What is the law on opening mail without consent within families?

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tg814
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Since I arrived in university, I have had my mail sent to my university mail room instead of my house. As I am now home from uni for the summer, my mail is being sent back to my home. Unfortunately, my mum has always got hold of my mail before I have and has opened it without my consent.

Until recently, I didn't mind it but as I got older, I found it increasingly annoying and rude, especially after she was opening my important bank statements and reading them. I have ordered a lot of things recently online and my mum has always opened them as soon as they arrive with the excuse that she didn't realise it was mine, despite the parcel being addressed to me on the packaging. I often quarrel with my mother and this is something that is becoming somewhat of a problem and I think she is incredibly rude and nosy to do this. I understand that it is illegal to open somebody's mail without their consent but does this rule apply within families or is it more lax?
Thanks
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Tiger Rag
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I would have thought it was exactly the same. It doesn't have her name on it, therefore, she's not entitled to open it.
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Justin.Reid2000
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(Original post by tg814)
Since I arrived in university, I have had my mail sent to my university mail room instead of my house. As I am now home from uni for the summer, my mail is being sent back to my home. Unfortunately, my mum has always got hold of my mail before I have and has opened it without my consent.

Until recently, I didn't mind it but as I got older, I found it increasingly annoying and rude, especially after she was opening my important bank statements and reading them. I have ordered a lot of things recently online and my mum has always opened them as soon as they arrive with the excuse that she didn't realise it was mine, despite the parcel being addressed to me on the packaging. I often quarrel with my mother and this is something that is becoming somewhat of a problem and I think she is incredibly rude and nosy to do this. I understand that it is illegal to open somebody's mail without their consent but does this rule apply within families or is it more lax?
Thanks
This is exactly like me! She always used that excuse and opens my letters and packages. Last time she said: "This is my house and I need to see what your taking in"

I don't think I can stop it. Need to move away for uni I think.
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JamesN88
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It's irrelevant what relation someone is to you, they have no right to open your post.
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999tigger
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Yes its an offence under s84 of the Postal Services Act 2000 to open mail without reasonable excuse and they intend to at to your detriment.

Law isnt the solution though, just use some common sense. The police arent going to be interested in a family squabble, unless it was more serious than his.

Put all your bank details for online delivery and make sure she cant access your account.

If mail is being returned, then just pay for a new forwarding address.

For parcels then get them delivered to your local post office or a PO box and pick them up from there.
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Sammylou40
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Depends how far you want to push it
Perhaps a stern word that it's not acceptable, followed by handing the following info may help
Maybe get a po box?
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...ion/84/enacted
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JamesN88
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At the risk of sounding childish you could try returning the favour and see how she takes it? I expect she'd be mortally offended and it might help convey your feelings on the matter.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by tg814)
Since I arrived in university, I have had my mail sent to my university mail room instead of my house. As I am now home from uni for the summer, my mail is being sent back to my home. Unfortunately, my mum has always got hold of my mail before I have and has opened it without my consent.

Until recently, I didn't mind it but as I got older, I found it increasingly annoying and rude, especially after she was opening my important bank statements and reading them. I have ordered a lot of things recently online and my mum has always opened them as soon as they arrive with the excuse that she didn't realise it was mine, despite the parcel being addressed to me on the packaging. I often quarrel with my mother and this is something that is becoming somewhat of a problem and I think she is incredibly rude and nosy to do this. I understand that it is illegal to open somebody's mail without their consent but does this rule apply within families or is it more lax?
Thanks
Technically, she is still breaking the law although securing a prosecution would be very difficult and I suggest, would open a large can of worms to eat away at the relationship with your Mother and other family members.

Have a talk with her when you are both in a good mood.

Appeal to her emotion as a mother: Tell her how SHE is making you feel: that you are an adult and she is disrespecting you by making you feel violated through opening your mail even though you have nothing to hide.

You could ask how she would feel if you did the same to her mail - you do not because you respect her privacy and she expects nothing less from you, so ask why she des not reciprocate by respecting or trusting you.

In other words, she is the one acting childishly and controlling by not letting you take responsibility or allowing you to grow up. You could go so far as telling her it really is not doing your relationship or respect for her any favours.

You could also consider telling her that if she persists, you will get your mail redirected by the post office although this will also cost you around £5 per month for this service.

https://www.royalmail.com/personal/r...il/redirection
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999tigger
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Appeal to her emotion as a mother? Really. I would put money on it neither that or the other suggestion of opening her mail will do anything but be ignored or get her annoyed. You know your mother and you know how she operates. You dont believe its an accident. Just stop the mail getting to her and then there is nothing for her to open. Basic common sense.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Appeal to her emotion as a mother? Really. I would put money on it neither that or the other suggestion of opening her mail will do anything but be ignored or get her annoyed. You know your mother and you know how she operates. You dont believe its an accident. Just stop the mail getting to her and then there is nothing for her to open. Basic common sense.
Diplomacy and negotiation are always the best options. Common sense does not go for the nuclear button before giving the other party an option to change.
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Moura
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(Original post by tg814)
Since I arrived in university, I have had my mail sent to my university mail room instead of my house. As I am now home from uni for the summer, my mail is being sent back to my home. Unfortunately, my mum has always got hold of my mail before I have and has opened it without my consent.

Until recently, I didn't mind it but as I got older, I found it increasingly annoying and rude, especially after she was opening my important bank statements and reading them. I have ordered a lot of things recently online and my mum has always opened them as soon as they arrive with the excuse that she didn't realise it was mine, despite the parcel being addressed to me on the packaging. I often quarrel with my mother and this is something that is becoming somewhat of a problem and I think she is incredibly rude and nosy to do this. I understand that it is illegal to open somebody's mail without their consent but does this rule apply within families or is it more lax?
Thanks
Whenever I'm on TSR I always see so many posts that make me think "what is WRONG with these parents".
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Yes its an offence under s84 of the Postal Services Act 2000 to open mail without reasonable excuse and they intend to at to your detriment.

Law isnt the solution though, just use some common sense. The police arent going to be interested in a family squabble, unless it was more serious than his.

Put all your bank details for online delivery and make sure she cant access your account.

If mail is being returned, then just pay for a new forwarding address.

For parcels then get them delivered to your local post office or a PO box and pick them up from there.
PSA2000 doesn't apply once delivered to the address on the article ... the PSA offences are to make interfering with mail in transit an offence ( given the PSA was also the legislation that opened mail handling up to organisations other than RM) enabling criminal ;prosecutions where it woudl otherweise just be an internal dis matter

it also makes opening mis delivered mail potentially an offence ... however mail delivered to the correct address is not protected once delivered
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Tootles
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(Original post by Tiger Rag)
I would have thought it was exactly the same. It doesn't have her name on it, therefore, she's not entitled to open it.
This.
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Kindred
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(Original post by tg814)
Since I arrived in university, I have had my mail sent to my university mail room instead of my house. As I am now home from uni for the summer, my mail is being sent back to my home. Unfortunately, my mum has always got hold of my mail before I have and has opened it without my consent.

Until recently, I didn't mind it but as I got older, I found it increasingly annoying and rude, especially after she was opening my important bank statements and reading them. I have ordered a lot of things recently online and my mum has always opened them as soon as they arrive with the excuse that she didn't realise it was mine, despite the parcel being addressed to me on the packaging. I often quarrel with my mother and this is something that is becoming somewhat of a problem and I think she is incredibly rude and nosy to do this. I understand that it is illegal to open somebody's mail without their consent but does this rule apply within families or is it more lax?
Thanks
You an adult and have legal responsibility for yourself and your post. It is illegal for your mother to open your post without your consent, although a lot of people are still okay with it. Seeing as you used to be okay with it you might like to mention to her clearly that you would prefer to open all of your own post now. You can always say it's cos it makes you feel responsible or keeps you in the routine for when you get back to uni if that would be a more gentle way to say it.
I personally don't like it either. I've had a long running feud with my mum over this. She doesn't usually open my post but would sort it so it was never on the mat and I had no idea it existed. Unfortunately she seems to also have a mind set of medical letters being so important they can't wait so if she were to open anything it would be more likely to be medical letters detailing how a colonoscopy went or something disgustingly private like that.
They aren't trying to be rude, they're just stuck in that mindset from when we were kids. Try not to be too harsh about it (even if it is really annoying) and be more gentle about your requests instead.

Oh and a quick note, if you were to decide to follow advice like opening her post to get the point across please make sure it's nothing important or private. Or even better just pretend you opened something. It gets the point across without actually invading her privacy.
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999tigger
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(Original post by zippyRN)
PSA2000 doesn't apply once delivered to the address on the article ... the PSA offences are to make interfering with mail in transit an offence ( given the PSA was also the legislation that opened mail handling up to organisations other than RM) enabling criminal ;prosecutions where it woudl otherweise just be an internal dis matter

it also makes opening mis delivered mail potentially an offence ... however mail delivered to the correct address is not protected once delivered
What about 83 (3)?

(3)A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

I will take your word that the definition of delivery stops as soon as it goes through the letter box. Sure ive seen people prosecuted for this though.
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999tigger
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Diplomacy and negotiation are always the best options. Common sense does not go for the nuclear button before giving the other party an option to change.
The mother will know perfectly well what she is doing your suggestion is naive .
Why are you talking about a nuclear button? Some simple practical common sense measures would prevent it being an issue problem solved.
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by 999tigger)
What about 83 (3)?

(3)A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

I will take your word that the definition of delivery stops as soon as it goes through the letter box. Sure ive seen people prosecuted for this though.
The package is correctly delivered once posted at correct address.

the low 80s sections are part of the trainign that people should recieve when they work for PSA covered delivery / post / courier firms ...

it's also why in terms of attempts at civil remedy some stuff is marked and private and confidential or 'addressee only' by senders ...

therei s also the issue of the Mens Rea when it's family opening post for other family members, and if it were investigated / prosecuted would be highly reliant on self incrimination by the person who opened it , it;s not an absolute offence which would be worded something like

"A person commits an offence if, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him. "

also it would depend on the defintion of delivery , if 'correctly delivered' is put in the letterbox, handed to the occupier or their agent ( i.e. staff member , someone who lives there ) then the postal iegislation has stopped applying.
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999tigger
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(Original post by zippyRN)
The package is correctly delivered once posted at correct address.

the low 80s sections are part of the trainign that people should recieve when they work for PSA covered delivery / post / courier firms ...

it's also why in terms of attempts at civil remedy some stuff is marked and private and confidential or 'addressee only' by senders ...

therei s also the issue of the Mens Rea when it's family opening post for other family members, and if it were investigated / prosecuted would be highly reliant on self incrimination by the person who opened it , it;s not an absolute offence which would be worded something like

"A person commits an offence if, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him. "

also it would depend on the defintion of delivery , if 'correctly delivered' is put in the letterbox, handed to the occupier or their agent ( i.e. staff member , someone who lives there ) then the postal iegislation has stopped applying.
Am fine with all the difficulties in achieving a prosecution, which is why I dismissed it. I think the area I can across it in is where mail is taken or opened when a tenant has moved on or its shared MHO.
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doodle_333
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It is against the law but what are you going to do, call the police on your mum cos she opened a parcel? Perhaps order some strange sex toy/fetish item and when she opens it maybe she'll think twice the next time... or as someone else said start opening her mail. Or you know... talk to her about it.
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Ireaper2005
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And what can you do if the family member takes pictures of your mail and sends it to others without your knowledge/permission?
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