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Staff photo, Brooke Self
Maggie Nguyen's mailbox located on the porch of her property has posed an issue for her mail delivery in Barstow.

Mail delivery goes awry for one local resident

Postal Service withholds mail for three months

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW • U.S. Navy veteran Maggie Nguyen moved to Barstow from the Bay Area in early December 2012 to work as a human resources assistant at Fort Irwin.

Her new home on Flora Street is a “fixer upper” she said, but upon moving she was not expecting what would transpire regarding her mail delivery.

Nguyen said she hasn’t received any mail at her new residence for three months. The United States Postal Service is withholding the service claiming she arbitrarily moved her mailbox without approval.

Nguyen said her mailbox has been located near her front porch since she moved in. She cites photos from the real estate website Zillow.com that show photos of her home just before her move with her mailbox at the identical location.

“I’m not going to move my mailbox. This is based on principle,” Nguyen said. “They’re a government entity and after all of this they are blatantly lying.”

In a notice to Nguyen dated Dec. 15, 2012, five days after she said she moved in, the local post office requested that she move the mailbox next to the street in order to standardize curbside delivery for the mail carrier. But Nguyen points to her next door neighbor’s house on the left that has a mailbox also located on their porch.

“I’ve seen the mail carrier walk across my property when she’s not even delivering my mail so I assume she is delivering to my neighbor,” she said.

Nguyen said the Postal Service has changed their position, first stating that her mail receptacle was not in compliance and later stating they’re requiring all new residents to move their mailbox to the street.

After sending a letter to the Postal Service Customer Affairs Manager in Southern California, Nguyen said she learned Postal Operation Manual, Section 631.6 states that residents can retain their current mode of delivery when buying a new residence.

Postal Service spokeswoman Eva Jackson said curbside mail delivery was what was established at Nguyen’s address prior to her moving in. Jackson also said Nguyen approached her local post office in Barstow in November before moving in and requested to move the receptacle to her porch but was denied her request.

Nguyen said she never approached the post office with that request.

Jackson said they too have a photo of her home showing a white iron rod post in the ground near the street curb where a mailbox was presumably situated.

“This was the delivery point for this address when the previous resident lived there,” Jackson wrote in an email. “Postal delivery guidelines do not allow for residents to change their mode of delivery unilaterally.”

Jackson also said that if Nguyen didn’t move the mailbox as she has stated, at some point in the time between the former residents moving out and Nguyen moving into the residence at Flora Street, the mailbox was moved.

Meanwhile, Nguyen said she is making due without her mail delivery, although it’s a slight inconvenience.

“I pay all my bills online now,” she said. “I found out I can even pay my property tax online; they are making themselves extinct.”

However, Nguyen said she’s not done fighting for her position. She hopes to contact the U.S. Postmaster General in Washington, D.C. and has already had correspondence with Congressman Paul Cook.


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