Is it a Federal Offense to open some else's mail delivered to the wrong address?

Asked about 2 years ago - Katy, TX

My ex husband received (at his address) an important letter sent to me by my insurance company, and opened it! This letter contained personal informations, including my account details. Was my ex husband in his rights to open my mail, instead of re-posting it to me?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Joshua Sabert Lowther


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Federal law prohibits the theft of mail or the obstruction of its delivery, among other things, but interestingly, there is no federal statute that prohibits the opening of lawfully delivered mail. However, there are criminal penalties for the misuse of the information gained from the opening of lawfully obtained mail, such as aggravated identity theft, etc.

    Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

  2. Robert David Richman

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are federal offenses that arguably could cover this conduct, but it is very common to open someone else's mail by accident when it is delivered to you. No prosecutor would bother with such a trivial case. Your time would be better spent notifying your various accounts of your change of address.

    This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any... more
  3. Adam Gregory Masserang

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . There are some laws which might cover it but, if he has turned the mail over to you, I wouldn't hold my breath. This changes if he does something inappropriate with the contents or information.

    Your priority should be to contact your insurance company (and any other accounts which may have the same error) and make sure they update your records.

    For a consultation, e-mail to set up an appointment. This answer is provided based on limited... more

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