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Tips/advice for paying a civil demand

Winston-salem, NC |
Filed under: Shoplifting

I received 4 different civil demands (150.00/each) demanding that I pay within 25 days from the date of the letter. I have read mixed responses on this topic. Some say ignore the demands, others say pay it. I already have a pending court date for the criminal incident. This was with a major department store. Should I just ignore them or call and attempt to negotiate lower monthly payments? It states at the bottom of the letters that "this is a virtual law office" and that I can make payment to There is absolutely no way I can afford to pay it all at one time. I realize I screwed up and made a huge mistake.
Thank you for your time.

I wanted to add that this lawyer is located in MA and I am guessing (after some extensive research) that the "virtual office" is located in Raleigh, NC therefore making it look like this lawyer is in NC. The payment center is located in CA. ????

Attorney Answers 1


Don't pay them anything. If the attorney who sent you the letter is licensed in NC, they'll be listed on the NC State Bar's website. I bet they aren't. I'd ignore the letter, but don't throw it out. Bring it with you when you go to court and see your lawyer. If you can't afford a lawyer, be sure to ask for a court-appointed attorney. They will be able to look at the letter and tell you whether or not to worry about it. Good luck to you.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.

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