If my son was recently detained for shoplifting, am I liable for $250 that their attorney says we owe?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my son was recently detained for shoplifting, am I liable for $250 that their attorney says we owe?

The store did not call me or my husband. Instead they released him to a friends father, because he said it was his uncle. We did not find out about this until getting a letter from the attorney’s office last night. Is it legal for them to not notify the parent/guardian?

Asked on February 2, 2016 under Criminal Law, Nevada


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

lawYou don't have to pay such a demand (i.e. civil demand) for shoplifting; Most stores won't bother with the time and expense it costs to sue for something like this. That having been said, if the store does file a suit and and wins, you could end up being liable for paying the money, as well as the store's attorney's fees. You'll have to decide what you want to do. However, unless the store actually files suit against you you'll well advised not to pay (even if you receive another letter and possibly for a higher amout).
Additionally, the store ws under no obigation to inform tyou as the parent's of this incident and could release your son to a competent adult (assuming you son offered up no objection).

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