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I NEED TO NO IF I HAVE A LAW SUIT AGAINST WAL-MART

Cleveland, OH |

I WAS STOPPED AND WRONGFULLY ACCUSED OF STEALING AND SEARCHED IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THE STORE I DID SOME RESEARCH AND FOUND OUT THE PERSON THAT SEARCHED ME DID NOT FOLLOW PROTACOL

Attorney Answers 2


  1. In Ohio, and many other states, a retail store's security office enjoys what is known as the 'shopkeeper's privilege.' This allows a store to briefly detain a person who it reasonably suspects of shoplifting for the purposes of conducting an investigation. The stop must be made using reasonable force, given the circumstances. While Wal-Mart may or may not have followed their internal protocol for such matters, it appears, based on the limited facts presented, that their search fit the framework of the shopkeeper's privilege.

    Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this answer.


  2. I doubt that you have a viable claim---you are an "invitee" when you go into a store, and the store owner has the right to stop, search and detain you for a brief period of time to determine if you engaged in shop-lifting. You consent to this when you enter the store. Nonetheless, if you could prove that the person who searched you behaved unreasonably and violated the company's internal policy, you might have a claim for false imprisonment and violation of your civil rights. But don't get too excited. Even if you have a claim, your damages are probably very small. Most lawyers would not take a case like this on a contingency, because there are no actual damages here. Your feelings were hurt, and you were embarrassed, but you did not suffer economic injury.
    However, if you want to invest money to retain counsel and pursue the case, you have every right to do so. I am sure there are lawyers in Cleveland who will agree to represent you in this case if you agree to pay their fees and expenses.