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Civil Demands in Shoplifting Cases

Posted by attorney Lewis Giles

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The current wording of the Texas Theft Liability Act is found below. I have included a link to the online version provided by the State of Texas in case the law changes. As it stands now, it says:

Civil Practice and Remedies Code - Chapter 134

Sec. 134.001. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be cited as the Texas Theft Liability Act.

Sec. 134.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other group, however organized.
(2) "Theft" means unlawfully appropriating property or unlawfully obtaining services as described by Section 31.03, 31.04, 31.05, 31.06, 31.07, 31.11, 31.12, 31.13, or 31.14, Penal Code.

Sec. 134.003. LIABILITY. (a) A person who commits theft is liable for the damages resulting from the theft.
(b) A parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for theft committed by the child.

Sec. 134.004. SUIT. A suit under this chapter may be brought in the county where the theft occurred or in the county where the defendant resides.

Sec. 134.005. RECOVERY. (a) In a suit under this chapter, a person who has sustained damages resulting from theft may recover:
(1) under Section 134.003(a), from a person who commits theft, the amount of actual damages found by the trier of fact and, in addition to actual damages, damages awarded by the trier of fact in a sum not to exceed $1,000; or
(2) from a parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child, for an action brought under Section 134.003(b), the amount of actual damages found by the trier of fact, not to exceed $5,000.
(b) Each person who prevails in a suit under this chapter shall be awarded court costs and reasonable and necessary attorney's fees.

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