Legal Corner

Contains current legal articles and discussions regarding Civil Recovery Law.

Cash Theft vs. Merchandise Theft and Its Applicability to Civil Recovery Statutes

Civil recovery statutes are civil laws, specific to each state, that spell out what type of damages may be requested for acts of retail theft and how those damages and/or losses may be recovered from the party causing them. Many retailers are unclear on whether a certain state’s civil recovery statute will be applicable to the theft of cash or cash obtained through some fraudulent act. This confusion generally surrounds specific words contained within each statute that have a specific legal meaning, which may vary greatly from the layperson’s subjective interpretation.

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Statutes Amended for Retailer’s Benefit

Over the years, states have come to recognize the exorbitant monetary losses that retailers suffer due to incidents of theft and one by one, states have enacted statutes allowing the retailer to request civil statutory damages and/or a civil penalty from shoplifters in addition to any restitution that may be owed. These civil statutes, initially enacted to help the retailer defray the financial impact of shrink, partially offset the retailer’s security expenses and deter repeat offences, have evolved into an important way for retailers to recoup some of their losses from theft and in turn, help to keep prices down for the honest consumer.

In recent years, several states have amended these statutes in favor of the retailer, allowing for a greater recovery against the shoplifter.

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Court rules decisively in favor of PRA Law Firm in Kelly case. Victory creates positive precedent.

Orlando-based Civil Recovery law firm, PRA Law Firm, prevailed decisively in a lawsuit with major implications for retailers and for the practice of civil recovery. U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno, ruled in the Defendant’s favor on all counts of Palmer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on January 11, 2010. Specifically, Judge Moreno found against the Kelly Plaintiffs on every count, rejected their claims in their entirety, and ruled in Palmer, Reifler’s favor on all issues.

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