Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. NJ allows shoplifters to be civilly sued for shoplifting. Because someone in your situation plead guilty for a conditional dismissal, that guilty plea may be used in civil court. So if the firm sues you, it would be an open/shut case. Whether or not someone in your situation pays that money or not is up to you, but the firm is likely to move forward with the suit due to an almost guarantee of a judgment, so it may not be a bad idea to simply make the payment to have this go away. Otherwise, they can sue, tag on attorney fees, and ruin your credit in judgment.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.