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MyraB, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 371
Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in criminal law and civil litigation from pre-trial practice to appeal.
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hi my name is XXXXX XXXXX sacramento california and i was

Customer Question

hi my name is XXXXX XXXXX sacramento california and i was at a walmart super center yesterday afternoon time was 13:27:47sec 2min prior to my incident. i was shopping for a tablet and i came with money in my pocket and a debit card. found a tablet asked questions you would normally ask prior to purchase was satisfied so it was sold and with that same purchase i bought a cover for tablet screen cleaner walking to leave and walked past camping gear. stopped purchased a knife and then walked to otherside of store purchased ice cream a pint to be exact. from there i proceeded to make way to entrance/exit whi9ch i had to walk thru garden dept. which i had my reciepts in hand emediatley after purchase for the fact that i wanted to have no problems meaning i wanted it to be known i bought these items so back off and when i got close to exit i was then stopped by a hand to the front of cart by then i am emedialy accused of theft asking for reciepts me in a collective voice and pollite voice said here you are with her telling me these are not the reciepts where r the reciepts for all of this shouting as she is telling me i stole every piece of items humiliating me in front of the whole store like she was trying to do and kept intergating me as she is pulling my cart to back of store to electronics and was still yelling at me and i was almost in complete tears then i was able to leave cause she knew i was right
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  MyraB replied 4 years ago.
Hi. It will be my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

I am sorry to hear of your experience and you are understandably upset by this incident. In order to provide you with the most relevant and useful response, I need to know what it is want to do at this point. Do you want an apology, to sue Wal-Mart, to make a complaint about the employee?

Please let me know your specific question so that I can continue to assist you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I would like to take legal actions and sue them for harrasment and discrimination. Also for profiling me and for pain and suffering. That's my favorite wal mart and now I have to drive miles away to a different wal mart to shop just so I'm not looked down upon I was in there yesterday and employees were looking at me different and one says I remember you and I say I'm sure he said that I won't. Forget. Talking about my incident so I left instantly because employees looked at me weird and looked like they were talking about me.
Expert:  MyraB replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response.

Again, it sounds like a terrible ordeal, and that you feel like you can’t go back to the store makes it even worse.

Based on what you described you may have claims for false imprisonment, defamation (slander) based on the incident itself and also on the subsequent incident where employees had talked about you, and forintentional infliction or negligent infliction of emotional distress. It is particularly troubling that the incident has turned into an ongoing situation.

You may also have claims for violation of civil rights under the Unruh Civil Rights Act which applies to all business establishments of every kind whatsoever and prohibits all types of arbitrary discrimination. A description of the Unruh Act can be found here

Under the Unrah Act you have the option of filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or filing a private civil suit under the Act. Remedies available consist of cease and desist orders, out of pocket expense, damages for emotional distress and exemplary damages. Court ordered damages may include a maximum of three times the amount of victim’s actual damages.

Complaints under the Unruh Act must be filed within one year of the discrimination alleged. You can speak with a representative at the DFEH at(NNN) NNN-NNNN The DFEH also puts out a brochure on the Unruh Act that may be found here.

You may at this point want to consult with a private attorney experienced in personal injury and civil rights law (or at least the Unruh Act). The Sacramento County Bar Association has a referral service here offer a free thirty minute consultation for personal injury cases, and such cases are usually taken on a contingent fee basis thereafter, meaning the attorney recovers a portion of the settlement or judgment only if you are successful. The Unruh Act may also provide for the recovery of attorney’s fees.

One thing that you may want to do as you consider your options is to send a letter to the Wal-Mart store manager requesting that they preserve any videotape of the incident. Because the incident happened as you were leaving the store it may have been recorded. Give as much information as you can so they can locate and preserve the tape before it is destroyed or overwritten and tell them that it may be used in a civil action against them and must be preserved as evidence. At this point do not go into the allegations, as the purpose is only to preserve the tape. Send the request certified mail so you will have proof that you made the request. If you consult an attorney let him know you made the request.

I hope the above helps you find the redress you are looking for. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.