USPS loses court action over stamp price increases

A US federal court has ruled a 5 cent increase to the price of a US Postal Service (USPS) first-class stamp unlawful, as with other adjustments made in January to first-class mail prices.

A non-practicing lawyer Douglas Carlson filed the complaint in December and pursued the case on his own.

The District of Colombia Circuit US Court of Appeals panel of three judges ruled last week that the postal regulatory commission failed to provide an adequate explanation for the increase from 50 to 55 cents. The court rules that it hd also failed to respond to public comments that challenged the increase.

A U.S. Postal Service spokesman says the service is reviewing the decision and considering its legal options. Spokesman David Partenheimer confirmed that at this time customers will still be charged the new January rates for first-class mail, including 55 cents for a Forever Stamp.

“Although the 5-cent stamp price hike may have gone unnoticed by many, the American Revolution was fomented in part by ordinary people who objected to taxation through stamps,” U.S. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao wrote in a unanimous 26-page rebuke to an increase adopted in January. The court ruled that the increase was arbitrary and capricious.

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