Summary: S.450 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (11/03/1983)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Mail Order Consumer Protection Amendments of 1983 - Authorizes the United States Postal Service to issue an order requiring any person to cease and desist from conducting a lottery or scheme for obtaining money or property by false representations through the mail.

Authorizes the Postmaster General, in conducting an investigation to determine whether a person is engaged in such prohibited activity, to tender the price requested for an article or service offered through the mail. Declares that failure to provide an article or service after the price is tendered by the Postal Service may be considered in a hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that a prohibited activity has occurred. Sets forth provisions governing the conduct of a person tendering an offer on behalf of the Postal Service.

Declares that mailing an advertisement promoting the sale of a publication or a solicitation to purchase, or a purchase order for, such a publication is not prohibited if: (1) the advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order is not false or misleading and contains no material misrepresentation of fact; (2) the advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order discloses the source of any statements derived from or about the publication; and (3) the publication, advertisement, solicitation, or purchase order is not used to sell some other product in which the publisher or author has a financial interest as part of a commercial scheme.

Establishes a civil penalty that may be assessed against any person who: (1) attempts to evade an order directing a postmaster to return mail addressed to such person or prohibiting a postmaster from paying a money order from, or to, such person; (2) fails to comply with a cease and desist order; or (3) assists any person to evade or not to comply with any such order. Authorizes the Postal Service to commence a civil action to enforce such a penalty in the U.S. district court for the district in which the defendant resides or receives mail. Entitles such a defendant to seek judicial review of the order issued.

Requires the Postmaster General to submit semiannual reports on the investigative activities of the Postal Service to the Board of Governors of the Postal Service. Directs the Board to transmit such reports, upon approval, to Congress.

Directs the Postmaster General to conduct and report to Congress on a program to educate consumers concerning schemes involving false representations through the mail.