Vermillion, SD asked in Consumer Law for North Dakota

Q: Does Walmart need probable cause demand my receipt as I am walking out the door?

The only thing I could find in the century code was If you set off the electronic detection, that is probable cause. If I have been thru the checkout, paid for all my Items. the items and receipt are now my personal property. Any involuntary search without probable cause should not be legal, correct? Maybe if the store had signs as you enter "If you shop here you consent to search on leaving" it does not.

Thanks for the response. So I guess I should have asked the question this way. Does Walmart have the right to keep me from leaving the store if I refuse to show them my receipt?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lucas Wynne
Lucas Wynne
  • Duluth, MN
  • Licensed in North Dakota

A: No, probable cause is a standard for law enforcement rather than Walmart employees. Further, probable cause is the standard to make an arrest or obtain a warrant. In your scenario, neither is occurring. The phrase you might be looking for is "reasonable suspicion."

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