Congress requires the Postal Service to follow specific procedures and to
consider certain factors before making a Final Determination to close or consolidate a
post office. When a patron appeals a Final Determination, the Postal Regulatory
Commission (Commission) must decide whether the Postal Service's closure or
consolidation of a post office is consistent with the law. The Commission may not
change the Postal Service's Final Determination. It may only (1) affirm the
determination, or (2) remand the entire matter to the Postal Service for further
You may assist the Commission in its consideration of your appeal by sending a
written statement explaining why you believe that the Postal Service has not complied
with the law. Enclosed please find a Participant Statement form, which you may use to
present your written argument. The purpose of the Participant Statement is the same
as a formal brief, which is to point out issues that you believe the Commission should
consider in its review of the Postal Service's actions. You may also identify items in the
Administrative Record that support your position. You are not required to use this form.
You may file a Participant Statement as well as a formal brief.
The Commission may remand a Final Determination if the Postal Service (1) fails
to follow proper procedure, or (2) fails to provide a written record of its actions that is
adequate to support its decision. The legal language that specifies how the
Commission evaluates a Final Determination appears under the heading “Postal
Regulatory Commission Authority” below. General examples of some reasons for
remand would be:
1. The Postal Service did not follow the procedure required by law;
2. The Postal Service did not adequately consider certain issues it is
required to consider;
3. The facts relied on by the Postal Service have not been established;
4. The facts in the Postal Service's Final Determination are true, but they do
not prove what the Postal Service says they prove; or
5. The Final Determination does not resolve conflicts in the Administrative
Print Form
Instructions for Form 61
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When investigating a post office for possible closing or consolidation, the Postal
Service keeps a record of all the actions it takes (such as soliciting comments or holding
a community meeting) and all the facts it considers in reaching a decision on whether to
close or consolidate the post office. This record is called the Administrative Record.
The Administrative Record also contains the Proposal, the Final Determination, and
other documents the Postal Service collects during its investigation. You should
review the Administrative Record before preparing your Participant Statement,
and you should provide references to it to support the arguments and assertions in your
Participant Statement.
When considering appeals of Final Determinations to close or consolidate post
offices, the Commission is limited to "appellate jurisdiction." As a result, the
Commission cannot conduct its own fact-finding investigation and must consider
appeals based solely upon the Administrative Record. Postal Service regulations
require that a copy of the Administrative Record be available at affected post
offices (i.e., wherever the Final Determination is posted) for 30 days after the Final
Determination is first posted. If an appeal is filed, the Administrative Record remains
available at the affected post offices, and all documents filed with the Commission
relating to the appeal will be posted at the affected post offices. Affected post
offices include the post office to be closed or consolidated, the proposed supervising
post office, and any post office likely to serve a significant number of customers of the
post office to be closed or consolidated.
In keeping with its responsibility to operate the nation's mail system, the Postal
Service has been given considerable authority over the operations of post offices. This
authority includes the power to decide whether a post office should be closed or
consolidated. However, before reaching a decision to close or consolidate a post office,
the Postal Service must follow a procedure set up by law, and it must take account of
certain specific effects of such an action.
The law sets out steps the Postal Service must take before it closes or
consolidates a post office. Prior to making a determination as to the necessity of
closing or consolidating any post office, the Postal Service must provide adequate
notice of its intention to close or consolidate the post office. Notice must be given at
least 60 days prior to the proposed date of closing or consolidation to persons served by
the post office. This is to insure that such persons have an opportunity to present their
views. The Postal Service calls the "notice of its intention to close or consolidate" the
"Proposal." During the 60 days, patrons are invited to give the Postal Service their
comments on the proposed closing or consolidation.
Instructions for Form 61
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The Postal Service calls its decision to close or consolidate a post office the
"Final Determination." Any Final Determination of the Postal Service to close or
consolidate a post office must be in writing and must include the findings of the Postal
Service with respect to certain specific factors. The Final Determination and findings
must be made available to persons served by the post office. The Postal Service may
not close or consolidate a post office until 60 days after its written Final Determination is
made available to persons served by the post office.
In addition to following the required procedure, the Postal Service must also
consider certain factors. The Postal Service must consider:
(A) the effect of the closing or consolidation on the community served by that
post office;
(B) the effect of the closing or consolidation on employees of the Postal
Service employed at that office;
(C) whether the closing or consolidation is consistent with the policy of the
Government that the Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of
effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and
small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining;
(D) the economic savings to the Postal Service resulting from the closing or
consolidation; and
(E) such other factors as the Postal Service determines are necessary.
Limitations on the Commission's authority prohibit it from remanding a Final
Determination to the Postal Service simply because the Commission believes a different
result might be better. Rather, the Commission may only examine the Postal Service's
decision and record in order to determine whether the Postal Service abided by
statutory guidelines. Specifically, the law requires that the Commission affirm the Postal
Service's Final Determination unless the determination is:
(A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in
accordance with the law;
(B) without observance of procedure required by law; or
(C) unsupported by substantial evidence on the record.
Instructions for Form 61
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We have included a form that you may use for your written argument.
The Participant Statement should be as specific as possible.
Commission proceedings to review Postal Service Final Determinations to close
or consolidate post offices can be much less formal than is customary in courts. The
Commission does not require patrons appealing Postal Service decisions to meet the
usual format requirements for filed documents. However, it is important that papers
sent to the Postal Regulatory Commission be legible. It is also important for statements
to be clear and as specific as possible.
The due date for a Participant Statement or brief can be found in the schedule
which is attached as an Appendix to the "Notice and Order of Filing of Appeal." You
should have a copy of the Notice and Order. If you do not, you should be able to find a
copy posted at the post office.
Briefs and Participant Statements may be filed electronically, using the Filing
Online function on the Commission’s website,, or by mail. Under its rules,
the Commission expects to receive briefs on or before the day specified in the schedule,
rather than receiving briefs that are simply postmarked by that day.
Address the Participant Statement or brief to:
Office of the Secretary
Postal Regulatory Commission
901 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20268
In the Matter of
Docket No.:____________
__________________, _____ __________
Post Office State ZIP Code
1. Petitioner(s) are appealing the Postal Service's Final Determination
concerning the _______________ post office. The Final Determination was posted
2. In accordance with applicable law, 39 U.S.C. § 404(d)(5), the Petitioner(s)
request the Postal Regulatory Commission to review the Postal Service's Final
Determination on the basis of the Administrative Record before the Postal Service in the
making of the Final Determination.
3. Petitioners: Please set out below the reasons why you believe the Postal
Service's Final Determination should be reversed and returned to the Postal Service for
further consideration. (See pages 1 and 3 of the Instructions for an outline of the kinds
of reasons the law requires us to consider.) Please be as specific as possible. Please
continue on additional paper if you need more space and attach the additional page(s)
to this form.
Participant Statement
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