of the additional allegations. Whether the 
Complainant does or does not have air conditioning or the structure of 
his storm door are not necessary elements in obtaining the relief 
sought in his claim.
    Finally, the Postal Service alleges in its Opposition that it is 
taking steps to restore porch mailbox delivery to Complainant, thereby 
rendering his Motion moot. The Commission commends the Postal Service 
for taking steps towards resolving the issue but declines to rule on 
the mootness claim at this time.
    It is ordered:

[[Page 32431]]

    1. Complainant's Motion to Expand Issues, filed May 13, 2020, is 
denied.
    2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this Order in the 
Federal Register.

    By the Commission.
Erica A. Barker,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2020-11518 Filed 5-28-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P