As a business owner, can I send a letter to a parent demanding payment for items their juvenile child stole from my store?

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As a business owner, can I send a letter to a parent demanding payment for items their juvenile child stole from my store?

A 15 year old stole items from my store. The police report was filed, security camera footage was given to police and passed on to the prosecutor. There was no arrest, no prosecution, and I did not get my items back or receive any payment for items. Can I send a letter to the juvenile’s parent asking for compensation for items stolen before filing a claim in small claims court?

Asked on April 1, 2019 under Business Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that a parent (or legal guardian) is responsbile for the actions of theiur chil Therefore, if the child stole something then the parent is legaly liable to pay for it. So you can make the request for reimbursement and if the parent declines, then you can file a small claims suit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may: a legal guardian (such as a parent) is responsible for his/her child's actions; if a child stole something, the legal guardian is responsible to pay for it. You can request payment and, if they dont' provide it, sue the legal guardian or parent in small claims.


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