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Caught shoplifting $9.98 item in Century 21 in New York City . No police, no arrest . Got $75 demand letter

Flushing, NY |

Caught shoplifting $9.98 item in Century 21 in NYC,no police,recorded my id,address,asked me to sign three papers,took pictures of me and the item.Got demand letter from their attorney,said"under new york general obligations law 11-105, century 21 has a civil claim against you because you intentionally deprived ... ... you may be held liable for the cost of the merchandise, the cost associated with loss prevention expenses and/or a civil penalty... this letter is a demand that you pay $75.00 in satisfaction of this civil claim... if we do not receive payment within 21 days from the date of this letter, Century 21 Department Stores may make further effort to enforce its rights under this law."
any effect to my status?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Pay it ASAP! They can sue and press charges. They are within their rights to do both and the $75 is within their rights to request as they pointed out.

  2. You can pay or not pay. They are unlikely to sue. They are unlikely to involve the police now. As to status, consult with an immigration attorney.

    Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
    Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
    Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
    1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.

  3. I advise my clients not to pay this civil demand because I have never seen a store sue to collect as it is not worth their time and money. Michael Ira Asen handles the claims for Century 21 and I've never seen him sue. I write letters to the store or their attorneys for my clients directing the store or its lawyers not to communicate with my client and to only deal with me. This stops the store or its lawyers from contacting my clients any further. Ignoring the civil demand letters will not cause you to be arrested now - I've never seen some one arrested after the fact. You got very lucky.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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