How to handle a claim for a civil demand?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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How to handle a claim for a civil demand?

My wife was arrested for retail theft 9 months ago. Our lawyer got the case dismissed and all she had to do was community service. Now we are getting letters from a law firm telling us we have to pay the $225 for a civil claim. Do we have to pay this? How do I get them to stop?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under certain statutes in certain states, a store owner who has had merchandise stolen can send a "civil demand" to the person who took the items where if the civil demand is paid by the person who wrongfully took the merchandise, the store owner would not file a civil lawsuit.

Your wife does not have to pay the $225, but if she does not, I suspect that the store owner will file a civil lawsuit against her for an amount exceeding the $225 demanded. If she pays the $225 amount demanded, she will not be subject to a civil lawsuit. I suggest that she consults with your prior attorney about the civil demand.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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