What should we do about a monetary demand being made by the store that my 16 year old son shoplifted from?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What should we do about a monetary demand being made by the store that my 16 year old son shoplifted from?

He took a pair of socks. They did not see him take the socks but he was asked if he had anything he gave them the socks. Now the store never informed us he was detained and security hung up on me when I asked why! And it took my wife and I 3 hours to find out he was taken to juvenile probation center. Then 2 days later, I got a call demanding $429 for the socks from the loss prevention department. My son still hasn’t been to court and he hasn’t been convicted of any crime and the store is telling me that it’s the civil case against him I am paying for.

Asked on December 7, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney regarding his court appearance. A conviction can have serious consequences.
That having been said, as for the call regarding the $429, this is known as a "civil demand". In situations such as this, these demand are rarely acted upon, so you can choose to ignore if you want. However, you will more than likley get a second (for possibly an even higher amount). Again, you can ignore it if you choose just that these people are notorious for their threatening and intimidating tactics....jusy hang tough. If you do decide to pay or offer a lesser amount, let the judge know at your son's court appearance; it will effect any restitution that the court may impose...and court ordered restitution must be paid.

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