Whatcan I do if my little brother was got shopliftingand they sent me a letter asking me to pay them $200?

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Whatcan I do if my little brother was got shopliftingand they sent me a letter asking me to pay them $200?

There’s no way I can do this. What should I do?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In shoplifting cases, these demands (known as "civil demands") are routinely made. However, as a general rule, they are rarely acted upon.  Practically speaking your chances of being sued are virtually zero. Accordingly, you can ignore this letter if you want.

Yet be aware that if you don't pay this first demand, you will certainly receive a second, and for possibly an even higher amount.  Again, you can ignore it if you chose. However if you decide to make payment, pay no more than $50 or so. Put this in a letter to them. Do not speak with them directly.  These people are known for their threatening and intimidating tactics. 

Additionally, if you do choose to pay prior to your broth's juvenile court appearance (if there is one), keep proof of the payment. In such cases the court may order restitution (if damages occurred). So if you pay the amount requested in the civil demand letter, you will have prove that no additional restitution is owed.


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