Senator Brownsberger submitted the following written testimony to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
TO: Committee on the Judiciary
FROM: Senator William N. Brownsberger
RE: S615, An Act relative to penalties for shoplifting
DATE: October 22, 2013
I am writing in support of S625, An Act relative to penalties for shoplifting.
I filed this bill in response to learning of cases where merchants were demanding hundreds of dollars of restitution from people (teenagers) who allegedly had shoplifted items worth less than $20.00.
S625 would provide the following protections:
1) Full disclosure to the accused
2) Limit the amount that can be demanded outside of a court process, unless there has been a shoplifting conviction (existing law allows “actual damages” plus up to $500; the amended version would still allow a court to award this much to a merchant, but wouldn’t allow the merchant to simply demand $500 plus its unilateral estimate of actual damages as “settlement”)
3) Impose sanctions for abusing this process
I hope that the Committee will report S625 favorably.