U n i t e d S t a t e s D i s t r i c t C o u r t
F o r t h e N o r t h e r n D i s t r i c t o f C a l i f o r n i a
The USPS disputes this residence classification, arguing that SROs have the physical andcultural attributes of a hotel: residents share facilities, do not have to pay a security deposit, and arenot required to sign a lease. Residents also frequently move from room to room or from SRO toSRO. Furthermore, the USPS maintains that the City itself treats SROs as hotels: Applicablemunicipal codes identify SROs as hotels, and the City charges them hotel taxes and a hotel licensefee. Additionally, the City requires SROs to comply with a Uniform Hotel Visitor Policy whichrestricts the number of guests permitted to visit each SRO tenant each day.Whether the USPS classifies SROs as residences or hotels determines which method of maildelivery it uses. Residences receive mail via centralized delivery and hotels via single-pointdelivery. Until recently almost all SROs received single-point delivery; the mail would be left in thelobby or with a building manager, rather than sorted and placed into a separate space or box for eachSRO tenant. In 2004, however, a number of SROs requested a switch to centralized delivery.According to the USPS, in response to “political pressure and a mistaken impression that only asmall number of hotels sought conversion,” local post service branches agreed to transition a fewSROs from single-point to centralized delivery. (Def’s. Mot. Summ. J. at 7)
The parties debate the benefits and costs of single-point versus centralized delivery.Plaintiffs contend that single-point delivery is less secure and leads to “frequently lost, misplaced,withheld, or stolen” mail. (Pls’. Opp’n. to Mot. Summ. J. at 8). Mail, they insist, is often leftunattended in the building entry where any person can improperly access another’s correspondence.
. Even when delivered to a building manager, plaintiffs maintain problems arise when managerswithhold mail, forget to make deliveries, or just mistakenly hand private letters to the wrongresidents. Plaintiffs insist that “[t]hese problems are inherent in the single-point delivery methodsand are the root cause of this dispute.” (Pls’. Opp’n. to Mot. Summ. J. at 8, Jacobson Report ¶ 41-44). Plaintiffs also describe a number of problems arising specifically from single-point delivery atSROs including the loss of benefits checks, the exposure of tenants’ private information to theirneighbors, and the misplacing of letters concerning important doctor appointments.The USPS acknowledges the possibility that SRO residents have lost mail in the past, butemphasizes that all mail service is insecure. In fact, the majority of mail fraud in San Francisco
Case3:09-cv-01964-RS Document351 Filed10/25/11 Page3 of 22