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What are my options? Do I have to pay this amount? What will happen if I don't?

Collinsville, IL |

In Dec. I made the mistake of shoplifting at Kohls. Ive never been in any kind of trouble before or since this offense. A lawyer represented me in court & my offense was dropped from theft to Disorderly conduct. I had to pay a fine & 90 days probation. The probation is almost done, my fines are paid. I originally received a civil recovery letter from Kohls for $225. My lawyer advised me not to pay this amount. Yesterday I received a phone call from the office of Michael Ira Asen demanding $500. I then received a letter from their office. In the letter it says "This letter is a demand that you pay $500 for civil recovery. This is not an attempt to collect a debt." It is not explained why they are asking for $500. I am in college & don't have this kind of money, My savings went to the fines

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Attorney answers 2


Follow your attorney's advice. This is just a tactic by Kohls and other department stores to put a chilling effect upon theft. It is not necessarily enforceable, but they sure do make it sound that way, don't they?

Speak to your attorney again about the letters you're getting and ask him/her to write them back that you already were arrested and paid your debt to society an they have no right to seek any further payments directly from you.

Good luck.

You may call our office at 516-248-6600 or send an email to us at This answer does not form an attorney/client relationship with anyone and any answers do not constitute direct legal advice and should not be followed unless and until you have spoken with an attorney of your choice.


This is a matter of state law. Ask your attorney what can happen if you do not pay and whether there is any authority to demand this amount. Some states allow companies that are the object of shoplifting to obtain a civil penalty on top of the damages done by the shoplifting.

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.

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