Period 
1976- 1997
1998- 2007
2009- 2010
1976- 2010 totals
Annual 1976- 2010
2011
Closings
2,614
688
200
3492
100
576
Appeals
296
25
13
334
10
208
% of closures appealed
11.3%
3.6%
6.8%
9.6%
9.6%
36.1%
Affirms
170
19
1
190
5
53
Remands
58
3
1
62
2
6
% of decisions remanded
22%
12%
14%
21%
21%
9%
Dismissed, etc.
31
3
5
39
1
6

Where the numbers come from

1976-1997: The numbers for these years come from a March 1997 OIG report, “Information on Post Office Closures, Appeals, and Affected Communities” summarized as follows: “PRC received the first appeal of a Service proposal to close a post office in fiscal year 1978. Since the 1976 amendments, there have been 2,614 post office closures and 296 (11 percent) of these closures were appealed to PRC in fiscal years 1978 through 1996. Of these appeals, PRC affirmed the Service’s proposals in 170 cases (57 percent) and determined that it lacked jurisdiction in 31 cases (10 percent), which allowed the Service to proceed as originally intended. PRC determined that it lacked jurisdiction in these 31 cases because 19 cases were not filed within the 30 days required by law, and 12 cases dealt with issues outside its jurisdiction, such as the relocation of a post office within the same community. PRC remanded 58 cases (20 percent) to the Service, usually because of incomplete Service-provided records or other data deficiencies. Postal Service records did not allow us to readily determine the status of the 58 remanded cases. Of the remaining 37 cases (13 percent), the Service withdrew its proposals to close 36 post offices before PRC had ruled on the appeals, and the appellant withdrew the other appeal.”

1998-2007: These numbers come from a 2009 GAO report looked at appeals from 1998 to 2007.  There were about 676 closings (about 67 a year), with 25 appeals (less than 3 a year — 3.7% of the closures were appeals).  Of these, 19 were affirmed, 3 remanded, 2 lacked jurisdiction, and one withdrawn.  The GAO calculated closings by subtracting the total in 2007 from the total in 1998, which meant that if any new post offices were created, more would have closed. Postmaster Finder shows that 688 closed rather than the 676, so we’ve used the larger number.  Note that neither estimate contains stations and branches.

2009-2010: The total number of post offices closed during this period is difficult to determine.  Postmaster Finder says 81 post offices closed in 2009, 77 in 2010 (neither number includes stations and branches).  The bi-monthly Postal Bulletin reports show 91 post offices closed in 2010 (rather than 77), plus 28 stations and branches.  We’ve used the Postmaster Finder’s 81 for 2009, and Postal Bulletin’s 119 (post offices, stations, and branches) for 2010, for a total of 200.  The numbers on appeals are based on counting the dockets on PRC website.

2011: The total number of post offices closed in 2011 — 576 — is the number that were issued final determinations and hence eligible to appeal.  That number comes from a list provided by the Postal Service to Evan Kalish, who filed a FOIA request late in 2011.  It’s not clear how many post offices actually closed during the year.  USPS VP Dean Granholm told Bloomberg News in October that 280 had closed and 300 had received a Final Determination, and Postmaster General Donahoe told the National Press Club in November that 500 had closed this year.  The numbers on appeals are based on counting the dockets on PRC website, available here.  The status of the appeals is here.

Additional materials

A list of post office appeal decisions, 1979 – 2000

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