Have you ever heard of any retailers following up on suing for unpaid civil claims?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Have you ever heard of any retailers following up on suing for unpaid civil claims?

I was stopped at an incident in retail store for suspected shoplifting. No police were called; the store simply got my information. No admission of guilt or anything. I had the store’s merchandise without a receipt (which I already had when I came into the store). They simply said I couldn’t come back for 3 years but I just received a letter of a “civil claim” against me demanding money. I read on-line on several places saying that the retailer could sue but no one has ever heard of it really happening for ignoring these letters.

Asked on October 13, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

These civil demands are routinely made but rarely, if ever, acted upon.  In other words your chances of being sued are virtually zero.  So you can ignore this letter if you want.  Be aware, if you don't pay after this first letter you will get second, and it will request an even higher amount.  Again, you can choose to ignore it.  If, however, you do decide to make payment, pay no more than $50 (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 to them; don't speak with them directly.  These people or notorious for their threatening and intimidating tactics.  
  
Note:  If this is the one time that a store does follow through, again try and  negotiate something with them.  They don't want to go to court any more than you do.  Especially in a case such as this.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption