Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 336 (is) To curb deceptive and misleading games of chance mailings, to provide Federal agencies with additional investigative tools to police such mailings, to establish additional penalties for such mailings, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Sen...

S. 336 (is) To curb deceptive and misleading games of chance mailings, to provide Federal agencies with additional investigative tools to police such mailings, to establish additional penalties for such mailings, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Sen...


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                                                       Calendar No. 191
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 335

                          [Report No. 106-102]

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


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            February 3, 1999

  Ms. Collins (for herself, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Levin, Mr. Durbin,  Mr. 
Burns, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Edwards, 
   Mr. Biden, Ms. Mikulski, Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Enzi, Mrs. Murray, Mr. 
    Cleland, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Kohl, Mr. Chafee, Mr. Sessions, Mr. 
 Johnson, Mr. Thurmond, Mr. Helms, Mr. Robb, Mr. Specter, Mr. Graham, 
    Mr. Dodd, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Roth, Mr. 
 Thompson, Mr. Reid, and Mr. Sarbanes) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental 
                                Affairs

                              July 1, 1999

  Reported by Mr. Thompson, with an amendment and an amendment to the 
                                 title
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, to provide for the 
nonmailability of certain deceptive matter relating to games of chance, 
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,

<DELETED>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act may be cited as the ``Deceptive Mail Prevention 
and Enforcement Act''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 2. RESTRICTIONS ON MAILINGS USING INFERENCES TO THE 
              UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Section 3001 of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) in subsection (h) in the first sentence--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) by inserting after ``service; and 
                contains'' the following: ``any reference to the 
                Postmaster General of the United States or a citation 
                to Federal statute,'';</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) by striking ``connection, approval or 
                endorsement'' and inserting ``connection, approval, or 
                endorsement, or that such matter is afforded any 
                special protections or status by the Federal 
                Government'';</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) in paragraph (2)--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) in subparagraph (A) by 
                        striking ``and'' at the end;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) in subparagraph (B) by 
                        striking ``or'' at the end and inserting 
                        ``and''; and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iii) by inserting after 
                        subparagraph (B) the following:</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(C) does not contain any statement that 
                implies that Federal Government benefits or services 
                will be affected by any purchase, non-purchase, 
                response, or non-response to such matter; 
                or'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) in subsection (i) in the first sentence--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) by inserting after ``service; and 
                contains'' the following: ``any reference to the 
                Postmaster General of the United States or a citation 
                to Federal statute,'';</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) by striking ``connection, approval or 
                endorsement'' and inserting ``connection, approval, or 
                endorsement, or that such matter is afforded any 
                special protections or status by the Federal 
                Government''; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) in paragraph (2)--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) in subparagraph (A) by 
                        striking ``and'' at the end;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) in subparagraph (B) by 
                        striking ``or'' at the end and inserting 
                        ``and''; and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iii) by inserting after 
                        subparagraph (B) the following:</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(C) does not contain any statement that 
                implies that Federal Government benefits or services 
                will be affected by any purchase, non-purchase, 
                response, or non-response to such matter; 
                or'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) by redesignating subsections (j) and (k) as 
        subsections (m) and (n), respectively; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) by inserting after subsection (i) the 
        following:</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(j)(1) Matter otherwise legally acceptable in the mails 
described under paragraph (2)--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(A) is nonmailable matter;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(B) shall not be carried or delivered by mail; 
        and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(C) shall be disposed of as the Postal Service 
        directs.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(2) Matter that is nonmailable matter referred to under 
paragraph (1) is any matter that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(A) constitutes a solicitation for the purchase 
        of any product that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(i) is produced by the United States 
                Government; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    ``(ii) may be obtained without cost from 
                the United States Government; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(B) does not contain a statement giving notice 
        of the information under subparagraph (A) (i) and 
        (ii).</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(3) The statement under paragraph (2)(B) shall be 
clearly and prominently displayed in conspicuous and legible type in 
such size and manner as the Postal Service shall prescribe by 
regulation.''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 3. RESTRICTIONS ON SWEEPSTAKES AND DECEPTIVE 
              MAILINGS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Section 3001 of title 39, United States Code, is amended 
by inserting after subsection (j) (as added by section 2(4) of this 
Act) the following:</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(k)(1) Matter otherwise legally acceptable in the mails 
that is nonmailable matter described under paragraph (2) shall not be 
carried or delivered by mail and may be disposed of as the Postal 
Service directs.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(2) Matter that is nonmailable matter referred to under 
paragraph (2) is any matter that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(A) relates to a sweepstakes, prize promotion, 
        or award; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(B)(i) does not contain a statement in the 
        mailing, including any rules or order form, that no purchase is 
        necessary to enter such sweepstakes, prize promotion, or 
        award;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(ii) indicates that individuals not purchasing 
        products may be disqualified from receiving future 
        mailings;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(iii) requires that an entry be accompanied by a 
        payment for a product ordered;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(iv) suggests that the odds of winning will be 
        increased by making a purchase;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(v) represents that an individual is a winner 
        unless that individual has won a prize;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(vi) does not state all terms and conditions of 
        a sweepstakes promotion, including the rules and entry 
        procedures for the sweepstakes, in language that is easy to 
        find, read, and understand;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(vii) does not clearly and conspicuously 
        disclose the name of the person mailing such matter and the 
        principal place of business of such person;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(viii) contains any statement that contradicts 
        or is inconsistent with contest rules, including any statement 
        qualifying, limiting, or explaining such rules in a manner 
        inconsistent with such rules;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(ix) does not contain contest rules that clearly 
        state the odds of winning all prizes, the quantity, estimated 
        retail value, and nature of all prizes, and the schedule of any 
        payments made over time;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(x) suggests or requires that the purchase of a 
        product will allow an entry to receive priority, or to be 
        eligible to receive additional prizes or special treatment for 
        future contests;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(xi) does not clearly and completely disclose 
        any fees, charges, and conditions to be met to receive the 
        prize in any promotional mailing awarding free prizes or 
        awards;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(xii) if any facsimile check is included, does 
        not contain a statement that such checks are not negotiable 
        instruments and have no cash value; or</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(xiii) does not meet any other requirement the 
        Postal Service shall prescribe by regulation.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(3) Any statement, notice, or disclaimer referred to 
under paragraph (2) shall be clearly and prominently displayed in 
conspicuous and legible type in such size and manner as the Postal 
Service shall prescribe by regulations.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(4) In the enforcement of paragraph (2), the Postal 
Service shall consider the materials included in the mailing and on the 
material and language visible through the envelope.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(5)(A) Any person who uses the mails for any matter that 
contains sweepstakes entry materials shall adopt reasonable practices 
and procedures to prevent the mailing of such materials to any person 
at any address who submits a written request to the mailer of such 
materials that such materials should not be mailed to such person at 
such address.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(B) Any person who mails such solicitation materials 
shall maintain or cause to be maintained a record of all such requests. 
The records shall be maintained in a form to permit the suppression of 
such name at such address for a 5-year period beginning on the date the 
written request under subparagraph (A) is submitted.''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 4. POSTAL SERVICE ORDERS TO PROHIBIT DECEPTIVE 
              MAILINGS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Section 3005(a) of title 39, United States Code, is 
amended--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) by striking ``or'' after ``(h),'' both places 
        it appears; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) by inserting ``, (j), (k), or (l)'' after 
        ``(i)'' in both such places.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 5. TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER FOR DECEPTIVE 
              MAILINGS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Section 3007 of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection 
        (c); and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the 
        following:</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(a)(1) In preparation for or during the pendency of 
proceedings under sections 3005 and 3006, the Postal Service, in 
accordance with section 409(d), may apply to the district court in any 
district in which mail is sent or received as part of the alleged 
scheme, device, lottery, or gift enterprise or in any district in which 
the defendant is found, for a temporary restraining order and 
preliminary injunction under rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil 
Procedure.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(2) Upon a showing of probable cause and without any 
further showing, the court shall enter an order which shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(A) remain in effect during pendency of the 
        statutory proceedings, any judicial review of such proceedings, 
        or any action to enforce orders issued under the proceedings; 
        and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(B) direct the detention by the postmaster, in 
        any and all districts, of the defendant's incoming mail and 
        outgoing mail, in furtherance of the scheme which is in the 
        postmaster's custody for dispatch or delivery.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(3) Mail detained under paragraph (2) shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(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</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(B) be delivered as addressed if such mail is 
        clearly not connected with the alleged unlawful 
        activity.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(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.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(b) If any order is issued under subsection (a) and the 
proceedings under section 3005 or 3006 are concluded with the issuance 
of an order under that section, any judicial review of the matter shall 
be in the district in which the order under subsection (a) was 
issued.''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 6. CIVIL PENALTIES.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Section 3012 of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) in subsection (a) by striking ``$10,000 for 
        each day that such person engages in conduct described by 
        paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection.'' and inserting 
        ``twice the amount of the civil penalty under subsection (b)(2) 
        for the applicable pieces mailed.'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) by redesignating subsections (b), (c), and 
        (d), as subsections (c), (d), and (e), respectively; 
        and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) by inserting after subsection (a) the 
        following:</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(b)(1) Any person who, through use of the mail, sends 
any matter which is nonmailable under sections 3001 (a) through (l), 
3005(a), 3014, or 3015 of this title, shall be liable to the United 
States for a civil penalty in accordance with regulations the Postal 
Service shall prescribe.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    ``(2) The civil penalty under this subsection shall not 
exceed $50,000 for each mailing of less than 50,000 pieces; $100,000 
for each mailing of 50,000 to 100,000 pieces; with an additional 
$10,000 for each additional 10,000 pieces above 100,000, not to exceed 
$2,000,000.'';</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) in subsection (c)(1) and (2), as redesignated, 
        by inserting after ``of subsection (a)'' the following: ``or 
        (b),''; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) in subsection (d), as redesignated, by 
        striking ``Treasury of the United States'' and inserting 
        ``Postal Service Fund established by section 2003''.</DELETED>

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