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Postmaster

office, ed, liable, letters, postmasters and re

POSTMASTER. An officer who keeps a postoilice, attending to the receipt, forward ing, and delivery of letters and other matter passing through the mail.

Postmasters must reside within the deliv ery district for which they are appointed. For those offices where the salary or com pensation is less than a thousand dollars a year, the postmaster-general appoints ; where it is more, the president. Postmasters are divided into four classes, exclusive of the postmaster at New York, according to the amount of salary ; those of the first class re ceiving three thousand or more, those of the fourth less than one thousand; 1 Supp. R. S. 110, 417. They must give bond to the United States ; see Ti. S. v. Le Baron, 19 How. (U. S.) 73, 15 L. Ed. 525; which re mains in force, for suit upon violation, dur ing the term ; Boody v. U. S., 1 W. & M. 150, Fed. Cas. No. 1,636; for three, formerly two, years after the expiration of the term of office; R. S. § 3838; Jones v. U. S., 7 How. (U. S.) 681, 12 L. Ed. 870. See R. S. § 3836.

Where an office is designated as a money order office, the bond of the postmaster shall contain an additional•condition for the faith ful performance of all duties and obligations in connection with the money-order business ; R. S. § 3834.

The presumption that public officers do their duty applies to the duty of postmasters to report a contractor's delinquencies ; U. S. v. Carr, 132 U. S. 644, 10 Sup. Ct. 182, 33 L. Ed. 483.

Every postmaster is required to keep an office in the place for which he may be ap pointed; and it is his duty to receive and forward by mail, without delay, all letters, papers, and packets as directed, to receive the mails, and deliver, at all reasonable hours, all letters, papers, and packets to the persons entitled thereto.

Every person who, without authority from the postmaster-general, sets up any office bearing the title of postoffice is liable to a penalty of $500 for each offence; R. S. §

3829.

A postmaster is liable for all losses occa sioned by his own default in office; 5 Burr. 2709; 2 Kent 474; Story, Bailm. § 463; see Raisler v. Oliver, 97 Ala. 710, 12 South. 238, 38 Am. St. Rep. 213; but in order to malte him liable for negligence, it must appear that the loss or injury sustained was in conse quence of such negligence; Dunlop v. Mun roe, 7 Cra. (U. S.) 242, 3 L. Ed. 329; Wiggins v. Hathaway, 6 Barb. (N. Y.) 632. He is bound only to the exercise of due diligence in the care of matter deposited in the post office ; 11. S. v. Thomas, 15 Wall. (Ti. S.) 337, 21 L. Ed. 89. See 1 Ld. Raym. 646, where the question is elaborately discussed.

A postmaster is liable for the acts of his clerks or servants who were not regularly appointed and sworn as his assistants; Chris. ty v. Smith, 23 Vt. 663; Fitzgerald v. Bur rill, 106 Mass. 446. He is not responsible for their secret delinquencies ; though, per haps, he is answerable for want of attention to the official conduct of his subordinates; Schroyer v. Lynch, 8 Watts (Pa.) 453; but see Raisler v. Oliver & Co., 97 Ala. 710, 12 South. 238, 38 Am. St. Rep. 213. An attempt to induce a postmaster to sell stamps on credit is in violation of a statute providing against the attempt to influence any officer of the United States to a violation of his lawful duties ; In re Palliser, 136 U. S. 257, 10 Sup. Ct. 1034, 34 L. Ed. 514. A postmas ter is liable for the full value of a registered letter embezzled, regardless of the liability of the government to the sender of the let ter ; Gibson v. U. S., 208 Fed. 534.