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Civil demand from Wal-Mart's lawyer

Normal, IL |

My girlfriend and I were involved in a shoplifting incident in January, in which we were arrested and taken to court for and ultimately found guilty. We've been ignoring the civil demand letters since then, but now we have received a letter from Michael Ira Asen, instead of Wal-Mart Offices. It states they forwarded it to this law office, and we have 30 days upon receipt of the letter to "satisfy the civil demand". Their are no threats of lawsuit or criminal charges.

Does this change anything, that the law office is contacting us? We are moving to Utah in exactly two weeks from today, so we need to make sure a warrant is not put out for our arrest. Are the odds against us that they "might" pursue it further? Thanks.

The items were all recovered, but one item was removed from packaging. It was a computer mouse. Does this change anything?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Doesn't change anything. Not possible to get a warrant from a civil demand letter.


  2. You will not have a warrant issued as a result of a civil demand. There is a law in most states which allows for civil action collection when there is a retail theft. Most people choose to ignore the demand, just as you have done. This demand is for money over and above any fine you pay in compliance with a court order. People may get a few more letters, each time asking for more, and then they stop. While the retailer can sue you, it is extremely rare for anyone to actually be sued. You do not owe any money unless you are sued and the retailer wins. This is a common ploy. Do not pay. If you do, you will be in the national retailers database which could affect your ability to get a job and could impact your life in other ways. If you are uncomfortable, hire a lawyer and have the lawyer write a letter. That should be the end of it.

    Here is a good article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120347031996578719.html

    The National Retail Theft Database is actually a voluntary list put together by different individual retailers. Further, any member that published the information on the list, can thereafter, remove it. Therefore, if you wish to have the entry removed, as you apparently do, your best bet would be to write a letter to the manager of the particular store and inquire as to what it would take for them to remove the entry.

    Please go to this link:
    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/should-i-pay-the-civil-demand-letter


  3. It does not change anything that the civil demand letter is now coming from a law office. You can not be arrested in connection to a civil matter. Note-with a few exceptions, warrants are only issued in criminal matters to ensure future court attendance when an accused person has missed a court date. The worst the retailer/law office can do is to sue you in civil court for the value of stolen items plus cost.

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