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My wife was caught by Macy’s security in NYC, allegedly for shoplifting, which was not the case, and we'd like to sue Macy's.

New York, NY |

This happened when she climbed from the 3rd to the 4th floor, with the only intent to continue shopping and pay afterwards for all selected items at the end, as she had been usually doing before.
Security took advantage of her being foreigner, being shocked, and lacking proper English just to properly explain to them what she had to say.
They kept her in a cage, promised if she would sign papers and pay fine – they would release her. She did all they had said, without properly knowing what she’s been doing, but anyway, they called UNPD, which handcuffed her and kept her in precinct for another good 4 hours. She received an ACD and already done 7 hours of community work. We would like to sue Macy’s for such cruelty and seek an attorney experienced in such cases.

She never plead guilty in the court

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

I agree with my colleague. The time for attacking the criminal aspect of this issue was during the arraignment. Now only a civil issue remains.

She may be able to sue Macy's for false imprisonment, however the odds of recovery are slim because she signed a legal release document, paid a fine, and received an ACD. Those facts together may be construed as an admission to the crime turning a potentially-false imprisonment into just an imprisonment.

You should retain an attorney to review the release because it's contents are essential to your potential case.

Call (718) 375-3750 if you wish to speak with an attorney.

Kristen P. Browde

Kristen P. Browde


If she has an ACD civil litigation won't help. She has pleaded guilty.


Re-post in civl litigation.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


Your damages here may not be worth a lawsuit but I agree with learned counselors who advised you to shop the case, you will pardon the expression, around to civil litigators.

Law Office Of Michael Marley
Phone 917 853 4484


Having successfully handled false arrest/imprsonment cases in stores previously, I am of the opinion that you would nto have a successful civil case against Macy's. The papers Macy's had her sign include an admission that she committed the criminal act alleged against her. Even though you seek to explain away her doing so based on language difficulty, etc., that argument is not strong enough to overturn the fact that she signed the papers (too many nuances to go into detail here). Then, if she went to criminal court and took a plea admitting to the crime again, that would be twice that she made that admission. Note that the statutes of NY permit a retailer to take reasonable steps to detain a shoplifter and by admitting to the act (language or not) she essentially supported a finding that Macy's acted reasonably. That takes care of the fase imprisonment claim. The false arrest claim also disappears with the one if not two admissions of guilt (language or not). Further, an "adjournment in contemplation of dismissal" (ACD) is not a dismissal of a criminal charge on the merits - it is a procedural disposition - and will not by itself support a claim of false arrest.

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