SEATTLE - A Washington state man is suing the United States Postal Service after he says they haven’t delivered mail to his house for years because his previous dog, now dead, was deemed too threatening, according to KCPQ-TV.
Ballard homeowner Randall Ehrlich says his mail blackout has lasted nearly a decade. He is now suing the USPS for being on a “dog hold” that prevents him from receiving mail.
“The regular mail carrier will not deliver to my residence,” Ehrlich said. “They keep on bringing it back to dogs. And I just want to get my mail,” said Ehrlich.
Despite his dog's death, nothing has changed – even when there was no dog living in the house, or now, with his current dog, low-key canine Ilsa.
Since the slot is next to his door, Ehrlich even tried to find a compromise by installing a mailbox near his sidewalk. No luck.
Bellingham animal attorney Adam Karp is now helping Ehrlich file a lawsuit against the government. “It is not a very common complaint that I get,” Karp said. “So essentially, they make the decisions unilaterally and there's no appeal from that.”
It's unclear if it's just one mail carrier to blame, but other neighbors say they've also found themselves on the "dog hold" list. The post office wouldn't comment because of the lawsuit.
They did issue this statement:
"It is important to note that the safety of our employees is paramount at the U.S. Postal Service when we make operational decisions affecting customer service and delivery practices.”
Michael Offield, a former postal service safety advocate who made decisions similar to the Ballard situation told KCPQ that this case is extraordinary.
“Oh god,” he said, laughing as he put his head in his hands while speaking with KCPQ.
He agreed with Ehrlich's attorney that there were some personal problems at the Ballard USPS in his day and thinks this might just be laziness to save a few seconds every day on the route.
KCPQ spoke with a neighbor, Lisa Sorensen, who has a similar house, mailbox and dog – but has no problem receiving her mail. "We've tried to stay on the good side, to be honest, to keep getting our mail,” Sorensen said.
Ehrlich's case is now heading to court.
“I'd rather not be doing this. I'd rather just be getting my mail," Ehrlich said. "I've found no other recourse.”