Whoever, without authority, opens, or destroys any mail or package of newspapers not directed to him, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
18 U.S. Code § 1703. Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 318, 319 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §§ 195, 196, 35 Stat. 1125, 1126).
Section consolidated sections 318 and 319 of said title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed. The embezzlement and theft provisions of each were incorporated in sections 1709 and 1710 of this title.
Minor changes were made in phraseology.
This section [section 37] corrects typographical errors in section 1703 of title 18, U.S.C.
1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $500” in subsec. (a) and “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $100” in last par.
1970—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91–375, § 6(j)(16)(A), amended subsec. (a) generally, which prior to amendment read as follows: “Whoever, being a postmaster or Postal Service employee, unlawfully detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail intrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General; or secretes, or destroys any such letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
1949—Subsec. (a). Act May 24, 1949, § 37(a), substituted “secretes” for “secrets”.
Subsec. (b). Act May 24, 1949, § 37(b), substituted “newspapers” for “newspaper”.
Amendment by Pub. L. 91–375 effective within 1 year after Aug. 12, 1970, on date established therefor by Board of Governors of United States Postal Service and published by it in Federal Register, see section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91–375, set out as an Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal Service.