Skip to main content

Should I pay the civil demand?

Falls Church, VA |
Filed under: Shoplifting

I shoplifted $35 worth of stuff from Kmart. Three weeks later, I received a civil demand for $300. Should I pay this? What are the chances of me getting sued over this? Also, my name is even misspelled in the civil demand letter.

I was also never asked to sign anything at the time when they caught me. Plus, no cops were called

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

If the law firm is from out of state, the chances of getting sued are slim. The chances of getting more letters is good.

Answers presented on this website are intended only for informational purposes and any use of the contained material is at the users own risk. Answers are intended exclusively as a public resource for general information, and this information is intended, but is not promised or guaranteed to be, correct, up-to-date, or complete. This material is not intended to constitute legal advice, as an agreement to create an attorney-client relationship with the law offices of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, or the provision of legal services, and receipt of this information does not constitute such an agreement. If legal or other specific expert advice is required, then the services of a competent professional should be sought.O

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you, (in some jurisdictions prove damages) and win. Even if they could prove damages (which I doubt they could in most cases) and win, the cost of suing you is substantially greater than any amount they can possibly hope to recover. As such they don't pursue it. They send out these letters hoping that you don't know better and simply send them the money. Nothing will happen to you if you don't pay it.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Posted

No need to pay. These civil demands have no legal force. Unless you signed something promising to pay, you owe nothing. They can threaten to sue all they want. The fact is, attorneys cannot take you to small claims court. Some from the store would need to show up to court. That would never happen. You'll probably continue to receive threatening letter, but you can ignore those.

My comments are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications through Avvo should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Lawyers are licensed to practice on a state by state basis; do not act on information contained on this website without first speaking to an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Posted

I would guess that you were charged criminally and have a court date in criminal court. Talk to your lawyer. Your payment may be used as an admission of the theft. Wait until your lawyer gives you advice

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Shoplifting topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics