Q: What are the laws against store employees touching you for shoplifting
I was shoplifting at a local grocery store. I walked out and immediately was grabbed from behind,pushed,cursed at,hit ,my personal belongings taken from me and they refused to give it back. They also destroyed my personal property and ripped my shirt. There were 2 bigger men and one woman and none of them were security they were regular store employees. My wrist is severely spranged from fighting with them to give me my things as they were violently pulling them from me. What can I do..??
Generally, a person or company can use non-deadly force to defend their property. This can include restraining you. In addition, stores in California enjoy what is called "shopkeeper's privilege." Under California law, the principle of shopkeeper’s privilege permits shopkeepers (or store owners or merchants) to detain a customer if they have probable cause that the person is guilty of shoplifting (per Penal Code 459.5).
Under the law, though, it is required that a store owner’s detention:
be for a reasonable time, and
used solely for the purpose of investigating the suspected shoplifting offense.
The shopkeeper’s privilege is authorized under California Penal Code 490.5 PC.
However, an argument could be made that the force used exceeded that which was necessary. I highly advise you to speak with an attorney in your area to completely determine your rights and the merits of your case.
THE BEST ADVICE IS TO CONTACT A LOCAL LAWYER WHO CAN REVIEW ALLLLLL
HOWEVER, IF SOMEONE WERE TO COME INTO A BIZ YOUR FAMILY HAD WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO STOP THEM AND CALL THE POLICE.
IT APPEARS YOU COMMITTED A THEFT AND SOMEONE WAS TRYING TO STOP YOU FROM DOING SO AND DETAINING YOU UNTIL THE POLICE GOT THERE.
LOOK AT THE ANSWER BELOW BY ARRASMITH, RE SHOPKEEPERS PRIVILEGE........
A: Mr. Arrasmith provides an excellent answer. I'd add that if there was no basis for a brief detention, you may have a claim for false imprisonment, etc. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]
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