I'm from Colombia, I was doing an English exchange in new York till march. I was with 2 friends at Macy's and we were accused for "attempting" to leave the store with clothes from them, we are all 17 years old. They called the police, we spent the night at police station and in the morning we went to the court, they told us that we had to do 1 day of community service and also attend to a talk for teens and all charges will be dismissed in 6 months. We did everything just as they told us and I came back to my country. One of my friends that is still in new York told me that she received a letter of palmer pay asking for 500 dollars but that agency is from Florida, I called there and they told me that they have also send me that letter but I have read several posts saying it is fake.
Itis not a fake because. A New York law allows a retailer to seek a civil demand of 5 times the value of the goods allegedly stolen up to $500. This is seperate from any criminal case. However, 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. 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 effect your immigration status.
,What you received is a Demand Letter to pay damages. Ignore it altogether as such letters are not legally enforceable until the merchant' law office or assigned collection agency files a civil suit with every legal requirement (complaint, appearance, proper summons, return of the summons, court hearing, signed court judgment, motion to discover assets, etc.).
I doubt the merchant would really pursue that. Therefore, rest easy, it is a scare tactics to intimidate you in paying the demanded amount.
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