Governor Bullock Sues Postmaster General Over Unlawful Changes to Mail Delivery, Irreparable Harm in Montana
Governor Steve Bullock today filed a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for unlawful actions that have directly harmed Montanans by impeding the flow of mail, including medical prescriptions, replacement parts for farm machines, utility bills, stimulus checks, application materials, and other essential communications.
“Since becoming Postmaster General in June, Louis DeJoy has taken steps to undermine an institution that since this nation’s founding has defied the odds and delivered the mail. In Montana, we’re not giving up the fight to ensure timely mail delivery,” said Governor Bullock. “State agencies in Montana rely on the Post Office to serve Montanans from every walk of life, Montanans rely on the Post Office for the timely delivery of essential goods and services, Montana veterans and seniors rely on the mail for the delivery of life-saving medication, and small businesses in Montana rely on the mail to remain competitive.”
The suit challenges unlawful actions that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Postal Service have taken that are designed to delay and obstruct the delivery of mail. The resulting delay affects state communications with Montanans, medical prescriptions, payments, application materials for jobs and educational opportunities, important supplies for farming and ranching, and other communications, not to mention the certainty that such delays will interfere with Montanans’ ability to vote in the upcoming November election in the midst of a global pandemic.
Recent changes in Postal Service policies such as eliminating overtime pay for certain postal workers, instructing carriers to leave mail behind in certain situations, decommissioning sorting machines, removing mailboxes, reducing operating hours, and changing how election mail is classified and charged have delayed the mail. Under DeJoy, the Postal Service has also removed mail drop boxes and dismantled large sorting machines in Montana. Slowdowns in the delivery of mail particularly affect older Montanans, and people who are living in rural farming and ranching communities, as well as on tribal land.
The suit points out that the Postal Service failed to follow the required procedures for making policy changes.
Governor Bullock is asking that the court declare DeJoy’s Postal Service policy changes unlawful, permanently enjoin DeJoy and the Postal Service from implementing or continuing to implement the harmful actions, and immediately require DeJoy and the Postal Service to take steps to undo the unlawful actions.
The governor’s complaint is attached.