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  Palmer Reifler LetterWhat you need to know if you've been
contacted by Palmer, Reifler & Associates

· I received a letter from Palmer, Reifler & Associates. Who is this and what should I do about it?
· What is this demand amount I am requested to pay?
· What if I can’t pay?
· What if I don’t pay?
· Will I receive receipts after each payment?
· What are civil recovery laws?
· What happens if the store got their merchandise back?
· Are parents liable for payment if their minor child is caught shoplifting?
· Why is the demand so high for a small dollar value theft?
· I went to criminal court, why do I have to pay this?
· Do I still have to go to criminal court if I pay the civil demand?
· Where can I get more information?



I received a letter from Palmer, Reifler & Associates. Who is this and what should I do about it?
The Law Offices of Palmer, Reifler & Associates, P.A. is a law firm organized under the laws of Florida that represents clients in matters of theft, typically shoplifting and employee theft. You may have received a letter from Palmer, Reifler because its client has identified you as a responsible party in an alleged theft by either you or possibly a minor in your custody. If this is the basis of the letter, the matter was reviewed by the client and submitted to the law firm, before the civil recovery letter was prepared and sent to you. Many times, the file undergoes a review at the firm prior to any call or letter being transmitted. These are legitimate property rights claims most often based on the civil statutes of your state and entitling the client to make demand for damages and/or civil penalties. In some instances, the letter you received from Palmer, Reifler may pertain to a dishonored check or other bad debt claim by the client and is, likewise, based on our clients representation of how the claim arose.

The matter can be resolved with Palmer, Reifler by calling the toll free number listed on the letter or by going to www.PalmerPay.com and settling the matter through a secure payment web site. It is helpful to have the case number nearby for quick reference.

The following are the answers to frequently asked questions regarding civil recovery law and theft claims.
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What is this demand amount I am requested to pay?
The demand amount is a settlement proposal based upon state civil statutes.
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What if I can’t pay?
If you are currently unable to pay the entire civil demand amount being requested, call the Palmer, Reifler offices using the number listed on the letter to discuss the matter.  In many cases, we have been authorized by our client to work out a payment plan that allows you to pay the amount over a reasonable period of time.  In some circumstances, Palmer, Reifler may be able to accept a lower amount if paid in a lump sum.  You need to call Palmer, Reifler to discuss whether these are available options and to set up the terms of the settlement agreement or payment plan.   As long as the payment plan is followed or an agreed upon settlement is paid in full, the civil matter will be fully resolved.
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What if I don’t pay?
Failure to respond to our client’s request for a pre-litigation settlement within the time specified in Palmer, Reifler correspondence may result in the file being reviewed and attorney’s fees or additional statutory damages being requested depending upon the jurisdiction.   Refusal to pay the requested settlement amount may, at the discretion and direction of our client, result in the filing of a civil law suit against the responsible party. We urge anyone who receives correspondence from Palmer, Reifler law firm to contact us in a timely manner by calling the number on the letter ( 1-888-572-5637) or visiting our secure pay site;  www.PalmerPay.com.
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Will I receive receipts after each payment?
Other than in Washington D.C., where pursuant to statute a receipt of payment is provided after each partial payment; Palmer, Reifler & Associates does not provide a written receipt after each partial payment. However, you will be provided a written receipt of payment or civil penalty release approximately seven weeks after receipt and processing of the full payment. It is advisable to keep track of your payments and your file number(s). Palmer, Reifler & Associates can be contacted during daily extended business hours at 1-866-736-8850 to check on your balance.
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What are civil recovery laws?
When a shoplifting or employee theft incident occurs there are two laws that have potentially been violated; a civil law and a criminal law. Local law enforcement authorities address criminal law issues regarding theft. Civil laws, enacted by state legislatures to address retail theft, are generally known as civil recovery laws. They grant retailers the specific right to recover damages and/or civil penalties from shoplifters and dishonest employees.

The intent of these laws is to discourage repeat offenses of theft by penalizing the theft offender and to make theft offenders responsible for a portion of the cost society pays to prevent, detect, apprehend, and document the improper acts. Businesses incur substantial costs to combat theft, as well as law abiding citizens who pay these costs in the form of higher prices.
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What happens if the store got their merchandise back?
In most shoplifting and employee theft cases, the merchandise is recovered. However, whether the merchandise is recovered or not has no impact on the penalty or costs the business has already incurred in trying to prevent the loss, including the costs associated with investigation, apprehension, and documentation of the theft. These costs would not have been necessary if the theft was not attempted. In addition to helping the retailer recoup a small portion of the costs stemming from theft, the damage request is punitive and serves to discourage such attempts in the future.
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Are parents liable for payment if their minor child is caught shoplifting?
It depends on individual state statutes. Many state laws designate whether parents have either joint responsibility with their minor child or sole responsibility to pay for their child’s act of theft. In some states, parents may be liable for a portion of the demand including, for instance, actual damages and/or attorney’s fees and the minor could be held liable for another portion, such as a penalty or liquidated damages amount. Civil demand correspondences from Palmer, Reifler & Associates are directed accordingly.
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Why is the demand so high for a small dollar value theft?
The statutory penalty is often not based on the amount of the merchandise, but instead based on the wrongful act itself. Some statutes allow for a penalty calculation that takes into consideration the retail value of merchandise attempted to be taken. Part of the purpose of a penalty request is to deter the wrongful act. To someone inclined to steal, merely having to return the stolen item upon being caught would tend to encourage further theft activity as opposed to deterring such activity. Civil laws seek to deter theft.
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I went to criminal court, why do I have to pay this?
Criminal laws and civil laws are separate from each other and in most states are independent of each other. The local authorities and the local prosecutor or state attorney typically handle the prosecution of any criminal offenses. The letters sent by Palmer, Reifler & Associates are notices that the client is considering pursuit of rights and/or remedies available to them by civil law in the state where the offense occurred. The client has retained the Palmer, Reifler Law Firm to make the request for a civil penalty and/or other damages.
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Do I still have to go to criminal court if I pay the civil demand?
Yes, if there is a criminal case. Payment of the civil demand to Palmer, Reifler takes care of the civil matter referenced in the letter only. If there is a criminal court action (you would most likely have either been arrested or given a Notice to Appear by a police officer for this to apply), then you need to comply with the rules of the criminal court that has jurisdiction for the criminal matter. Payment of a civil penalty demand does not relieve you of possible criminal liability but does ensure that you would not have any further civil penalty liability for that particular claim. Restitution claims to cover losses sustained for items that were not recovered may be addressed in a separate civil claim or may also be addressed during criminal proceedings.
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Where can I get more information?
You can find additional information on civil recovery and our Law Offices at www.palmerreiflerlaw.com. Here you will find pertinent information regarding issues related to civil recovery, state statutes and civil litigation.
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Palmer, Reifler & Associates, P.A.  |  Post Office Box 607774  |  Orlando, FL 32860-7774  |  888-572-5637
 
 
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