failure to have a hearing prior to establishing the delivery regulations constitutes a denial of due process. For the reasons noted below, this Court concludes that plaintiffs' claim must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
First, even assuming arguendo that the plaintiffs have standing as third-party donee beneficiaries to allege a breach of contract between Levitt and the Postal Service, plaintiffs are precluded by virtue of the parol evidence rule from introducing evidence concerning an alleged oral promise by postal authorities made prior to entering into the lease agreement. The written lease itself constitutes a fully integrated contract. It recites the parties to the lease, the conditions of the agreement, and the consideration paid. Under such circumstances, where no allegation of fraud or mistake is made, the Court must conclude that the written lease is complete on its face. Hence, even assuming some prior oral promise to provide door-to-door service, such evidence would be incompetent. See, e.g., Ackerman v. Citron, 55 N.J.Super. 122, 150 A.2d 50 (1959); Lobsenz v. Central Market Co., 13 N.J.Misc. 785, 181 A. 265 (1935); Drischman v. McManemin, 68 N.J.L. 337, 53 A. 548 (1902). Plaintiffs' claim for breach of an "agreement" must, therefore, be dismissed.
Secondly, as a matter of law, the postal regulations relied upon by the defendant, both on their face and as applied, constitute a reasonable exercise of the Postal Service's rule-making power; they are not an arbitrary and capricious exercise of governmental authority. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to establish a postal service. Congress, in turn, has prescribed "general powers" of the Postal Service, including the power "to adopt, amend, and repeal such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to accomplish the objectives [of Title 39]." 39 U.S.C. § 401(2). Further, the Postal Service is charged with the responsibility "to maintain an efficient system of collection, sorting, and delivery of the mail nationwide." 39 U.S.C. § 403(b)(1). An examination of the regulations herein under attack, both on their face and as applied, leads this Court to conclude that the decision concerning door-to-door delivery at Winslow Crossing was a valid and reasonable exercise of administrative discretion. See also Rockville Reminder, Inc. v. United States Postal Service, 480 F.2d 4 (2d Cir. 1973). The determination to deliver on a door-to-door or "cluster box" basis is clearly aimed at achieving the most efficient use of postal employees. Further, the uncontroverted affidavit of the Regional Director of the Postal Service, as well as the exhibits attached to the defendant's moving papers indicates that the decision was made in conformance with postal regulations and procedures. Under such circumstances, the Court must conclude that the Regional Director's decision was a reasonable and valid exercise of his delegated authority. Further, plaintiffs' unsupported claim of arbitrary and capricious action cannot overcome the presumptive validity of the regulations in question. Thus, plaintiffs' claim of arbitrary and capricious action must be dismissed.
Thirdly, it is clear that the defendant has not violated any requirements of due process in promulgating the delivery regulations without a hearing. Initially, it must be noted that there is no constitutional requirement for public hearings before a government agency exercises its rule-making authority. See, e.g., Bowles v. Willingham, 321 U.S. 503, 519, 64 S. Ct. 641, 88 L. Ed. 892 (1944); California Citizens Band Ass'n v. United States, 375 F.2d 43, 50 (9th Cir. 1967). Nor does the Administrative Procedures Act apply to the rule-making powers herein under consideration. 39 U.S.C. § 410. Finally, as the government persuasively notes, for this Court to require hearings prior to postal rule changes would excessively burden an already overtaxed postal service. Plaintiffs' claim of a denial of due process must, therefore, be dismissed.
Plaintiffs raise several other issues which require comment. First, their claim of "discrimination" in service between detached home owners and townhouse owners raises no Federal question. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, relied upon by plaintiffs, only applies to State action -- not action by the Federal government or one of its agencies.
Secondly, plaintiffs argue that because of a restrictive covenant in their deeds, they cannot place mail boxes at the curbs in front of their property. This Court, however, will not become involved in an examination of an issue of local land use law, particularly when the issue is merely collateral to the dispute at bar.
For the reasons noted above, plaintiffs' complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
An appropriate order may be submitted.
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