If a friend was caught shoplifting and the store is demanding they pay a fine directly to it, do they have to pay?

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If a friend was caught shoplifting and the store is demanding they pay a fine directly to it, do they have to pay?

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Some states have these statutes under the "civil demand" laws pertaining to people whi have been arrested for shoplifting. Your state may be one of them. Under these particular laws, if a person has been caught for shoplifting by a store owner, the store owner can send some document making a demand upon the accused for payment of the item taken.

If the civil demand is paid by the accused within a certain time period, then there will be no civil lawsuit against the person by the store owner.

You are under no obligation to pay the civil demand to the store. If you do not, most likely it will file a civil lawsuit against you. If you pay the amount demanded, then under statute, the civil aspect of your shoplifting matter ends.


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