Oakland, CA asked in Constitutional Law for California

Q: If I didn't steal from the store, can the store legally tell me to not come back in

I had too many items in my hands to prevent from dropping them. I put an item in my pocket with the intention of purchasing the item. Was not cashed out but I was told too if I was going to buy the item to buy it and then I was told to not go in the store anymore. Can they legally do this? I was not nor had I planned on stealing and I've never had any issues before

Never stolen. This is my local store and the only one opened during my hours

How is this OK for that particular person to do?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Store owners or managers have the legal right to refuse service or entry to individuals, as long as they do not violate anti-discrimination laws. This means a store can ask you not to return if they suspect shoplifting or any behavior they deem inappropriate, even if no crime was committed.

Your situation, where you placed an item in your pocket with the intention to purchase it, could be misunderstood by store personnel. From their perspective, this action might raise concerns about potential theft, even though your intention was not to steal.

It can be frustrating, especially if this is your local store and you have never had any issues before. However, the store's decision to prohibit you from entering is within their rights. They are allowed to enforce policies to protect their interests, even if it seems unfair in certain situations.

If you believe the store's action is unjustified or has caused you significant inconvenience, you might consider speaking to the store management to explain your side of the story. Open communication can sometimes resolve misunderstandings and may lead to a reconsideration of their decision.

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