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Can I ignore a Civil Demand Letter from Michael Aspen for shoplifting from Walmart?

Holley, NY |

I received a letter from Michael Aspen Attorney to pay a fine of $199.80 for shoplifting from Walmart. I shoplifted and got arrested on 7/24/13 and on the letter it said I shoplifted on 7/25/13. The LP officer who stopped me said they he could resell the item. I got a second notice for the first letter today. I need help please.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I deal with Mr. Asen (not Aspen) all the time. I advise my clients not to pay this civil demand because I have never seen him or 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. Absent doing that expect many letters and even some phone calls from Mr. Asen's office.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


In similar cases, I advise my clients not to respond to letters from stores and/or the store's attorney and only focus on the criminal case. Ask your criminal lawyer to send this lawyer a letter informing him that you are represented by counsel and that he is not to contact you directly.


Yes, as they the civil demand has no effect on the criminal matter or vice-a-versa. The store can sue you, but generally it is not worth the attorney fees/collection efforts.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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