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Should I Pay My Civil Demand Fine?

Updated on July 4, 2016

Your Civil Demand Letter

What Your Civil Demand Letter Looks Like
What Your Civil Demand Letter Looks Like | Source

The Civil Demand Letter

When you've been detained for shoplifting, (whether you've been arrested, or released), you're bound to receive a letter from a law office, demanding a fine for your offense. The letter is official, it's from a real law office and it's also a scam. It's a legal scam, but nonetheless, still a scam. It will resemble the letter above.

The money collected from a civil demand fine is usually a 50/50 split between the company you shoplifted from and the collection agency.

All Shoplifters Will Receive a Civil Demand Letter


Should I Pay my Civil Demand Fine?

The civil demand (and amount) laws in the United States vary from state to state and store to store. All states allow retailers to charge customers accused of shoplifting a monetary fee for the cost of their shoplifting incidents, unrecovered, (or unsaleable merchandise), loss prevention personel, cameras,blah, blah, blah, etc.

Should you pay it?

That depends on you. I know of an attorney who tells their clients who have been accused of shoplifting to NOT pay the fine.


Because nothing is going to happen if you don't.

Can you imagine a national (or even regional) law firm taking every shoplifter to small claims court to collect a fine? It would not only clog up the already over-burdened court system to a complete standstill, but it wouldn't be cost-effective to the firm.The costs to take you to court far outweigh the amount of the fine.

That being said, the law firm will still harass you day and night with threatening phone calls and letters.

Will anything happen as a result of your not paying the fee?

Probably not.

My advice is to check with your attorney before making a payment.

Please Take the Civil Demand Poll

Have you paid off your Civil Demand fine?

See results


Submit a Comment

  • rockinjoe profile image

    Joseph Addams 16 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Astigpinoy,

    Were the police involved with your apprehension? Were you arrested and processed as a shoplifter at the police station, or receive a citation from a police office to appear in court?

    If not, I wouldn't worry about it. The civil demand is just that. Civil. It has absolutely nothing to do with criminal charges.

    I'm not an attorney, so if you want to be 100% on the safe side, it might be a good idea to contact one and find out .

    Good luck!

  • profile image

    Astigpinoy 16 months ago

    I've been arrested and detained for shoplifting by the store LOST PREVENTION officer they took my picture and information from my driver license and fingerprint me inside lost prevention office and signed the paper they gave me and told me not to come back again on that store..after a week I received a Civil Demand Letter asked me to pay $250 and I paid right away because I am so scared at that time..but after I paid they did not bother me's already been 4 years when it was question is does this will show on my records if I do FBI background check?