Can a store manager ask you to place your backpack up front?

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2012

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Can a store manager ask you to place your backpack up front?

Today, while I was shopping in retail chain pharmacy; a place I visit every other day. The store manager who I never met before rudely demanded I place my backpack (with an expensive laptop in it) upfront. I left the store. Does a store manager have a right to ask that and what if I refuse and continue shopping?

Asked on January 21, 2012 under General Practice, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It can occur and some stores do have applied such policies to ensure that you are not taking things and storing them in the backpack. Of course, the theory is that no one will take what you place up front. Some higher end stores will check your bag in and give you a claim ticket. Of course, you always have the option to leave and they have the option to refuse service. You may wish to file a complaint with the store owner or corporate office if it is a huge company or chain and explain your experience and ask for store policy and state law that allows it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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