Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 335 (es) To amend chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, to provide for the nonmailability of certain deceptive matter relating to sweepstakes, skill contests, facsimile checks, administrative procedures, orders, and civil penalties relating to su...

S. 335 (es) To amend chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, to provide for the nonmailability of certain deceptive matter relating to sweepstakes, skill contests, facsimile checks, administrative procedures, orders, and civil penalties relating to su...


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        S.335

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE FIRST SESSION

         Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,
   the sixth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine


                                 An Act


 
To amend chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, to provide for the 
  nonmailability of certain deceptive matter relating to sweepstakes, 
skill contests, facsimile checks, administrative procedures, orders, and 
    civil penalties relating to such matter, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Table of contents.

           TITLE I--DECEPTIVE MAIL PREVENTION AND ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 101. Short title.
Sec. 102. Restrictions on mailings using misleading references to the 
          United States Government.
Sec. 103. Restrictions on sweepstakes and deceptive mailings.
Sec. 104. Postal service orders to prohibit deceptive mailings.
Sec. 105. Temporary restraining order for deceptive mailings.
Sec. 106. Civil penalties and costs.
Sec. 107. Administrative subpoenas.
Sec. 108. Requirements of promoters of skill contests or sweepstakes 
          mailings.
Sec. 109. State law not preempted.
Sec. 110. Technical and conforming amendments.
Sec. 111. Effective date.

         TITLE II--FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD RETIREMENT PORTABILITY

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Portability of service credit.
Sec. 203. Certain transfers to be treated as a separation from service 
          for purposes of the thrift savings plan.
Sec. 204. Clarifying amendments.

TITLE III--AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES 
                               ACT OF 1949

Sec. 301. Transfer of certain property to State and local governments.

           TITLE I--DECEPTIVE MAIL PREVENTION AND ENFORCEMENT

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Deceptive Mail Prevention and 
Enforcement Act''.
    SEC. 102. RESTRICTIONS ON MAILINGS USING MISLEADING REFERENCES TO 
      THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
    Section 3001 of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
        (1) in subsection (h)--
            (A) in the first sentence by striking ``contains a seal, 
        insignia, trade or brand name, or any other term or symbol that 
        reasonably could be interpreted or construed as implying any 
        Federal Government connection, approval or endorsement'' and 
        inserting the following: ``which reasonably could be 
        interpreted or construed as implying any Federal Government 
        connection, approval, or endorsement through the use of a seal, 
        insignia, reference to the Postmaster General, citation to a 
        Federal statute, name of a Federal agency, department, 
        commission, or program, trade or brand name, or any other term 
        or symbol; or contains any reference to the Postmaster General 
        or a citation to a Federal statute that misrepresents either 
        the identity of the mailer or the protection or status afforded 
        such matter by the Federal Government''; and
            (B) in paragraph (2)--
                (i) in subparagraph (A) by striking ``and'' at the end;
                (ii) in subparagraph (B) by striking ``or'' at the end 
            and inserting ``and''; and
                (iii) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the 
            following:
            ``(C) such matter does not contain a false representation 
        stating or implying that Federal Government benefits or 
        services will be affected by any purchase or nonpurchase; or'';
        (2) in subsection (i) in the first sentence--
            (A) in the first sentence by striking ``contains a seal, 
        insignia, trade or brand name, or any other term or symbol that 
        reasonably could be interpreted or construed as implying any 
        Federal Government connection, approval or endorsement'' and 
        inserting the following: ``which reasonably could be 
        interpreted or construed as implying any Federal Government 
        connection, approval, or endorsement through the use of a seal, 
        insignia, reference to the Postmaster General, citation to a 
        Federal statute, name of a Federal agency, department, 
        commission, or program, trade or brand name, or any other term 
        or symbol; or contains any reference to the Postmaster General 
        or a citation to a Federal statute that misrepresents either 
        the identity of the mailer or the protection or status afforded 
        such matter by the Federal Government''; and
            (B) in paragraph (2)--
                (i) in subparagraph (A) by striking ``and'' at the end;
                (ii) in subparagraph (B) by striking ``or'' at the end 
            and inserting ``and''; and
                (iii) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the 
            following:
            ``(C) such matter does not contain a false representation 
        stating or implying that Federal Government benefits or 
        services will be affected by any contribution or 
        noncontribution; or'';
        (3) by redesignating subsections (j) and (k) as subsections (m) 
    and (n), respectively; and
        (4) by inserting after subsection (i) the following:
    ``(j)(1) Any matter otherwise legally acceptable in the mails which 
is described in paragraph (2) is nonmailable matter, shall not be 
carried or delivered by mail, and shall be disposed of as the Postal 
Service directs.
    ``(2) Matter described in this paragraph is any matter that--
        ``(A) constitutes a solicitation for the purchase of or payment 
    for any product or service that--
            ``(i) is provided by the Federal Government; and
            ``(ii) may be obtained without cost from the Federal 
        Government; and
        ``(B) does not contain a clear and conspicuous statement giving 
    notice of the information set forth in clauses (i) and (ii) of 
    subparagraph (A).''.
    SEC. 103. RESTRICTIONS ON SWEEPSTAKES AND DECEPTIVE MAILINGS.
    Section 3001 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting after subsection (j) (as added by section 102(4)) the 
following:
    ``(k)(1) In this subsection--
        ``(A) the term `clearly and conspicuously displayed' means 
    presented in a manner that is readily noticeable, readable, and 
    understandable to the group to whom the applicable matter is 
    disseminated;
        ``(B) the term `facsimile check' means any matter that--
            ``(i) is designed to resemble a check or other negotiable 
        instrument; but
            ``(ii) is not negotiable;
        ``(C) the term `skill contest' means a puzzle, game, 
    competition, or other contest in which--
            ``(i) a prize is awarded or offered;
            ``(ii) the outcome depends predominately on the skill of 
        the contestant; and
            ``(iii) a purchase, payment, or donation is required or 
        implied to be required to enter the contest; and
        ``(D) the term `sweepstakes' means a game of chance for which 
    no consideration is required to enter.
    ``(2) Except as provided in paragraph (4), any matter otherwise 
legally acceptable in the mails which is described in paragraph (3) is 
nonmailable matter, shall not be carried or delivered by mail, and 
shall be disposed of as the Postal Service directs.
    ``(3) Matter described in this paragraph is any matter that--
        ``(A)(i) includes entry materials for a sweepstakes or a 
    promotion that purports to be a sweepstakes; and
        ``(ii)(I) does not contain a statement that discloses in the 
    mailing, in the rules, and on the order or entry form, that no 
    purchase is necessary to enter such sweepstakes;
        ``(II) does not contain a statement that discloses in the 
    mailing, in the rules, and on the order or entry form, that a 
    purchase will not improve an individual's chances of winning with 
    such entry;
        ``(III) does not state all terms and conditions of the 
    sweepstakes promotion, including the rules and entry procedures for 
    the sweepstakes;
        ``(IV) does not disclose the sponsor or mailer of such matter 
    and the principal place of business or an address at which the 
    sponsor or mailer may be contacted;
        ``(V) does not contain sweepstakes rules that state--
            ``(aa) the estimated odds of winning each prize;
            ``(bb) the quantity, estimated retail value, and nature of 
        each prize; and
            ``(cc) the schedule of any payments made over time;
        ``(VI) represents that individuals not purchasing products or 
    services may be disqualified from receiving future sweepstakes 
    mailings;
        ``(VII) requires that a sweepstakes entry be accompanied by an 
    order or payment for a product or service previously ordered;
        ``(VIII) represents that an individual is a winner of a prize 
    unless that individual has won such prize; or
        ``(IX) contains a representation that contradicts, or is 
    inconsistent with sweepstakes rules or any other disclosure 
    required to be made under this subsection, including any statement 
    qualifying, limiting, or explaining the rules or disclosures in a 
    manner inconsistent with such rules or disclosures;
        ``(B)(i) includes entry materials for a skill contest or a 
    promotion that purports to be a skill contest; and
        ``(ii)(I) does not state all terms and conditions of the skill 
    contest, including the rules and entry procedures for the skill 
    contest;
        ``(II) does not disclose the sponsor or mailer of the skill 
    contest and the principal place of business or an address at which 
    the sponsor or mailer may be contacted; or
        ``(III) does not contain skill contest rules that state, as 
    applicable--
            ``(aa) the number of rounds or levels of the contest and 
        the cost to enter each round or level;
            ``(bb) that subsequent rounds or levels will be more 
        difficult to solve;
            ``(cc) the maximum cost to enter all rounds or levels;
            ``(dd) the estimated number or percentage of entrants who 
        may correctly solve the skill contest or the approximate number 
        or percentage of entrants correctly solving the past 3 skill 
        contests conducted by the sponsor;
            ``(ee) the identity or description of the qualifications of 
        the judges if the contest is judged by other than the sponsor;
            ``(ff) the method used in judging;
            ``(gg) the date by which the winner or winners will be 
        determined and the date or process by which prizes will be 
        awarded;
            ``(hh) the quantity, estimated retail value, and nature of 
        each prize; and
            ``(ii) the schedule of any payments made over time; or
        ``(C) includes any facsimile check that does not contain a 
    statement on the check itself that such check is not a negotiable 
    instrument and has no cash value.
    ``(4) Matter that appears in a magazine, newspaper, or other 
periodical shall be exempt from paragraph (2) if such matter--
        ``(A) is not directed to a named individual; or
        ``(B) does not include an opportunity to make a payment or 
    order a product or service.
    ``(5) Any statement, notice, or disclaimer required under paragraph 
(3) shall be clearly and conspicuously displayed. Any statement, 
notice, or disclaimer required under subclause (I) or (II) of paragraph 
(3)(A)(ii) shall be displayed more conspicuously than would otherwise 
be required under the preceding sentence.
    ``(6) In the enforcement of paragraph (3), the Postal Service shall 
consider all of the materials included in the mailing and the material 
and language on and visible through the envelope or outside cover or 
wrapper in which those materials are mailed.
    ``(l)(1) Any person who uses the mails for any matter to which 
subsection (h), (i), (j), or (k) applies shall adopt reasonable 
practices and procedures to prevent the mailing of such matter to any 
person who, personally or through a conservator, guardian, or 
individual with power of attorney--
        ``(A) submits to the mailer of such matter a written request 
    that such matter should not be mailed to such person; or
        ``(B)(i) submits such a written request to the attorney general 
    of the appropriate State (or any State government officer who 
    transmits the request to that attorney general); and
        ``(ii) that attorney general transmits such request to the 
    mailer.
    ``(2) Any person who mails matter to which subsection (h), (i), 
(j), or (k) applies shall maintain or cause to be maintained a record 
of all requests made under paragraph (1). The records shall be 
maintained in a form to permit the suppression of an applicable name at 
the applicable address for a 5-year period beginning on the date the 
written request under paragraph (1) is submitted to the mailer.''.
    SEC. 104. POSTAL SERVICE ORDERS TO PROHIBIT DECEPTIVE MAILINGS.
    Section 3005(a) of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
        (1) by striking ``or'' after ``(h),'' each place it appears; 
    and
        (2) by inserting ``, (j), or (k)'' after ``(i)'' each place it 
    appears.
    SEC. 105. TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER FOR DECEPTIVE MAILINGS.
    (a) In General.--Section 3007 of title 39, United States Code, is 
amended--
        (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c); and
        (2) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
    ``(a)(1) In preparation for or during the pendency of proceedings 
under section 3005, the Postal Service may, under the provisions of 
section 409(d), apply to the district court in any district in which 
mail is sent or received as part of the alleged scheme, device, 
lottery, gift enterprise, sweepstakes, skill contest, or facsimile 
check or in any district in which the defendant is found, for a 
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction under the 
procedural requirements of rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil 
Procedure.
    ``(2)(A) Upon a proper showing, the court shall enter an order 
which shall--
        ``(i) remain in effect during the pendency of the statutory 
    proceedings, any judicial review of such proceedings, or any action 
    to enforce orders issued under the proceedings; and
        ``(ii) direct the detention by the postmaster, in any and all 
    districts, of the defendant's incoming mail and outgoing mail, 
    which is the subject of the proceedings under section 3005.
    ``(B) A proper showing under this paragraph shall require proof of 
a likelihood of success on the merits of the proceedings under section 
3005.
    ``(3) Mail detained under paragraph (2) shall--
        ``(A) be made available at the post office of mailing or 
    delivery for examination by the defendant in the presence of a 
    postal employee; and
        ``(B) be delivered as addressed if such mail is not clearly 
    shown to be the subject of proceedings under section 3005.
    ``(4) No finding of the defendant's intent to make a false 
representation or to conduct a lottery is required to support the 
issuance of an order under this section.
    ``(b) If any order is issued under subsection (a) and the 
proceedings under section 3005 are concluded with the issuance of an 

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