City Attorney Herrera has been joined by a number of tenant advocacy groups in a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service over its new policy that deprives residents of single room occupancy hotels, or SROs, equal and adequate mail delivery in San Francisco. According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by Herrera and a coalition of tenant advocacy organizations, the new policy violates federal constitutional guarantees and the Postal Service's own regulations. Apart from the City, the Central City SRO Collaborative, the San Francisco Tenants Union, and the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco are represented by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic as co-plaintiffs in the litigation.
Said Herrera: "Forcing our poorest residents to bear the brunt of budget cutbacks is not only immoral -- in this case, it's also illegal. Inadequate and unequal mail delivery can cause devastating hardships on SRO residents, and our investigation has documented heart-breaking consequences of undelivered checks, medical notices, appointment information, personal letters and official correspondence. There is no basis in the law or in postal regulations for this discriminatory practice. I am enormously grateful to the Central City SRO Collaborative for their leadership on the issue and their assistance in our investigation and lawsuit. I am also thankful to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, the San Francisco Tenants Union, and the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco for joining us in this important litigation."
News Releases and Pleadings
- Read the City Attorney's news release, "Herrera set to sue U.S. Postal Service over mail delivery to SRO tenants; Demand letter requested by U.S. Attorney's Office details causes of action and heart-rending hardships; sets May 1 deadline for federal lawsuit" (Apr. 16, 2009)
- Download the PDF of the City Attorney's SRO Mail Delivery Demand Letter Presskit (Apr. 16, 2009)
- Read the City Attorney's news release, "Herrera, tenant groups sue U.S. Postal Service over mail delivery to SRO residents; New USPS policy halts secure mail service to individual tenants, inflicts devastating hardships on many low-income San Franciscans" (May 5, 2009)
- Download the PDF of the City Attorney's and THC's SRO Mail Delivery Lawsuit Presskit (May 5, 2009)
- Download the PDF of the U.S. Attorney's Motion to Dismiss on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service (July 27, 2009)
- Download the PDF of the City Attorney's and THC's Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (Aug. 11, 2009)
- Download the PDF of the U.S. Attorney's Reply Brief to City's and THC's Opposition (Aug. 18, 2009)