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Receiving Palmer Reifler demand notice soon b/c of shoplifting at Urban Outfitters - to pay or not to pay??

Austin, TX |

I was recently caught shoplifting at Urban Outfitters (I KNOW I deeply regret it and it's not ever going to happen again). I don't remember the total amount of the items I tried to take. It could add up to about $50. They took me to the back room to sign a trespass paper stating I can't shop there for 3 years and then told me I'll be receiving a demand notice. I am 20 years old and a US resident.

I've seen around the internet that Palmer Reifler just annoys you with letters of increasing amount demand and threats and that if you ignore them, they will go away b/c they don't want to waste money sueing. I don't know how much they will demand from me but should I pay? I heard it's exploitation and a scam!

Attorney Answers 6


  1. I advise my clients to never pay these civil demands. It will cost far more than it is worth to sue you. You should be very grateful that you were not cited or arrested.

    Brian Tyrone is a licensed Texas attorney. Any answers I provide are not intended to be legal advice, nor do they establish an attorney-client relationship. Because there is no attorney-client relationship established by any answers I provide, you should consult with a licensed attorney in order to understand your legal rights and responsibilities.


  2. Talk to an experienced attorney. These civil demand letters can escalate and cause you all kinds of problems later on. You may find that simply negotiating a settlement is in your best interests. Contact an attorney.


  3. Its not a scam, per say. The only way that they could enforce the demand letter is to file suit. Which will most likely cost way more than what they intend to collect. But it is possible for them to file suit. Just maybe unlikely.

    My answers are not intended as anything more than an educational response to generic questions posted on this site.


  4. Don' sweat it. Deposit the letters in the trash and move on


  5. Retailers have legal authority under the Texas Theft Liability Act to pursue civil action against individuals who have been charged with theft. Do you need to pay it? The short answer is: no. You can probably ignore this letter and any other letters that they send to you. However, be sure that the demand letter is only that - a demand letter. If it merely threatens a potential lawsuit, it is a demand letter. If it includes language stating that "you have been sued" and "you have a deadline to respond to the suit", then it may be a filed lawsuit. If it is a filed lawsuit, it will include the specific court that has jurisdiction over the case.


  6. Do not pay. Presumably they got their merchandise back. They would have a difficult time demonstrating loss.

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