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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33031
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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I am a business owner in Panama City Fl. I know a lot of other

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I am a business owner in Panama City Fl. I know a lot of other business owners here in Panama City and we were all conspiring to form a sort of blacklist. The blacklist would not be for persons who are applying for jobs but for people whom we have caught stealing from our businesses. I wanted to form an online blacklist that would contain the photos and names of the people whom we have terminated with proof of theft or even just customers whom we have banned with proof of theft. You see here in Bay county the police department will not arrest someone for stealing from a store, even if there is video proof. My fellow business owners and I are grasping at straws trying to gain some sort of upper hand over these individuals. So our last resort is to form this blacklist that will notify our group of business owners and we can all then ban that person from our properties. We believe that these thieves deserve more than just a slap on the wrist. Can someone please tell me how I can do this in a legal way. Or if it is even possible... Thank you so much.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.   I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

The main problem or issue that you face is the exposure to potential defamation claims. If you are going to put up pictures of people on the internet and label them thieves without any conviction or even charges by the police you can count on being sued by someone.

Additionally, putting it in practice is going to be difficult. Store owners would have to check the website every time a customer walks in.

Shoplifting is a real problem, and if the police will not take action, you can ban them from your store or even sue them, but you are going to run into problems if you try to publicly accuse them to other people.

I realize this is not the answer you were hoping to receive.  Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part.   As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.
Also, be sure to verify this information with a local attorney who is familiar with your local laws and procedures.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.

Loren and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your info. As you answered my question then of course I would give you a good rating :) Your answer was around what I thought it would be. I just wanted to double check with an expert. Let me ask you this though... If a police report is filed and the theft is proven would that then help the cause? I understand that these people can still claim defamation but would an attorney even take the case if they had so much evidence stacked against them. We also would make the website private with a members only log in, and would have our employees review the names and photos each day in hopes that they would remember the faces and ask those people to leave if they came across someone. Thanks again for your advise.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX following up with me.

I think your service idea is an interesting concept. I just do not think it would have the effect you want when put in practice.

You really need to meet with municipal authorities to find out why the police and prosecutors are not doing their job. You should be able to press charges for retail theft. Perhaps a group of local store owners need to form a Chamber of Commerce to develop a little political clout.

I think you will find that more effective.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hmmmm. Very nice suggestion. An advise on how to form a chamber of commerce? Oh and by the way... we were told that our police department will not make arrests on petty theft. Only grand theft. And the prosecution costs would normally be more than the amount owed and it wont even go on their record :(

You would organize as a. Not for profit corp with the other store owners, get tax exempt status and you would have your chamber of commerce.

Frankly, what you were told is shocking. It is as if it is a wide open town. Th police can not choose to not enforce the law. You really need to meet with the state attorneys office and if that is not satisfactory, maybe even th governor's office.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for all of your advise and I will see what I can do.

Thank you for your positive rating of my service to you. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "Loren" or use the following link (which you can bookmark in your browser):

Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, Julie, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please consider rating me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.  
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will absolutely rate you as 10!

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