Do I have to pay a civil demand?

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Do I have to pay a civil demand?

I shoplifted about $30 worth of merchandise. I went to court already and I was sentenced to 24 hours of community service hours., currently doing them. This was my first time ever having trouble with the law, I’m 18. Know I got a letter that I must pay $300 within 10 days or else they will “enforce its rights under the law”.

Asked on September 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

These civil demands are routinely made but rarely, if ever, acted upon. So you can ignore this letter if you want; your actual chances of being sues are slim to none. However be aware, if you don't pay, you will more than likely receive a second demand for an even higher amount. Again, you can choose to ignore it.

If, however, you do decide to make payment, pay no more than a token $10 or so (plus the retail value of any merchandise that may have been too damaged for them to re-sell). I would put this in a letter; don't speak with them directly. These people or known for their threatening and intimidating tactics.  
  
You did not mention whether or not there is a criminal court proceeding involved. If so, you may be ordered to pay restititution at that time. 


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