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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33738
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I accidentally put $1.50 screws in my pocket at Home Depot.

Customer Question

I accidentally put $1.50 screws in my pocket at Home Depot. Two men escorted me into their office. They could not find the video of my putting them in my pocket...but I pulled them out. I let them know I was embarrassed. They kept me while they watched about an hour of video. I did not sign anything and there was no arrest. They took down my drivers license number, took my photo and recorded what I said occurred.
I now I have lettter: Civil Settlement Offer from Palmer, Reiferler & Associates "concerning its potential civit claims aginst you in connection with an incident in their store 1379 on 10/26/2015" They are asking for $350 under Cakl. Civil Code 3333 and 3335. Should I pay it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

We can't advise you on whether you should pay it or not. What I can tell you is that they are allowed to charge it under the law (which many states now have) although I don't think those statute numbers are correct. They can sue you if you do not pay. However, I have never seen lots of people get similar letters and not pay and I have never seen anyone actually sued if they do not pay.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Also, they would have to prove you were trying to steal the screws which I think a jury would be unlikely to believe.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What I don't understand about the letter is that it seems to me that this could go into a collection agency and having it end up getting bigger. I think they could prove it because I was embarrassed/scared enough that I confessed to putting it in my pocket.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

It could go to a collection agency but the statutes don't allow for their fees and especially not if it goes to a trial.

Whether you choose to pay or not is a personal decision. The companies know that by sending the letter many people pay to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit or additional fees.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

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