What should I do about a civil demand notice?

UPDATED: Jul 25, 2014

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What should I do about a civil demand notice?

My son went to an amusement park with his school on a summer trip. At the end there was an incident. Going into a jelly bean store, he and a friend saw that there were some jelly beans out in the open on a bottom catching tray.him and a friend each took about 7. Not knowing that these were illegal to take, they walked out. They were then stopped by some security. This security took them to an office where they contacted us and told them that they were banned from fom the park for a year. They also said that a fine would arrive by mail. Well, we got this fine. It was $253.

Asked on July 25, 2014 under Criminal Law, Illinois


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The fine you recieved in the mail is known as a "civil demand" notice. They are routinely made in these types of cases but they are rarely acted upon. As a practical matter, your chances of being sued are virtually zero. Therefore, you can ignore this notice if you want. You should, however, be aware that if you don't pay this first demand you will get a second, and possibly for an even higher amount. You can also ignore this if you choose.  Please be aware that if you do decide to make payment, pay no more than $50 or so. And when communicating with the them do so by letter; do not speak with them directly. The people who collect these fines are known for their threatening and intimidating tactics. 

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