I recently got a civil demand letter for $300 in October. I received another in January for $575 because I ignored the first one. I just got another reminding me to pay the $575 or they could further take action. I keep hearing not to pay the civil demand & the only thing they could do is sue in small claim courts, but I hear that it is not worth for Walmart to sue in small claim courts. Why is not worth for them to do that?
Suing a customer over a small shoplifting charge would be a bad PR move for any story. The common wisdom is to just ignore these letters: https://thetorranceattorney.com/2012/05/11/what-to-do-with-the-civil-demand-letter-in-a-shoplifting-case/
First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.
Your other posting indicated a $20 debt. A minimum wage employee testifying for the company would cost more than $20.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" 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.
Because they need a lawyer to do so and can only recover actual damages
My suggestion: negotiate a settlement
Obtain a general release; make no admission of wrongdoing
If you were told that the "only thing they could do is sue in small claims court" that's not entirely accurate.
If you ignore the letters completely like you have done thus far, all Walmart has to do is have its LP (Loss Prevention) department contact the police, turn over the evidence they have on your (presumably including your signed confession) and let the DA's office prosecute you for shoplifting.
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