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TEDESCO v. USPS

January 17, 1983

ALAN J. TEDESCO, SANDEE CLAYPOOL, FRANK PETRONE, BARRY WEBSTER, FRANKLIN BLACKSTONE, JOSEPH ELSTNER and CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, a second class township, Butler County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: COHILL

 This case turns on a construction of certain provisions of the Postal Reorganization Act, 39 U.S.C. §§ 101-5605 (1976), (hereinafter the "Postal Reorganization Act"). The plaintiffs are individual residents of Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, who have been trying to convince the Postal Service to establish a post office in their township for more than two years. Having failed to persuade the Postal Service, the plaintiffs commenced this suit, alleging that the Postal Service has violated its duty to provide "prompt, reliable and efficient" service. 39 U.S.C. § 101. The Postal Service has moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. For the reasons which follow, we believe that this court lacks jurisdiction to consider the plaintiffs' service-related complaint and will accordingly dismiss the complaint.

 The plaintiffs allege that 28 U.S.C. § 1339 and 39 U.S.C. § 409(a) provide us with jurisdiction over the complaint.

 28 U.S.C. § 1339 provides that:

 
The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to the postal service.

 39 U.S.C. § 409(a) provides that:

 
Except as provided in section 3628 of this title, the United States district courts shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction over all actions brought by or against the Postal Service. Any action brought in a State court to which the Postal Service is a party may be removed to the appropriate United States district court under the provisions of chapter 89 of title 28.

 While these sections do give the district courts general jurisdiction over cases involving Postal Service, they do not purport to create a cause of action of their own force. Unless the plaintiffs can direct us to a statute or regulation creating the right they seek to enforce, we have no jurisdiction over the subject matter of their dispute with the Postal Service.

 The plaintiffs maintain that the provisions of 39 U.S.C. § 101(a), (e) and (g), 39 U.S.C. § 403(b)(3) and 39 U.S.C. § 404(a)(3), impose duties upon the Postal Service which, if breached, give rise to a federal cause of action.

 39 U.S.C. § 101(a), (e) and (g) state that:

 
(a) The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.
 
. . . .
 
(e) In determining all policies for postal services, the Postal Service shall give the highest consideration to the requirement for the most expeditious collection, transportation, and delivery of important mail.
 
(g) In planning and building new postal facilities, the Postal Service shall emphasize the need for facilities and equipment designed to create desirable working conditions for its officers and employees, a maximum degree of convenience for efficient postal services, proper access to existing and future air ...

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