Tag Archives: RELEASE

Is there any legal way to get out of civil demand letter from Walmart?

Q: I got a Civil demand letter from attorney representing Walmart in a retail theft, shoplifting case. It states pay to $150 to us in addition to and/or in addition to criminal charges. In FAQ section of recovery pay it states civil demand is for security etc but also to serve as deterrent against shoplifting as well as punishment for the crime. How can they punish me criminally if the loss prevention guy said that I’ll be getting a summons in the mail for the incident?? To date I haven’t received this alleged summons in the mail. Paying the civil demand would be better than going through the court. (West Mifflin, Pa)

A: Normally, most attorneys advise clients to ignore the civil demand letter especially if it is from an out of state collections attorney. However, I have had more situations over the past two years where my negotiation for a withdrawal of the charges, included paying the civil demand. It depends. An attorney can guide you through this. As advised, they can still prosecute you even if you pay the civil demand. You can try negotiating a global release of criminal and civil liability, but I would do this through an attorney.


Can we use video to monitor caretakers for our mother?

Q: My mother has dementia and we have hired bonded, trained, insured caregivers to provide support for her daily needs. We suspect that theft and possible abuse may be occurring. As a deterrent, we would like to install a “very plainly visible” home “video-only” surveillance system. What are the legal requirements of doing so with non-family members regularly in the home?

A: My thoughts are that if they are aware they are being recorded by video, it is not a crime. Have a lawyer draft a release as part of their employment contract. It would basically state that they acknowledge and understand that they are subject to video surveillance and they release you from all civil and criminal liability related to such surveillance.