+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 143
  1. #1
    LatitudeClear is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6

    Illegaly Detained By WalMart Assoicate. Pressing Charges.

    This happened in Kansas City Missouri.

    I went to the check out line. Paid for my purchases and then headed for the door.

    A store clerk asked to see my receipt. I said, "No thank you. I paid for these items at that check out line there *pointed* and am not under suspicious by loss prevention control but I don't feel it necessary to show you for my receipt."

    He then grabbed me by the wrist and other hand on the basket and jerked me back inside.

    I said, "are you aware that this is unlawful detainment and if you don't release me immediately I'm going to call the police and press charges."

    He said, "Stay the **** right here."

    I then repeated the conversation with the Store manager and warned her that 4 other cases had already succeeded against Walmart for this same exact situation and that store associates are supposed to be trained specifically to not try and physically detain people - if she did not resolve this very quickly then I would hold the store responsible and pursue it in court.

    Finally the officer arrived. I showed him the receipt and my ID. I explained to him that after being deployed to Iraq four times it shouldn't be too much to ask for people to keep in mind our very basic civil liberties.

    Now I've never gone to court before so do you have any advice on what kind of lawyer I should find?

    I looked in the phone book under "criminal law attorneys" but I wonder how should I decide who to go for and is there any kind of preparations I should be making right away?
  2. #2
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    In honor of JetX ~ Somnambulist University
    Posts
    21,221
    Quote Originally Posted by LatitudeClear View Post
    This happened in Kansas City Missouri.

    I went to the check out line. Paid for my purchases and then headed for the door.

    A store clerk asked to see my receipt. I said, "No thank you. I paid for these items at that check out line there *pointed* and am not under suspicious by loss prevention control but I don't feel it necessary to show you for my receipt."

    He then grabbed me by the wrist and other hand on the basket and jerked me back inside.

    I said, "are you aware that this is unlawful detainment and if you don't release me immediately I'm going to call the police and press charges."

    He said, "Stay the **** right here."

    I then repeated the conversation with the Store manager and warned her that 4 other cases had already succeeded against Walmart for this same exact situation and that store associates are supposed to be trained specifically to not try and physically detain people - if she did not resolve this very quickly then I would hold the store responsible and pursue it in court.

    Finally the officer arrived. I showed him the receipt and my ID. I explained to him that after being deployed to Iraq four times it shouldn't be too much to ask for people to keep in mind our very basic civil liberties.

    Now I've never gone to court before so do you have any advice on what kind of lawyer I should find?

    I looked in the phone book under "criminal law attorneys" but I wonder how should I decide who to go for and is there any kind of preparations I should be making right away?
    What were you charged with? You know this could have all been avoided had you been courteous and handed the employee your receipt.
  3. #3
    asiny is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,005
    They do the same request at my local Best Buy - it takes a whole 5 seconds to show them my receipt and be on my way.

    "No thank you. I paid for these items at that check out line there *pointed* and am not under suspicious by loss prevention control but I don't feel it necessary to show you for my receipt."
    Right here is where you created a conflict with the idiot at Walmart. Albeit you being correct, as I have said in another thread, you could have handled the situation in a diplomatic matter.
  4. #4
    ERAUPIKE is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,559
    Quote Originally Posted by LatitudeClear View Post
    This happened in Kansas City Missouri.

    I went to the check out line. Paid for my purchases and then headed for the door.

    A store clerk asked to see my receipt. I said, "No thank you. I paid for these items at that check out line there *pointed* and am not under suspicious by loss prevention control but I don't feel it necessary to show you for my receipt."

    He then grabbed me by the wrist and other hand on the basket and jerked me back inside.

    I said, "are you aware that this is unlawful detainment and if you don't release me immediately I'm going to call the police and press charges."

    He said, "Stay the **** right here."

    I then repeated the conversation with the Store manager and warned her that 4 other cases had already succeeded against Walmart for this same exact situation and that store associates are supposed to be trained specifically to not try and physically detain people - if she did not resolve this very quickly then I would hold the store responsible and pursue it in court.

    Finally the officer arrived. I showed him the receipt and my ID. I explained to him that after being deployed to Iraq four times it shouldn't be too much to ask for people to keep in mind our very basic civil liberties.

    Now I've never gone to court before so do you have any advice on what kind of lawyer I should find?

    I looked in the phone book under "criminal law attorneys" but I wonder how should I decide who to go for and is there any kind of preparations I should be making right away?
    What you actually have is a civil case, if you have one at all. Do you have damages to claim as a result of your "unlawful" detention?

    Did you use a self checkout line or did you have a cashier?

    Were there items in your cart that were not bagged?

    You do realize that Walmart has the right to ask you for a receipt before you leave their business? Your civil liberties don't cover the oppresive nature of private corporation loss prevention policies.

    As a veteran, I am embarassed that people like you play that card in such trivial situations.
  5. #5
    LillianX is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,094
    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone*of*Greece View Post
    What were you charged with? You know this could have all been avoided had you been courteous and handed the employee your receipt.
    While this is most definitely true, he was under absolutely no legal obligation to do so. The exception to this is stores like Costco and Sam's Club, where the contract you sign when you join contains language requiring you to allow them to check your purchases on the way out. Wal-Mart has absolutely lost a couple of suits in the last few years over this exact issue.

    On the way out, I hand over my receipt because I can't be fussed with it, but I understand why some folks prefer to just say no, and walk out.

    Quote Originally Posted by ERAUPIKE View Post
    You do realize that Walmart has the right to ask you for a receipt before you leave their business? Your civil liberties don't cover the oppresive nature of private corporation loss prevention policies.
    They sure do. And people have the right to decline to show them.
  6. #6
    asiny is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,005
    I can't find reference, but does Missouri allow 'shopkeepers privilege'?

    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Resendez - sadly this is TEXAS
    The shopkeeper's privilege, a defense to false imprisonment, expressly grants authority of law to detain customers to investigate ownership of property in a reasonable time and manner if there is reasonable belief that theft has occurred.
    Proving the store employee did not have a reasonable belief is a matter of discussion.
  7. #7
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,408
    Quote Originally Posted by LillianX View Post
    Wal-Mart has absolutely lost a couple of suits in the last few years over this exact issue.
    What were the nature of the suits? Simply "false imprisonment" is not enough to award moneys unless there were sustainable damages involved, especially as long as the defendant can articulate a reasonable suspicion. So what were the lawsuits actually over? I'm guessing injury caused by the staff being overly physical with the customer. If that is the case, and seeing as how the OP did not receive any injuries, my guess is his case is a crap shoot.

    If the OP wants to see what his odds of winning are, he should attempt to find a lawyer willing to take such a case on a contingency basis and we'll just see how many lawyers will flock to that opportunity.
  8. #8
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in the ether
    Posts
    34,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone*of*Greece View Post
    What were you charged with? You know this could have all been avoided had you been courteous and handed the employee your receipt.
    Quote Originally Posted by asiny View Post
    They do the same request at my local Best Buy - it takes a whole 5 seconds to show them my receipt and be on my way.


    Right here is where you created a conflict with the idiot at Walmart. Albeit you being correct, as I have said in another thread, you could have handled the situation in a diplomatic matter.
    while I tend to be a sheeple like anti and asiny suggest you become, I am 100% supportive of your rights to refuse to comply with a command they have no legal authority to demand.

    First, you should file a complaint against walmart for false imprisonment and false arrest and hope the prosecutor will take it to court. I doubt they will but I would make the effort to try to get it started as a criminal action (which it is). Then, as to what kind of attorney; you need one that deals with tort law. Tort law is not criminal law.

    You would have a claim for false arrest, false imprisonment, and defamation.

    Honestly, unless a jury would aware punitive damages, your winnings will be little to nothing as you have be subject to very little, if any, true injury.
  9. #9
    LillianX is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,094
    Quote Originally Posted by The Occultist View Post
    What were the nature of the suits? Simply "false imprisonment" is not enough to award moneys unless there were sustainable damages involved, especially as long as the defendant can articulate a reasonable suspicion. So what were the lawsuits actually over? I'm guessing injury caused by the staff being overly physical with the customer. If that is the case, and seeing as how the OP did not receive any injuries, my guess is his case is a crap shoot.

    If the OP wants to see what his odds of winning are, he should attempt to find a lawyer willing to take such a case on a contingency basis and we'll just see how many lawyers will flock to that opportunity.
    The cases I'm remembering off the top of my head were, indeed, based on being injured by the person doing the detaining. The detaining itself is illegal, but it's not something one would have a whole lot of luck suing over, given that there are no damages. Edit: More often than not, these things result in folks hollering back and forth, the cops being called by the store, the store being told by the police that they can't hold the shopper, followed by a lot of ranting on the internet.
    Last edited by LillianX; 07-19-2011 at 04:49 PM.
  10. #10
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in the ether
    Posts
    34,059
    Quote Originally Posted by asiny View Post
    I can't find reference, but does Missouri allow 'shopkeepers privilege'?


    Proving the store employee did not have a reasonable belief is a matter of discussion.
    there was no claim of reasonable suspicion. Walmart checks receipts as a matter of course and it has nothing to do with suspicion of theft. If the door guy could articulate reasonable cause for the detention, they would likely skate on both a criminal or civil suit.
  11. #11
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,684
    Something that's been passed over very quickly, but I think may be an important piece of the puzzle:

    Quote Originally Posted by ERAUPIKE View Post
    Were there items in your cart that were not bagged?
    OP: If you had unbagged items, then the request is entirely reasonable. Please clarify.
  12. #12
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,684
    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    there was no claim of reasonable suspicion. Walmart checks receipts as a matter of course and it has nothing to do with suspicion of theft. If the door guy could articulate reasonable cause for the detention, they would likely skate on both a criminal or civil suit.
    Checking receipts "as a matter of course" does not allow Walmart to detain you for failure to allow them to do so. The simple act of walking out of a store with bagged items does NOT rise to the level necessary to allow them to detain you.


    The Walmart in my town only checks receipts if you have items that aren't bagged.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in the ether
    Posts
    34,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Something that's been passed over very quickly, but I think may be an important piece of the puzzle:



    OP: If you had unbagged items, then the request is entirely reasonable. Please clarify.
    walmart only has little bitty bags. Much of their merchandise does not fit in nor gets put in bags. Having unbagged merchandise is not in itself justification to suspect them of stealing. Especially if he had anything in a bag, the demand to stop is not valid. There would have to be something greater to have a real concern they had shoplifted.

    Given the fact that a great deal of merchandise is not bagged, I suspect that alone will not fulfill the requirement of the law

    2. Any merchant, his agent or employee, who has reasonable grounds or probable cause to believe that a person has committed or is committing a wrongful taking of merchandise or money from a mercantile establishment, may detain such person in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time for the purpose of investigating whether there has been a wrongful taking of such merchandise or money. Any such reasonable detention shall not constitute an unlawful arrest or detention, nor shall it render the merchant, his agent or employee, criminally or civilly liable to the person so detained.
  14. #14
    dmcc10880 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    870
    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    walmart only has little bitty bags. Much of their merchandise does not fit in nor gets put in bags. Having unbagged merchandise is not in itself justification to suspect them of stealing. Especially if he had anything in a bag, the demand to stop is not valid. There would have to be something greater to have a real concern they had shoplifted.

    Given the fact that a great deal of merchandise is not bagged, I suspect that alone will not fulfill the requirement of the law
    And to think this all could have been over with in less than 30 seconds by handing over the receipt. The Walmart person would probably not have done a complete inventory anyway.

    Remember, this is Walmart's private property. They have the right to ensure that every piece of their property has been paid for.

    By escalating this the OP subjected himself to being detained. Whoops... I just spilled a cup of coffee on me at the McD's drive-through!!!!!
  15. #15
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,684
    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    walmart only has little bitty bags. Much of their merchandise does not fit in nor gets put in bags.
    That's a matter for the courts to decide, I suppose

    I would say that about 80% of my visits to Walmart do NOT result in me leaving the store with unbagged merchandise.

Similar Threads

  1. Pressing charges
    By Katscause in forum Domestic Violence & Abuse
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-21-2010, 04:16 PM
  2. my 16 yr old daughter detained at walmart
    By daisiee7 in forum Juvenile Law
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-26-2009, 11:18 AM
  3. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-19-2008, 02:18 PM
  4. Detained by walmart security
    By ishtvan222 in forum Civil Rights & Discrimination Law
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-13-2007, 01:47 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.