Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shoplifting: Civil Demand Letters

What are these civil demand letters?

When shoplifting occurs the store has two options. It can call the cops who will arrest you and later the DA will decide whether to press charges. In addition and at the same time their Loss Prevention Department can send you a letter demanding that you pay them damages in an amount specified by statute. Usually these demands are low enough that the store will never bother trying to collect their penalty and I routinely advise clients to ignore them. When you do that, the civil demand will usually be assigned to a law firm to collect. What risks do you run by not paying them?

Palmer, Reifler & Assoc

If you receive a letter from a law firm it will likely come from Palmer Reifler & Associates. It will be very demanding, threatening lawsuits and wage garnishments. That's all these guys do. They extort the civil penalty from poor people who really can't afford to pay it. If you doubt me google their name and look for the class action lawsuits filed against them. Will they sue you? It's very unlikely. They prefer quick money from frightened people rather than going through a prolonged trial process or even small claims court. If they continue to harass you have an attorney write them a letter with some teeth in it. These snakes will slither away.


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