I guess I jinxed it

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I knew yesterday when I posted about difficult child doing well that I was jinxing myself. Uggggh.

    When I got home from work today there was a letter from a lawyer here for him. Yes - I opened it.

    The letter is from an attorney representing Kmart and is in regards to his shoplifting incident on 8/23/13. They want $159.99 in order to satisfy their civil judgement against him for shoplifting from their store. I immediately called difficult child and asked him about it and he said it was his friend who really did it but bc he was there he got in trouble too??? He said the police didn't come though and they were released by Kmart after signing a paper. How is that possible that the police weren't called? None of this adds up in my book. My head is spinning. I'm not a happy camper right now.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    What did he sign? If it was that he agreed to pay... It is enforceable.
  3. compassion

    compassion Member

    My difficult child shoplifted from K-Mart in 2011. I did research and found the letters demanding money are not enforceable. I forgot what it is called,I think that is what you are talking about. Now, they can and did report it to police. I would try to be clear about what this is. SOmetime stores play on people's fear to try and get $$$.
  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Annie - I'm not sure what he signed. He said he didn't know. He NEVER looks at things before signing them so he very well could have signed his firstborn child (not that he has one! god forbid!!)over to them. Uggggh!

    Anyway - he said he wasn't arrested. Is that possible? Someone can shoplift and not be arrested?? I don't get it. He admitted that he was there so I don't think it's a scam from the store wanting money. Compassion - what happened to your difficult child? Was she eventually charged by the police??
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    When Angel got caught shoplifting at Kmart they had her sign a similar letter, before she spent the night in jail. If it were me I would pay the money and pray they don't press charges. For Angel yes it $200 and can't enter Kmart for life, but the court and probation came to around $1200. So I would pay the money and hope it satisfies them.

    rattling beads Nancy
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    No comment on the law side but... no, JKF, you didn't jinx it.
    This isn't new behavior. This is an OLD problem... that happened to show up.

    If this was from an incident last week, it would be an even bigger problem.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Was your son and adult or juvenile at the time? If juvenile, contract is not enforceable.

    Now I will be honest, if Kmart actually had hard evidence they would have charged him then and there. I do know that they can arrest the person with someone that is caught shoplifting though. I think I would have difficult child pay $5 or $10 a month if he can afford it and be done with it.

    About the being with someone who shoplifts...that is something that scared the pants off me because I went to Walmart with a coworker one time and I found out she shoplifted something when we were in the store together and I was terrified they would see her on camera's and notice we were together. I never saw her and I was a couple of isles over looking for something else. I never went to a store with her again!
  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi JKF. I work in retail and basically a store has to choose between a) recovering merchandise or b) prosecuting shoplifters . Unfortunately a & b are at odds with each other. Shoplifting can be really hard to prosecute especially if local police are not interested. One of our stores is in a high income and sleepy town and the PD has told us not to bother calling them for shoplifters!

    So, I don't think it's odd that he wasn't arrested.

    And yes , having the person sign a confession if they are interrogated properly by store personnel- is typical and is enforceable by law depending on the state. It's a preferred practice; we've done it ourselves with inside theft and in one case we did have the person arrested & prosecuted successfully.

    Their own civil judgment is not enforceable unless the court orders it. That said, the it's an easy process to get a court ordered judgment (with the signed paper) and from there the fees skyrocket.

    He should pay it if he was involved.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If they truly received a "civil judgment" against him, it should be easy enough to find/confirm in the court records. Most are online these days. It normally would be filed with the court of his county of residence. If they sent the letter to your address, I'm assuming that's the residence he gave them.
  10. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Been through this before years ago. I guess it's not uncommon for stores to try and impose a civil fine on a suspected shoplifter rather than call the police. When ourson got the letter there were threats that if the fine wasn't paid there would be a lawsuit and legal fees would be owed on top of the fine. Not sure if this is legally enforceable though. We made him pay it, but you might want to talk to an attorney to see if they can legally collect, especially if your son is telling the truth and it was his friend that was stealing.
  11. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Janet - he was an adult at the time. It just happened on August 23rd. He's 19. Legal adult now. Sigh.

    He keeps insisting that "everything's fine" and he'll "take care of it" and "stay out of it". So I gave him the letter and he can take care of it. If he doesn't he'll have to deal with the consequences. I'm not paying the fine for him. No way!