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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31766
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I run a skating rink in Texas. We are full of teenagers on

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I run a skating rink in Texas. We are full of teenagers on Friday night. We are constantly having to look for stolen items. Last night my I-phone was taken from the concession stand counter. I traced it and it was still in the building. I stayed at the front door. As each group of kids was leaving near closing time, I asked them to stop for a few seconds while I called the phone to see if it rang. I also asked them to show me what was in their pockets etc. I didn't put my hands on them or keep them at the door for more than 30 seconds. There was a group of kids that we never have any trouble with. I told them that I didn't expect they had anything to do with it. I said I just want to check everyone to be fair. Their dad came in and caused a big scene and threatened to call an attorney. Did I do anything wrong?

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Criminal Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.


You have a right to protect your property and to verify that none of your property is being stolen. It's no different than walmart or sam's workers standing at the door checking your receipt and comparing it to what you have in the buggy.


As long as you didn't retain them or force them to stay inside, then it doesn't appear that you did anything wrong. If you held them against their will, it would be possible to be sued for false imprisonment. But if you just asked them to wait a moment and let you call the phone, and if you didn't demand that they stay, I don't see anything wrong about what was done.


That said, you can't stop the parent from talking to a lawyer, and a lawyer writing a letter to you, etc. But, there are no damages to the children as it didn't cause them any financial loss, emotional distress, etc.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So if I asked them to stay inside for just a few seconds. Is that holding them against their will?

Keep in mind that the crazy, litigious dad was trying to cause a scene. He made them take off jackets etc. Place everything on the counter and stand there while he threatened us. They were embarrassed BY HIM!

It would have to be that you kept them from leaving. For instance, if you told the kids to wait a minute, and they said no, and you then held them back, blocked the door, etc. If they voluntarily and willingly stopped, then there's no false imprisonment/no holding them against their will.

I can understand your concern, but it sounds like the dad was just trying to be a jerk about the thing. I would really doubt this goes anywhere as long as you didn't physically restrain them or block their exit path, etc.

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