Caught stealing an item worth $70 dollars at Walmart. They filed some paperwork and took my picture but police weren't involved. They let me go after holding me an hour and said they would mail me information for a civil demand. Will they actually take me to civil court if I don't pay their demand?
No. It may not even be from a lawyer in TX, which should tell you that they won't sue you to pursue the civil demand.
And stop shoplifting. Your future is worth more than $70, and next time you might not be so lucky.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.
I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you (in some jurisdictions prove damages) and win. Even if they could (prove damages and) win the cost of suing you is substantially greater than any amount they can ever hope to recover and as such they don't pursue it. They send out these letters hoping that you don't know better and simply send them money. Nothing will happen to you if you don't pay it.
They could try to take you to court. But that's probably not very realistic. Worry about that if and when you are ever served with a summons and complaint.
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