Counsel to retail merchants in the

field of civil recovery for retail theft.



  • Civil Recovery For Retail Theft

    Retail merchants are victims of theft. The act of unlawful taking of merchandise ( conversion ) causes a recognizable loss to the retail merchant even if the merchandise is recovered in merchantable condition.  The merchandise has been removed from the premises,  even if briefly,   and cannot be offered for sale.  There are costs incurred by the retail merchant to recover the merchandise and restock it after restoring it to merchantable condition.  In addition to criminal charges arising from the theft, retail merchants have the legal right to assert a claim for civil damages and/or penalties under state statutes. Part of the purpose for the civil recovery statutes is to have the alleged theft offender compensate the retailer for the specific act of theft, in an effort to have the offender acknowledge and accept his/her responsibility for their misconduct. The statutes have a general deterrent purpose, as well, because society is also harmed by retail theft. Civil recovery for retail theft includes civil demand and employee restitution. Civil Recovery for retail theft is not debt collection.

    Michael Ira Asen has represented retail merchants in this area of law for over fourteen years.

  • Civil Demand

    Shoplifting and employee theft adversely impacts the retail merchant, the consumer and the criminal justice system. Even if no criminal charges are ever filed, the retail merchant may still make a statutory civil demand from the alleged theft offender or other legally responsible party. Statutory civil damages and/or penalties may be recovered by a settlement between the alleged theft offender and the retail merchant before the filing of a lawsuit.

  • Employee Restitution

    Making restitution is the act of restoring an injured party to the position the party was in before the injury occurred. In the case of retail theft, it is the repayment of actual losses sustained by the retail merchant as a result of the employee’s dishonest activity, theft of money, merchandise or other property, or some other damage to the merchant’s business. As evidence of the repayment obligation,   the employee should sign a promissory note.