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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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A member of my family recently received a letter of demand

Customer Question

A member of my family recently received a letter of demand from Michael Ira Asen demanding pymt of $250 as recompense for a supposed shoplifting episode. This was an incident which occurred at a Colorado Walmart for an item costing less than $10. The accused person was confronted by a manager at the story, information was taken and he was told to not come to the store. There was no police involvement nor charges against him. Is this demand letter legit or is it a scam? We all agree that there should be consequences but not to a party who is just benefitting from a regrettable action. Thank you.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

Unfortunately, it is legit. The laws today allow the merchant to forego criminal charges and instead present a civil demand. If it is not paid, the merchant may then file the criminal charges in addition to the civil demand.

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Keep in mind, that no one can force the payment without first going to court and obtaining a judgement. Of course, if that happens, your family member would then also be liable for any legal fees associated with the merchant bringing the matter to court for the judgement.

So if at this time you opt not to pay the fine of the civil demand, I suggest you will want to consider consulting with a local criminal defense attorney because you should have legal representation.

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Your family member can also be charged criminally. Of course the District Attorney needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they did commit the crime of attempting to deprive the merchant of their property.