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Civil demand letter for retail theft charges.

Melrose Park, IL |

a few months back I postd a question about a civil demnd letters in illinois. A lawyer answered that nothing would happen if ignored the letters from the stores lawyers. I ignored all their letters. I now got postcard from court clerk that default judgement enetered against me. I checked with the clerk who syas judgment is for $3,250 to the same store. How can this be? and what can I do now? I really cant pay this and don't know what to do next. The store never cam to court for the chrges were dropped

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

See my answer to your duplicate question. With these details, it's apparent that you ignored not only a demand letter, but a court-issued summons. That's where you made a big mistake. You will need to file a motion to vacate the judgment and see if that works. That will probably require you to hire an attorney.

Whether the store's people came to criminal court or not makes no difference on whether they can sue you. A lot of people make that assumption, but it's not true. You need to get to a lawyer now, and I do mean right now.

Please be sure to mark the best answer to your question. My answers are general and do not form an attorney-client relationship. I'm happy to talk to prospective clients in my areas of concentration and geographical location.

Asker

Posted

thank you for the reply. i see mnay lawyers on here basically syaing ignore these demnds...sounds like bad advice from bad lawyers. where do i find a good one to help me now.

Robert Jeffrey Long

Robert Jeffrey Long

Posted

You need one in Cook County in case something is filed against you. Try the Chicago Bar Association, which maintains a good referral network.

Asker

Posted

thank you again

Posted

I just finished answering a similar question. My response was, and is, that a civil demand letter does not create an obligation to pay. but to pay special attention to any communication from a court. Being sued is not the same as getting a letter from a law firm.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

Asker

Posted

thanks. i see the diference but i guess if you ignore the lawyer letter then they sue you and it costs a whole lot more now. this new york lawyer is all over the place telling everyone "IGNORE" the demnd letters and "NOHTING WILL HAPPEN"...maybe he works for these guys.

Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland

Posted

I think every store has its own policy about whether to proceed. In Illinois, and in a few other states, there are now provisions which provide for attorney fees to the prevailing party (or so I am told.) Suing for a few hundred dollars is not worth it for a store. If your lawyer fees become part of the judgment, sometimes it is. Finally, using Avvo is not the same as hiring a lawyer. When you hire a lawyer you get the benefit of their malpractice insurane. Avvo only provides analysis and opinion but does not create an attorney client relationship. Sorry for your experience.

Asker

Posted

yeah, a thousand bucks over the cost of the stolen property, attorneys fees and court costs in illinois. you give very professional helpful info. thank you

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