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NateLawAnswers, Attorney
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Experience:  Over 8 years of legal practice.
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I just received a Notice of Penalty or Liquidated Damages Incurred

Resolved Question:

I just received a Notice of Penalty or Liquidated Damages Incurred and Demand For Payment 19 USC 1618, 19 USC 1623 from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The letter reads that "Demand is hereby made for payment of $33,588.00, representing penalties assessed against you for violation of law or regulation, or breach of bond, as set forth below:" It says that "unless the amount herein demanded is paid or a petition for relief is filed with the FP&F officer within the indicated time limit, further action will be taken in connection with bond or matter will be referred to US Attorney".

Is this a formal notice that requires response or is this something that I can ignore? It claims that 129 jerseys carrying protected trademarks were seized. I did order a much smaller amount of jerseys from a website online but never received them. Obviously, I now know why. Can I really be held responsible for that amount of money?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Be sure to go ahead and bookmark for future questions.

Unfortunately, this is very real. Not addressing it immediately can result in more cost to you. You need to respond and try to work out a repayment schedule for the fine and ask for confirmation of the amount the government is claiming is owed. Based on the amount, you should retain an attorney locally to petition for relief. It is possible, if you did not know you were importing fake goods, to get the penalties reduced.

While we cannot recommend specific lawyers on the site (we cannot endorse attorneys), I can point you in the right direction to find counsel. I suggest you do a couple things. Contact the state bar's lawyer referral service. They can put you in touch with multiple referrals to discuss the case with. The other is to go to the website This is the site lawyers use when needing to find other lawyers to associate with on a case. They rate lawyers both by their peers and their clients. The best lawyers are going to be rated "AV".

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So I will have to pay an attorney to fight a claim that is inaccurate? Anybody can order something from overseas and use my address and I can be held responsible? I purchased 9 jerseys online several years before I ever received this letter. The dates referenced in the letter are not accurate to when that shipment was seized and the amount of jerseys they claim we're being sent to me is ridiculous. Could they have made a mistake? My initial thought was to contact the FP&P officer listed and explain that I am unaware of any shipment meant for me. I do not have the money to pay a lawyer for something I did not do. It just doesn't seem fair.
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 3 years ago.
In our legal system, everyone must pay for their own lawyer. Whether you were involved in this or not, the government thinks you were. That's all that matters.
NateLawAnswers, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10677
Experience: Over 8 years of legal practice.
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