How best to handle a civil demand letter?

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How best to handle a civil demand letter?

I was terminated by my employer for a policy violation. My store manager gave me a gift card to use to buy things for the employees. The value of the gift card was $10. I admitted to using the gift card and the store manager stated to loss prevention that she authorized the use of it. Now I get a civil demand letter stating restitution under a state statute that gives a civil remedy for theft. A demand of $210. When I offered the store half the value ($5) for my part of using it, they declined. I stated the store manager should have to pay the other half.

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

These communications, known as "civil demand letters", are routinely made but rarely acted upon. In other words, you more than likely will never be sued (although there is the remote chance). Consequently you can ignore this letter if you want. Just be aware, that if you don't pay after this first letter you will get second, requesting an even higher amount.  Again, you can choose to ignore it. If you do decide to contact these people for some reason, write them; don't speak with them directly as they are notorious for their use of intimidating tactics.   


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