Hey, so I was caught shoplifting at Sephora about two weeks ago. The civil demand came last week asking me for $500. I tried taking an eyeshadow pallet worth $36. Why do they want so much money when they got the item back undamaged? Should I ignore it? I've read plenty of answers saying that it should be ignored.. I just want to make sure before I make my decision. Thank you.
If the law firm is not in the local jurisdiction, it is unlikely they will fly someone in over a $36 item.
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They ask for that much money because 1) Illinois law gives them a claim for attorney's fees and punitive damages on top of the value of the goods, 2) they want to intimidate you so you never go into a Sephora store again and 3) some people actually pay them the money. Most often these letters come from a collection agency or law firm located far, far away. If that's the case, as the other attorney suggested, they're not serious about the claim and you can ignore it. If it's from a lawfirm in your county of residence, however, you should treat it much more seriously.
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That Florida firm is behind a lot of the demand letters in Illinois. Although I really couldn't tell you to disregard it (I'm not your attorney, after all) I can tell you that the odd overwhelming that they will not pursue it. If they do, you still have the option of attempting to negotiate it at that time.
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