• Retail Theft Could Get you Sued. - Zellers


    Digg!

    Stealing $20 head phones is expensive!!
    I got this letter from a close friend whose child stole a pair of $20 head phones from Zellers back in March.

    The child is 15, and the parent is stuck with a $475 (could be as much as $900) bill from a law firm!

    I thought it would be interesting to post the letter up for everybody to see. Zeller is taking a pretty aggressive stance on theft.

    I'd be curious to know other's opinions... Should the parent have to pay $475 to a law firm for a $20 pair of head phones?

    In this case, the parent IS making the child pay for the legal fees. This is to help the child understand that stealing is costly and that it's not really the "thrill" that he thought it was supposed to be.

    PATRICK K. MARTIN, B.A.,LL.B.,B.C.L.
    BARRISTER AND SOLICITER

    1370 DON MILLS ROAD, SUITE 300
    TORONTO, ONTARIO, M3B 3N7
    TEL (416) 847-3359 FAX (416) 847-3358

    WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

    PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
    Dear Mr. Parent

    Re: Zellers Inc. and Parent of Child
    Recovery of Civil Damages/Our Case Number ZZZZ ? XXXXXX

    I am external legal counsel for Zellers Inc. (the ?Retailer?) with respect to civil recovery matters. It is alleged that on March XX, 2007, a young person under your care and custody, (namely The Child) took unlawful possession of merchandise from the Retailer?s premises located at Zellers Inc, 489 Albert Street N. , Regina, SK. The retailer takes the position that it has right to claim damages from the said your person and/or you as a result of such action based on theft, damages and conversion. The Retailer?s right of civil recovery and payments made to the Retailer are separate and distinct from any criminal proceedings which may be instituted by the police.

    The retailer also takes the position that it has the right to claim damages from you as a parent or guardian of the young person for failing to provide reasonable supervision of the young person. You have a right to be represented by a lawyer with respect to this claim.

    The Retailer is prepared to settle its claim for damages in return for a payment of $475.00 (the ?Settlement Amount?), received on or before June XX, 2007. If this amount is not paid, I may receive specific instruction, whether or not to arrange for a law firm in your jurisdiction to commence legal proceedings before a civil court for all damages, plus interest, legal expenses, and other administrative costs incurred by the Retailer in connection with this matter. These latter amounts may increase if payment is not made by the noted date. This settlement amount is based on the costs associated with the detection, apprehension, recovery of goods and damages associated with shoplifting, hereafter referred to as Recovery Costs. Retailers have calculated the average Recovery Costs to be approximately $900.00. The settlement amount is significantly lower than the Recovery Costs, however, should the retailer be compelled to prove costs in Court, they would rely on the higher or actual amount of Recovery Costs in any civil claim field.

    Should you choose to settle the Retailer?s payment of the Settlement Amount, payment should be made by cheque or money order, made payable to ?CIVIL RECOVERY? on behalf of the Retailer, with your name and the above case number noted thereon. The payment should be sent in the enclosed postage paid envelope or to the following address: P.O. Box 193, Streetsville, Ontario L5M 2B8.

    I have been advised that Canadian retailers estimate shoplifting amounts to an annual expense exceeding $4.0 billion. Experience indicates that pursuing shoplifters for such losses reduces the number of shoplifting incidents, resulting in savings which can then be passed on to the consumers. The Hudson?s Bay v. White supports the position that shoplifters, in certain cases, are liable for punitive damages.

    Any questions in regard to this matter are to be made in writing, and addressed to the undersigned.

    Yours truly,

    Patrick Martin , B.A.,LL.B.,B.C.L.



    Article Created: 2007-05-25
    Article Updated: Not yet updated.

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538 Comments
On Nov 13, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
I keep receiving emails and phone calls from people who think they can simply ignore the letters from these Civil Recovery lawyers.

Don't.

They are not likely to take you to court, but thay can damage your credit rating. You wouldn't be notified when that happens.

You can contact me for advise.

Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com
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On Sep 16, 2012, a shopplifter Said:
I am sick of all you so called legal counsel, wanting money from me , there was a reason i was stealing the items in the first place, i have no money! That was my way to eat for the day and worry about the next day tomorrow, i am not proud of my way of doing things but hunger gets the best of you sometimes and believe me if i could work i would, but if you have no where to plug your clock into , it;s hard to get a job, but you people would never understand that so take this letter and shove it as far as you can .

thank you
On Aug 31, 2012, Aj. Said:
so i went in zellers and i baught bus tickets. then walked around playing with toys, and i was with a friend, we're both adults who like stupid toys. we saw rediculous stuff. then when we went out. the buzzer went off and loss prevention and other people were on the other side. buddy went south and i got brought in. didn't know what was going on. but apparently we got caught for stealling. WHEN I DIDNT EVEN STEAL ANYTHING.. i baught bus tickets. so he read me my rights and i told him i dont got anything.. i pulled out my pockets to prove it.. i had my reciept. then police came. they charged me 65 bucck., and i got banned for a year.. then 2 weeks later i get a bill for $595... for stealling.. WHEN I DIDNT TAKE ANY THING.. so first off im not paying.. i understand the theory innocent until proven guilty.. i think i got pinned for something stupid. cause this is rediculous. we both denied it but this still had to happen?? so im confused
On Aug 26, 2012, tina v/d graaf Said:
I received a letter in April, that my son, whom does not liveiwith me and hasn't in over two years.
I am not going to pay.
Firstly it was a hat. Who ever called me told me that they just had to inform someone. I asked if anything would be sent to mei because my son lives in a shelter. The lady told me that nothing was going to happen and that he was ban. I think that this is trickery. I am not going to pay. Should I acknowledge the letter with a letter of my own stating trickery or just totally ignore it
Tina
On Aug 23, 2012, TS Said:
A few days ago I got a letter in the mail from Patrick K Martin saying that I owed $595.00 for shoplifting a pair of $10.00 sunglasses. I know what I did was stupid and wrong, it was my first offense and I have definitely learned my lesson, getting caught was punishment enough, but I was just wondering if there was anyone who received the same letter and ignored it, and what happened? I don't feel like what they are asking for it fair and by all the comments it sounds like a scam. I don't want to pay them but I am scared if I don't they will take me to court and sue me for ever more money. Please comment and let me know what happened to you. Thanks
On Aug 7, 2012, A Malik Said:
Today i got a call asking for my parent living here the person didn't say a specific name or who she was i think it may have been the company calling about sueing us or something but they said they would call back later, i believe they want to know why we haven't payed yet what should i do i'm so scared of my parents finding out about this when i agreed to Never do it again.
On Aug 7, 2012, Suzie Said:
DO NOT PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The same thing happenned to my child, she stole a lipgloss worth four dollars. The lipgloss was returned.
I received a letter demanding $595.00
I did not pay, nor do i plan to.
The letter was not registered, there is no proof that i even received it. They are the crooks here, DO NOT PAY! there is nothing they can do, they have no legal grounds, they try to scare you and whoever gets scared they pay and this company makes money.
From my experiece my child's disappointment in herself was punishment enough for her, for myself the fact that my child knows better yet still chose to steal something was punishment enough for me.
PLEASE DO NOT PAY THESE CROOKS!!!!! they should be the one's that get apprehended.
On Aug 2, 2012, Patrick Said:
wow . My mom shoplifted and got caught , and because I was there with her I got in trouble and now we are both Banned from any HBC stores in canada , and also Me and my mom have to pay $595.00 each ... Like I don't understand Why I have to pay so much and also my mother , When for 1 I didn't Steal anything , I may have been there , but I did not take anything . Also what my mother took was under 100$ , so me and my mom are pretty much paying 1000$ and we dont get much time to pay them ! only a week , and we both don;t even Have a job. Also the Gaurd that stopped us outside , Grabbed my mother by her arm , and told us both to go inside . SECURITY DOES NOT HAVE ANY RIGHTS! to GRAB ANYONE! unless they are trying to Run , or start any Issues .. My mother and I were Very patiant and did everything they said .

This law Is retarded , and I think if sumone steals , They should Only pay the price for what they stole .

As for me , I honestly dont think I should have to pay such a high price when I wasnt the one shoplifting .
On Jul 25, 2012, Nat Said:
Hi Gerry,

I shoplifted from Shoppers Drug Mart back in October 2011. I received a letter from Patrick K. Martin in March of 2012 demanding $500. I ignored the letter because I read on many sites that it is a scam. Now I have received a letter demanding $600 and it is a final notice saying that I will be taken to civil court if I do not pay it. I didn't even make it out of the store when someone stopped me and it was a $7 nail polish. The fellow that stopped me said nothing would even happen and I would just be suspended from going to Shoppers Drug Mart in the future. I'm not sure what I should do, I am in no financial state to pay $600 nor do I think I should.

Please help!
On Jul 23, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:


A comment from a fan from York U.:

Hi Gerry,

Just rolled my ankle (luckily not broken! pretty scraped up though) on a municipal street pothole with no intersection to cross at in sight, and was doing some googling. I'm an avid reader so needless to say I always have many "tangent tabs" open (the internet is a wonderful place!) and I came across some of your posts regarding your defence of theft clients. I wanted to say that, although I don't necessarily agree with the majority of excuses for that kind of situation, I think what you're doing with your base fee + GST is a wonderful service to the community at large. I agree that these companies are extorting, no doubt about that. The law is a very complex and sometimes dark place, and most of the time it is extremely hard for the individual to self-represent. Lawyers are out of reach for the majority of people and the service your offering is very kind.

I hope all is well out in BC.

Best,
David
On Jul 21, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
That's because it would be highly improper for me to answer any questions without knowing who my client is and knowing all the facts. I have answered all questions that were emailed to my email address. Some people chose to use my services, some didn't.

Do you realy think this is a money making proposition? You must be kidding.

I'm only telling people not to pay these ridiculous demand and yes, I can help.

Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com
On Jul 19, 2012, laurie Said:
My Daughter is in the same boat and her letter came today. But it seems to me this site is nothing more then an Advertisement for this lawyer. Not once has anyone's question been answered directly. I think we'll just call legal aid.
On Jul 13, 2012, Disgruntled_Ex_Employee Said:
I\'m a former Zellers employee and made the stupid mistake of trying to shoplift from them. I faced the music, covered the losses inflicted upon them and signed their forms admitting guilt and so on, and was terminated. Now over a month later I receive my letter from \"Mr. Martin\" demanding $1028.80 or I could face legal action, which I find is just ludicrous. I\'m going on a big holiday soon, and I\'d rather just get this out of the way and not have to worry about. I\'ve seen the posts from Mr. Laarakker and am giving serious consideration contacting him regarding my situation.
On Jul 11, 2012, Alexandria Nazir Said:
Basically myself and two of my cousins (all of us are minors) were caught stealing at the Bay. We were told that we would be receiving a letter claiming some sort of fine should there be any damages done the the items we tried to take. The three of us received our letters today, and are each being asked to pay $595. Like the examples from everyone else, the letter from Patrick Martin claims that he can escalate the amount payable and that he can bring the matter up in court. The address on the letter and return envelope are different, but I really just want to get this matter over with. I don\'t have the money, and believe me I know we were wrong, but 595 seems just a little too ridiculous.

Should we pay it????
On Jul 11, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Please ignore the post by "Not Surprised". I think that is one of the lawyers who engages in in this "Civil Recovery" practice.

Behind an anonymous monniker, he is merely trying to besmirch my reputation and getting people to pay up.

Don't fall for it.

Contact me at Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com for help. I can help you.
On Jun 24, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Not surprised.

I am a lawyer in BC and not a member of the LSUC. But that is not the only problem with your letter.

I guess every lawyer who defends anyone accused of doing something wrong is corrupt? There are about 80 people who would disagree with you.

I have my name out there, so why don't you stop hiding behind some anonymous identity and admit you are one of those lawyers engaged in this "Civil Recovery Program". Put your real name and contact info out there. That way we could debate the matter in public, rather than your sniping nonsense.

As far as "unprofessional conduct" is concerned, I am actually quite proud of that case. I called a lawyer who engages in this civil recovery nonsense some names. Admittedly, I shouldn't have.

Lawyers from across the country contacted me to congratulate me and how they supported me. They even send me money! One law prof who feels the LSBC decided the case wrong is including an analysis of this case in her upcoming books on legal ethics.

If you think you can insult me with your whining defense of these big stores pulling this nonsense you have to come up with something much better than what you have so far. But I guess you are perfect and superior to all of us.

Asfor the rest, you have a choice paying these outrageous demands for $500 to $1200, or you can pay me $100 total to defend you. Oh yeah, that's a money-making proposition.

Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com
On Jun 23, 2012, Not Suprised Said:
It is not surprising that Mr. Laarakker has indicated he doesn't support theives and what they do but, he does profit from them himself. He mentions in reply to my posting that the individual gets arrested by store security and the property is recovered. Well, who pays for the in store security personnel to ensure losses are kept to a minimal? The only reason the property is recovered, simply because the person is arretsed. How manny times have they gotten away with it before being caught. The retailer pay for this and so do the honest shoppers who have to pay inflated prices to cover some of the cost associated with theft. I am not a lawyer but simply a law abiding citizen who is not surprised that a lawyer, who by the way has been disciplined by the Law Society of Upper Canada because of his unprofessional conduct, supports admitted thieves. Oh well, I can only assume he can't cut it in the real world and has to associate himself with admitted thieves (criminals). Good luck to all of you in your quest to have our judicial system changed to support admitted thieves and corrupt lawyers that accept a fee to send out a five cent letter on their behalf. Shame it has come to this.
On Jun 21, 2012, Mary Said:
A friend of mine recently got the same type of letter however he was an employee of HBC. He used a wrong discount to pay for an item. The discount was meant for customers not employees, it was worth $20. So the letter states he took merchandise unlawfully eventhough he paid for the item (minus the $20 discount).

The letter states that this is aside from any "Criminal Action" that may result.

Will there be criminal action? My friend is fairly new to Canada and is going crazy thinking of the "criminal" action against him. He was given the opportunity to resign but wanted to prove he was not a theif by explaining himself and they even made him write an apology to the store manager.

He needed the job to pay for school tuition but no longer has that... is there any advice you can provide in this situation? He has been asked to pay $1200 dollars and it seems like a template letter with an electronic signature. He is just freaking out about having a criminal record and since neither of us has dealt with any legal matters in the past this is a scary experience. He realizes what he did was stupid and a bad judgement call. He was a perfect employee otherwise, no discplines, warnings, etc.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide.
On Jun 3, 2012, miki Said:
How can these lawyers affect your credit rating when most of these amounts are picked out of thin air.would you not have to go tp court first?
On May 27, 2012, dave Said:
received second letter from zellers lawyer cost has gone up from 595.00 to 695.00 do i still ignore , getting worried now
On May 6, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
I have received a number of emails that state that I have suggested to ignore these Civil Recovery Demands.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You HAVE to deal with them. I suggest you don't pay these outfits any money, but I also suggest that you use the assistance of a lawyer to help you through that process and keep your credit rating from being tarnished. $112 is a small price to pay.

"Not surprised"
I have never suggested that shoplifting is okay. I am of the opinion that a $595 Civil Recovery demand is disproportionate and in fact, a demand not supported by law. I think that $595 is a bigger rip-off than some person stealing a small item. Don't forget, that person was caught and the stolen item returned to the store.

Now, you may be perfect and look down your nose at people who make a mistake, but I am not willing to do so. Believe me when I tell you, a $100 fee is hardly a profitable enterprise.

Alternatively, are you one of the lawyers driving this 'Civil Recovery' scheme and am I hurting your income? If so, good. That is my intention. I would like nothing better than to put you out of business.

No people, shoplifting is not a good idea, but if you got to this page, you know this already. And if you get one of those civil recovery demand letters, deal with it. It won't go away.

Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com
On Apr 22, 2012, not surprised Said:
It doesn't surprise me that this lawyer, Mr. Laarakker has himself jumped on the band wagon. He is profiting from thieves that again, are looking for an out and to justify their actions. Realize this, everytime something is stolen from any retailer, small, medium or large, it is us "the honest" customer that pays. We pay through inflated prices to cover the illegal actions of these theives. There is absolutely no deterrent through our Judicial System, Police cannot attend these trivial matters as they have more serious things do deal with, such as rape, homicide, serious assualts. The criminal courts do not deter theft at all. Diversion, absolute discharge, are you kidding me. "Now Johnny, you stole from this large retailer, don't do it again, okay?" Now go away and be good.
This posting is disgusting, anyone that submits a message trying to come across as the victim should be ashamed of themselves. OH SORRY, I forgot I'm trying to communicate with admitted theives that want us to feel sorry for them. After all they are the victims, or they would like us to believe that.
I simply cannot accept that a licesned lawyer under the Law Society of Uppper Canada would post such a page, asking for thieves (admitted) to have us feel sorry for them. Even better, with admissions posted, this lawyer speaks on their behalf, condoning theft.
Oh well, this si what our society has become. It is a disgrace. Stand up and take your deserved punishment, which should be criminal charges and a record. Consider yourself lucky now if you are a thief, the courts are no deterrent. I fully support this Civil Recovery program. Keep it going.....
Hopefully no one reading this knows who I am, they might come and steal from me. Knowing they will not be held accountable, WHO IS THE VICTIM?
On Apr 10, 2012, hoseong,lee Said:
hi i am international student in Vancouver. i got the s
ame envelope do i have to pay it ??
On Apr 8, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Sorry, should have been:

Email: james.ingram@hbc.com
On Apr 7, 2012, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
Here is something you might be interested in:

A little birdie gave me this info.

James A. Ingram
Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel

Hudson's Bay Company
Legal Services
1420 Bay St
Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4
Phone: 416-861-4593
Fax: 416-861-4200
email: james.igram@hbc.com

I a certain Mr. Ingram would be interested to hear what you think of their "Civil Recovery" practices for Zellers, Home Outfitters and The Bay. He probably doesn't even know about it.

Are there any other stores owned by the Bay? Let me know.

I am not suggesting that you should harrass Mr. Ingram, but it couldn't hurt to let him know what you think of The Bay's tactics.

Gerry M. Laarakker
On Apr 6, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
There seems to be a new wrinkle in this "Civil Recovery" file. I represent a client and informed the Civil Recovery Lawyer acting for the Bay of same.

So, that lawyer is not allowed to contact my client anymore. But the HBC did contact her! Technically, since that lawyer did not contact her, he is off the hook. However, the Bay has now put themselves on the hook. It is illegal what they have done. I have asked my client for details, contact info etc. so I can follow up with the appropriate Ministry in Ontario.

Don't worry folks, I won't leave my clients dangling in the wind. If you are my client and you receive one of those calls, contact me immediately.

Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com

PS - Tami, read this blog.
On Apr 5, 2012, Tami Said:
I received a letter from a law firm after my child shoplifted. do I have to pay this fine?
On Apr 3, 2012, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
Illuminati

Thank you for your offensive post. Are you the same \"Illuminati\" who posts nonsense on the Globe and mail forums?

My contact info is on my website, Laarakkerlaw.com. That is also the website indicated in my email address. You can check out LSBC.org to show that I am a lawyer in good standing; that site would also confirm my contact info.

Are you a shill for these \"Civil Recovery Specialists\" that I have been taking the mickey out of?

Webmaster; I am a little disappointed that you would allow such scurrilous posts.
On Mar 30, 2012, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
There is a new player in the Civil Recovery field. Loblaw will now send you a bill for Civil Recovery for $325 if caught shoplifting. Again, watch out, this may impact your credit rating if you don't pay.

Same thing applies. Contact me at Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com
On Mar 29, 2012, marty Said:
My wife did something stupit and shoplifted from zellers ..she has to go to court ...this is the first time in her life she has done anything like this and she regrets it ..she just received a letter from Patrick K .Martin demanding 595 dollars .she suffers from depression and is really having a hard time dealing with all this ....thats why i am looking for a way to deal with this , we can`t afford the 595 ,not sure what to do.
On Mar 23, 2012, Brian H Said:
Don\'t fall for this crap from HYDE Legal or Patrick K. Martin.
It is just a way for them to scam money from you with out any work and it is all B.S.
On Mar 20, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Pleased to announce that today I assisted my 40th client. Forty people no longer have to worry about being harassed.
On Mar 12, 2012, Gerry Laarakker, JD Said:
There have been some emails wondering what I do for the 100 bucks I charge (+HST). So here is the explanation:

First, I will respond to Martin, Groot, Credit Bureau of Canada etc. that I am now the lawyer for Ms. X and that I am the party to be served with any further communications or claims, and that I will defend my client against such claim. Usually that is all it takes.

All that for a a measly 100 bucks. About a third of my standard hourly rate.

But IF YOU DON\\\\\\\"T DEFEND, it may have among others, long-term credit record consequences. That could be the result of ignoring these claims; NOT defending may come back to haunt you.

Why do I do this? I believe that the conduct of these \\\\\\\"Civil Recovery Lawyers\\\\\\\" is a far greater \\\\\\\'sin\\\\\\\' than shoplifting a trinket. Their conduct is the kind of thing that gives lawyers generally a bad reputation.

Frankly, I would love the opportunity to meet any of these lawyers in a Court Room, in front of a judge, anywhere in Canada. That, as strange as it may seem, would be my idea of fun.

So don\\\\\\\'t just sit there, it will not go away because you are ignoring it.

Gerry

Contact me at Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com.
On Mar 10, 2012, Anne Said:
Let's support Gerry and all the help he has provided us. $112 is a small price to pay for all his hard work, and our peace of mind. It is better than the threat of the alternative!.
On Mar 8, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
I have been swamped with requests for assistance. Most of them say that they cannot afford to pay. So far, I have not questioned that, although at tiimes the resons were very dubious. One had the funds to pay the $595 and had mailed a cheque already, but could not afford to pay me $112. Another one was employed as a Legal Assistant at a big law firm! She claimed not being able to pay either.

Contact me at Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com

I'm afraid my good nature is being taken advantage of and the workload is starting to interfere with my regular (paid) work as a lawyer.

So regretfully, I will no longer be able able to offer a defense for free. You will have to pay $112. It seems like a small price to pay compared to the alternative.

I'm still happy to help you, sometimes even for free, but being a student and not wishing to run up student debts is no longer sufficient reason for me to not get paid.
On Mar 5, 2012, Christina Tran Said:
Hi, I am a student under 18 years of age in Vancouver, BC and had recently shoplifted approximately $10 worth of items from Zellers Inc. and was able to leave the premises before being stopped. I truly did not have the intention of stealing when I walked in the store but when I saw the item I don't know why but I just felt that the item was not worth the amount that they were asking for. I understand now that that is not a valid excuse to shoplift. I truly feel remorseful. I had offered to pay for the items stolen but was rejected. I and a friend (who did not steal) was led into a dingy office where I had to wait for a police officer to arrive for not being able to provide ID. I don't know what I was thinking, but at the time I thought that a school student go card would not be accepted thus I did not bother with it. I handed over the merchandise with no damage.

During the time that we waited for the police officer to arrive, we filled out a sheet that asked us for basic information(name, address, weight, height etc). After all was said the police officer as well as the person who caught us said that because this was a first time offense this would be a warning and that we would not be charged. As well as for further punishment, my friend and I was banned from any Zellers store for the next 2 years. However, a little bit after a week later, I received a letter that stated "Recovery of Civil Damages" by a legal counsel of the company by the name of PATRICK K. MARTIN demanding a payment of $595.00 (the "Settlement Amount") or the retailer "may be given instructions whether or not to arrange for a law firm in [my] jurisdiction to commence legal proceeding before a civil court for all damages, plus interest, legal expenses and other administrative costs incurring by the Retailer in connection with this matter."

My father who was able to release us took the letter to the store and was told that this was "outside the store work" - basically I could've been charged from the store as well as the company itself.



I finally came by this site and found a man named Gerry M. Laarakker. As you scroll down you will see that several others have been helped by this incredibly generous lawyer. I emailed him and immediately got a response a few minutes later. He willingly helped me despite my being unable to compensate him for his services. I will never be able to thank him enough. Don't ignore the letter, contact Gerry M. Laarakker!!
On Mar 5, 2012, Anne Said:
I am in the same position as a lot of you on here. Zellers, minor child attempted theft under $20, first offence, no charges laid, and the lawyer letter demanding $595 from Patrick Martin, due in two weeks.

Has anyone been taken to small claims court for not paying and more importantly were the fines doubled, plus, plus.. like the threat in the letter from Peter Martin?

Please help I need to know!!
On Mar 4, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Daniel, you are NOT a worthless nobody. Don't think that for a minute. You are probably a fine young man who made a small mistake.

Thank you for your compliments. We both have to be chastized over them. You for exagerating so much, me, for having enjoyed it!

Be well.

Gerry

Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com

Together we can put an end to this "extortion by letterhead' as Prof.Woolley from the U of C Law School calls it.
On Mar 3, 2012, Daniel LuSan Said:
Two weeks ago, I received a Civil Recovery Letter from Sears demanding $500 because I had shoplifted a battery. I didn't know what to do. I read stories about the companies re-sending letters demanding higher amounts if the first amount is not paid by the specified date. I am a high school student. I know I did wrong... I made a poor choice. I didn't deserve anything. I was simply a criminal.

Then when I couldn't bear the depression of knowing how much trouble I've caused, I looked for help. Despite the crime I committed, Gerry Laarakker was happy to help me. He is a very generous man. He wrote a complete, formal, professionalized letter and sent it to Sears regarding this matter. In addition to this, he told me that I didn't have to pay him because he knew I couldn't afford to.

I cannot thank Gerry enough for helping me with this. Gerry is a superiorly intelligent lawyer. His skills are highly valued and sought after, yet he was okay with using them to help me, a worthless nobody. That's something I will never forget.
On Mar 3, 2012, Anne Said:
I am confused about who is responsible for their children\'s actions. On this site there are several posts saying parents cannot be held accountable for their children\'s actions, but I found this document saying the opposite. http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/11000/253272.pdf

Has anyone out there actually had to pay these amounts demanded in small claims court? Please email me if you have. I am concerned for my child and myself (as the parent)
On Mar 3, 2012, Anne Said:
This Patrick Martin is the owner of ACLAIM, a business that collects of behalf of Merchants. I noticed that the letter we were handed in Zellers has ACLAIM stamped on the bottom.

I am writing to the Law Society of Upper Canada about this guy.
On Mar 1, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
There is a new player in the Norman J. Groot. I have received documents from a client showing that he has retained Credit Bureau Canada's services. In my opinion, another intimidation ploy. I willl inform the Law Society of Upper Canada. I bnelieve this is highly improper.

Seriously folks, don't ignore these letters. Write me.

Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com
On Feb 24, 2012, Lea Said:
My teenaged daughter was sent a Civil Recovery Letter on behalf of her employer, after she had been let go for petty theft (under $100). She was not criminally charged. The letter, from Investigation Counsel PC in Toronto demands that she pay them over $1400 (amount of theft, + legal fees, + asset protection fees). I did some research, and came across Gerry Laarakker's name in previous posts on this blog. I contacted him right away, since the letter only gave my daughter 2 days to pay after she'd received it. Mr. Laarakker immediately put me at ease about her situation, and he fired off a letter to Investigation Counsel on her behalf, for a nominal fee of only $100 + HST. I can't thank him enough for his help, support, and kind words. I'm confident this will put an end to this, and my daughter can get on with her life. She certainly has learned a hard lesson from this experience!
On Feb 17, 2012, jodi palmer Said:
has anyone had collection agency call??
On Feb 16, 2012, emily Said:
I was caught shoplifting a value of $300 in the Ottawa the Bay. I know it sounds like a lot, it was one expensive dress. Police did not charge to me but just a trespassing ticket of $65 because of first offence and I was banned to enter any type of Hudson's Bay property for 1 year. I paid the ticket on line.

Now, I received a civil recovery letter from a lawyer for $595 .I don't have job, i can’t afford to pay civil restitution. Based on research I have done, I don’t know will ignoring a civil demand letter affect my credit score since i have excellent credit rating.

I am so scared right now that I couldn’t sleep during the night or even enjoy my family life. Believe me, I will NEVER do it again...so stupid and not worth the stress just to have some off the rack designer clothing!
On Feb 16, 2012, Good Windsor Mom Said:
Gerry M Laarakker- Thank you so much for your offer to help. The date for my letter has come and gone now, which was Feb 15/12. If I hear more from them, I will definately email you directly and let you know so we can work from there. I have decided to completely ignore them for the time being to see if they try again.

Again, thank you for encouraging words and offer. I will highly recommend you to anyone if I hear that this has happened to them as well. You create hope :)
On Feb 15, 2012, afraid to death Said:
i am a single mom, i am also professional. i got arrested for shoplifting a 6$ item from zellers, it was an innocent mistake. when i ask the security officer to let me go he asked me
"what is in it for me?" many times, once he takes me to his office he also told me that he will help me and put my wrong address in so that i dont pay the store penalty as long as i spoke to him out side the store when it is all over. he also reported to the police that i put the item back in the package while i didnt. i didnt say anything to the police since i dont have a proof and i was afraid it might seem i am blaming him because he arrested me. my court day is march 29 , i need to know how to handle this, please help
On Feb 14, 2012, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
In the last 2 months I have squelched about a dozen of these demands for 'civil recovery'. I informed that lawyer that I was acting for Ms. Client, and to direct all further correspondence to me, because I am now their lawyer. In each case, the lawyer sending out these demand letters has taken no further action.

I sk people to pay $100 for my services (plus $12 HST) and I tell people that if they cannot afford that money, not to worry. I'll do it free of charge.

This is strictly based on an honour system. Yes, I trust people even though they may have committed a minor error by shoplifting some stuff!

So even if you are poor, I will be happy to help you. Let's stop this "extortion by letterhead" as Prof. Alice Woolley from the U. of Calgary Law School calls it.

email me if you want help.

Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com
On Feb 4, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Winsor Mom

Please email me, I deal with this stuff all the time. I'm a lawyer.

Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com
On Feb 1, 2012, Good Windsor Mom Said:
My 16yr old son made a huge error in judgement when he stole from Shoppers Drug Mart. The Loss Prevention Office caught him and called the police. The police contacted me at work and said that since he was very remorseful and it was his first offense and the total of the items taken were under $5 then they were letting him off with a warning and he is banned from Shoppers for 1 year. They even said that they could tell he is a good kid that made a bad choice. Lucky kid!

Having said that, getting this letter from Patrick Martin has really peeved me off. It\'s a bullying, threatening letter and I absolutely refuse to pay $500 for a) a crime I did NOT commit, b) parental negligence?? really?? you want me to hold my son\'s hand and watch him 24/7 at the age of 16? He was on his lunch break from school when it happened and I was at work, and c) they got their product back!! My son can legally move out of our home if he so wishes, so they can take their letter and references to my parenting abilities and shove it!!

As for a collection agency? let them try. They can not go after me for a debt I did not incur.

On Jan 31, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
Christina. Have you read any of the other blogs on this board? I think they are fairly specific.

Now, it seems that these lawyers didn't like the advice I have been giving out and have turned to collection agencies. Something they cannot really do without a court order, because the $595 is not a debt. These lawyers seem to think that the law is just something to get around. I don't know this, but I doubt that they will be able to affect your credit rating.

However, being harrassed by a ciollection agency is no fun. My advice - get a lawyer involved. Once a lawyer is involved everything is stopped in its tracks. Neither the lawyers nor the collection agency will be allowed to contact you anymore.
On Jan 30, 2012, Cristina Said:
Please help!!!! - I was caught taking a lipstick ($5.99) today at Shoppers Drug. It was my first time did this and I am shamed and nervous. I have no crime record whatsoever before this thing happened. The store gave me a Tresspass Notice and I was told that I shall receive a letter of charges about $600 - $750 in the next few days, and if I don't pay, the store will put me in a court and might go to jail for it. Two policemen also came and I was told I can ask for a lawyer before making any payment. What should I do? I am so panicking.
On Jan 26, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
I have defended these cases for well over 2 years. All it takes is a lawyer's letter telling Martin et al that my client will not pay and to invite him to start an action against my client and to serve me with the claim. Done. He is not allowed to contact you again. He will not start an action because the cost of doing so is more than he will ever recover.

Don't fall for this letter, it is a bogus claim.

Feel free to contact me at Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com. I want to stop this buse of our legal system.
On Jan 24, 2012, Nastro Mouse Said:
Daughter not charged with shoplifting, but banned from Sears...getting letters and have ignored them...now getting a letter from collections canada on behalf of sears for $500 dollars Now what!? Please help!
On Jan 24, 2012, Gerry Laarakker Said:
How many times do people have to tell you NOT to pay. These guys rely on intimidation and practice extortion by letterhead! Ignore them! I'm a lawyer, they have absolutely nothing.

If you want further help, contact me at Gerry@laarakkerlaw.com

Gerry
On Jan 19, 2012, Goondo patel Said:
My wife was accused of stealing infant tylenol. What happened was she opened the box which she wanted to buy and then she change her mind and put the box back. However, the bottle slipped out and stayed in stroller and security guy chased her in another store and took her in office. She was so scared as she had never been in this situation and sign the letter.

She received letter from this Patrick guy seeking for payment of $600.

She has clear record and excellent credit history and never Would think of stealing.

She\'s pregnant and worried what we should do. My wife wants pay but then I don\'t think we should for something we didn\'t do.

Can someone please advise what we should do? Pay or ignore the letter? Will they sue her?
On Jan 19, 2012, Grace Said:
I called Law Society to check up on Patrick K. Martin. He was admitted to the bar in 1997 and his listed address is at 1370 Don Mills. He does not have any disciplinary action taken against him but the Law Society would not reveal if there were complaints made against him.

For those of you who lack legal knowledge please seek advice from a lawyer and read up on laws on shoplifting and read up on Small Claims procedures etc.

Do not pay anything to Hudson Bay. Look up the case Hudson's Bay v White. It is clear that they have no legal grounds.

If you want to save cost of legal fees, pls do your own research otherwise go to a Paralegal who can assist you in this matter.

Thank God for giving you a second chance. Repent and do not steal ever. Committing a crime is not an option. The way I see it, you or your children stole from Hudson's Bay or Zellers etc AND in return Hudson's Bay etc is stealing back from you. So a crime should not be resolved by committing another crime.

Btw, my son (under 18) received the same letter from Hudson's Bay and I wrote back :

"Dear Mr Martin

I am in receipt of your letter dated December XX, 2011. In response to paragraph two of your letter; under common law, the parent of the child caught shoplifting is not liable (unless the parent encouraged the shoplifting or was otherwise directly involved. ) This is confirmed by Court of Appeal.

My Son, XXXX was issued notice of prohibiting entry to The Bay for one year and The Bayshore for six month. He will abide by the notice as a consequence to his action.

Thanks."



On Jan 19, 2012, Monty Loree Said:
Farhan,
I would suggest that you read the last 479 comments... there is alot of good help there.
On Jan 18, 2012, Grace Said:
under common law, the parent of the child caught shoplifting is not liable (unless the parent encouraged the shoplifting or was otherwise directly involved. This is confirmed by Court of Appeal.
On Jan 17, 2012, Farhan Said:
I have received letter from Patrick K. Martin Can any body give me suggestion how to handle this letter
On Jan 11, 2012, Rick Said:
This is a very common question as this bullying tactic used by big chain department stores is well entrenched. The short answer is you don't have to respond to those letters at all.
The claim that you are responsible for a portion of the store's "security costs" is very sketchy. For HBC to actually recover those costs from you they would have to sue you in Small Claims court which would cost them far more than the amount they could ever hope to recover. Even in the few rare cases where they have taken the step of suing people, the vast majority of times they have LOST in court and been told that their security costs cannot be offset by suing people caught shoplifting.
They may continue to harrass you and make further collection attempts but your best advice is to simply ignore it. For more information, visit my website's Shoplifting page: http://crimlawcanada.com/practice/shoplifting/
On Jan 10, 2012, Gerry Said:
How many times do I have to remind people not to pay? These lawyers have absolutely nothing. They are just hoping you are gullible enough to fall for for this.
On Jan 4, 2012, Pauline King Said:
Please advise me my daughter and 2 other children were caught shop-lifting at Zellers. We were told there was no criminal charges being laid against any of them. We were told that Zellers could charge between nothing or $1-500. We received this letter from Patrick K. Martin and I tried calling him a number of times, I even sent an email because I was so distraught to see if the amount of $595 can be reduced as this is almost a week's wages for me. I have not heard anything back nor will they respond to my calls. I have left the message for Jackie to call me. Again they say if I dont pay by January 18, 2011 they will take me to court for the recovery cost of $900 - I am at my wits end is this legal and what do I do. I am embarrased about the whole thing so I dont want to consult a lawyer where do I stand legally with this. Should I call Zellers about lthis?
On Dec 30, 2011, Cathleen Chance Said:
I received a similar letter and the portions that bothered me the most were: 1) the over $600 penalty and 2) the letter is addressed to me, the mother, not her father, stating that they have the right to claim damages from you as parent or guardian of the young person for failing to provide reasonable supervision of the young person. My husband is equally responsible for our child, who is old enough to go with a friend to the shopping centre. According to the same lawyer, Mr. Martin, "The amount is justified because "experience indicates that pursuing shoplifters for such losses reduces the number of shoplifting incidents." How? Are we going to tell other parents and teens about the incident? I think not. An apology letter was written, remorse was shown, and a penalty in the amount of $200 would have been punishment enough. But over $600? It was a small item, which really doesn't matter because stealing is stealing; however, when I, as a mother, am accused of being a negligent parent, and my child is a the age of peer pressure (usually not good), putting me into financial limbo goes beyond reasonable. It will mark my daughter, further diminish her self esteem, make her feel as if apologies and letters of remorse have no meaning, thus such a fine serves no purpose but to go into the lawyer's pocket. Ultimately, they have interfered with my ability to teach my child right from wrong, because I feel they are terribly wrong. I'm cutting up my HBC card this evening and sending a letter to the parent company.
On Dec 30, 2011, Sara Said:
I received the letter from Patrick K Martin after stealing about 50 dollars worth of cosmetics from Zellers. My name is wrong on the thing in the first place, so if I dont Pay would they even know its me? And is this all a scam? I dont have 600 dollars to pay these guys. Im a full time student with very little extra cash
On Dec 22, 2011, A Lawyer Said:
Don't pay. These guys are full of it. There is NO cause of action. You can laugh at them isnstead.
On Dec 16, 2011, jen Said:
I might have been the odd one who got a phone call back from the office and had spoken to jackie. They are insisting that I pay the civil amount owing of 595 as soon as possible or I will be charged the full amount of 900 plus lawyers fees. I had tried talking to her and told her that I have spoken to a lawyer, which I have, the store had my child sign papers with no parent present and she's a minor, she wasn't charged and this was her 1st offence. I had brought up the manitoba case where restitution was paid and she laughed about that, she said that it's a civil matter and that because I am legally responsible for my child and failed to provide reasonable supervision (during school hours), zellers is seeking restitution for the full amount. I had asked her how they justify 595 or 900 when last I knew loss prevention offficers are not making 297.50 or 450 an hour, she couldn't answer me and I asked her what is going to happen if I can't pay right away, she said zellers is going to take me to court, and I responded zellers is really taking me to court? and she hung up on me and won't return any phone calls! what do I do? has anyone talked with anyone from this office of patrick k martin?
On Nov 28, 2011, Dr. C. Robinson Said:
This Patrick K. Martin will be hearing from someone within the next few months, that is for certain.
On Nov 25, 2011, Gerry Said:
You can go to collections only with a court order. There is no criminal record. These stores cannot make these claims stick, because they have "no cause of action". Don't pay.
On Nov 23, 2011, jerry w Said:
my sister was caught shoplifting, she got this letter from Patrick K. Martin and from my understanding Zellers has a right to ask for compensation, anyone can demand this money but you don't have to pay it. they feed on vulnerable people who are too embarrassed to question the legitimacy of their compensation amount. you do not have to pay this and they will not come after you, they didnt come after my sister.
my sister was not charged criminally, she got a trespassing fine and was ban from the store for 6 months. we live in canada and are going to the states over christmas, will this show up when they run her passport? will we be detained at the border because of this? will she even be able to come with us? she's 18 years old
On Nov 21, 2011, Jim Said:
Can this money be taken to collections?
On Nov 13, 2011, fearfulkid Said:
hi everyone, my friend and i were caught stealing at zellers about 2 weeks ago. we took a necklace, a pair of studs and a lip balm with a total cost of about $48. it was originally my idea because i wanted something for my sister's upcoming birthday. my friend only held the lip balm for me and we were stopped right outside the store.

the lp officer showed us his badge and asked if we took anything and we said we didn't cuz we were scared. we were then taken to a small room and questioned where we finally gave up the out of packaging items. he told us we didn't have to talk to him or answer his questions but then asked us for id, address, height, weight, parent's name and their occupations.
he then told us the police would be called and we waited around 2 hours for the police and in those 2 hours he made us sign a document saying we cannot enter zellers for a period of 1 year. the police finally arrived, the police officer was much nicer than the lp officer and let me and my friend off with a warning and now we have a record stating we were arrested for a day. my friend is 18 and im 17. i just received the letter from PATRICK K. MARTIN asking for $595 due by or on november 27th. the 595 is the settlement cost and the actual recovery cost is $900.

i read most of the posts on this blog and it seems like it would be stupid to pay for this. we have DEFINITELY learned our lesson. my parents want to pay for it cuz they're afraid it will go further and we will be slapped with a court order and then resulting in a bad reputation..

i really don't know what to do cuz i dont want my parents to pay for it and i dont want patrick scaring me with a court order either. should i contact a lawyer and ask what to do?
also: the justice for children youth website states that if they made me sign a document at the store, im not required to pay. can i send this to patrick and try to get him to leave this? I NEED HELP I CAN'T AFFORD THAT AMOUNT :( i've lost my parents trust and that is a lot more important than the money. how else can i fix this situation?
On Nov 7, 2011, Nunzo Said:
I kept getting letters in the mail...

hard to explain to family so I just paid.
On Oct 27, 2011, Cat Said:
Sweet baby Jesus.
A friend of mine took 9 dollar nail polish and was nailed with a 595 dollar fine.
I think it's absolute bull.
The fine should be in relation to the goods stole.
Not some random amount chosen to get the most money from you. Besides.if they got the item back why should they fine you?
On Oct 25, 2011, research done Said:
to too scared: don\'t go back to any bay store or their affiliates (homeoutfitters, zellers, fields). I think there is one more store...go online and check. You can be charged with trespassing if you are caught on their premises ( which could mean even just outside the store\'s doors). Do your research.

yes, you will most likely get that \"standard\" letter that most people get with lots of legal jargon trying to scare the crap out of you.

Only a judge can make you pay the civil fine. the letters you receive from the Bay are just demand letters that sound scary. Read the blogs and don\'t panic.
On Oct 24, 2011, Too Scared Said:
I was caught at The Bay for fraud for an expensive item, that I had switched the tags for. I did pay for the item, just not the right price. The police officer came and I told him, I apologize and admit that what I did was wrong and would never ever do something like this again. He let me go and gave me a Caution/Warning, and said he won't charge me, as it was my first offense, but he put me in the computer system as "unconditionally" meaning if i do that again, i will get arrested and will be charged like 5000 dollars or something and am prohibited from the mall, the store, and even the parking lot. Now, I am wondering, can I still go to The Bay for returning an item purposes or Can i not go at all?? After reading all these posts about receiving the letter asking to pay $595 or so. Will I get the letter asking me for money even though the police officer said he won't charge me? They did mention that I would receive some sort of letter though. What should I do? Please respond.
On Oct 23, 2011, Joey Said:
I was caught shoplifting from Zellers and I got a letter from Patrick Martin representing them too send them around $595.00. I sent them the money but did some researching and people were saying that he is a scam. My mother cancelled her account to avoid getting our money taken away. Now he has sent me a letter telling me that the account was cancelled and that we need to send him the money again. The address he has requested us to send to is 1370 Don Mills Suite 300. What should I do? I have already visited a youth referral to avoid criminal charges but he wants me to send him $645.00 for stealing a $20 dollar pack of t-shirts. Help please, I am very worried.
On Oct 20, 2011, Lynsay Said:
DO NOT PAY!! I had this happen to me. I tried to take pants from Zellers. They caught me and have the merchandise. I got the letter just after court because I didn't check the mail sooner. I called my diversion person at court because I thought it was weird since the judge ordered me to do community service and then have no record. If the court doesn't want my money then Zellers is not getting it. Especially since they have their stuff. DO NOT PAY!!!!!!!!!!
On Oct 20, 2011, Red Said:
Ask the collection agency to provide evidence of the debt. That is usually a signed note. Obviously, they can't because one doesn't exist.
On Oct 16, 2011, a Lawyer Said:
I keep repeating myself: DON"T PAY! They'll go away. They haven't a legal leg to stand on. They are just hoping you will be dumb/intimidated enough to scare you in to paying. Don't.
On Oct 7, 2011, lauracroft Said:
Some people in this country make me laugh-Always looking for others to blame. You are obviously a bunch of thieves. You stole an item, whether it be 50 cents or $400, it\'s doesn\'t matter..you STOLE IT! And you all have the audacity to bitch and whine about other who are committing a \'crime\' again you. Stop complaining about how others are screwing you over, and start thinking how you can make up for your CRIME and make yourself a better person because of it.
gez.
On Oct 5, 2011, Anne Said:
wat2do:

I know you posted a while back. But I am in the exact same situation as you are (also being over 18). I\'m praying you will maybe see this and reply with updates on what happened. Please help me.

On Oct 5, 2011, jensimply Said:
wow realliy...i got a letter from patrick martin...we went to shoppers and buy something and by daughter accidentally open the diapers that i suppose to buy it and then after 3 weeks later i got a letter from patrick martin that he said i have to pay 500.00 dollars in return and then if i don\'t pay before or on oct 18 they will commenced me against me before civil court and why it has to be in the P.O box 193 and why not in the office of civil firm...
On Oct 5, 2011, Charles Said:
i was caught stealing a pair of $30 underwear from \\\\\\\"The bay.\\\\\\\" I left the store and was accosted by 6 men in the metro. they grabbed me from behind and pushed me against a wall. They didn\\\\\\\'t tell me who they were and put handcuffs on me very tight. i have big red marks on my left wrist and it was bleeding bleeding. i was resisting a bit at first but it scared me and they never said who they were. i thought this was a bit intense for shoplifting. do they have the right to use physical force against you? do these people have the right to handcuff you especially since i had left the building? anyway I was not charged by the police but i am expecting a hefty fine from the bay\\\\\\\'s civil action. I can\\\\\\\'t afford to pay it, i\\\\\\\'m a struggling university student. I won\\\\\\\'t be able to pay.
On Oct 4, 2011, secguy Said:
eric Said:
i was caught stealing from sears 4 weeks ago and i got the letter 3 weeks ago...my deadline was sept 30th...I have not payed a dime to these thieves. think they will pursue me? im 18 and i stole a 40$ pair of sweat pants.

I had to laugh at that one, you seem upset that you, as an admitted thief, are now angry that you might have to pay money. No honour among thieves I guess
On Oct 2, 2011, eric Said:
i was caught stealing from sears 4 weeks ago and i got the letter 3 weeks ago...my deadline was sept 30th...I have not payed a dime to these thieves. think they will pursue me? im 18 and i stole a 40$ pair of sweat pants.
On Sep 27, 2011, Am so a responsilbe parent! Said:
@Gerry

I have a kid in the same mess with Zellers. Did my own research. First off in the case of Bay V. White the conclusion per the Judge: 40 The specific types of relief sought by The Bay in this action are not the appropriate subject for civil recovery from the defendant. In keeping with traditional tort law, The Bay will have judgment for trespass against the defendant in the nominal amount of $100 together with costs assessed in accordance with the Small Claims Court tariff pursuant to rule 57.05(3)..

The guy took some $2,000 in merchandise and the judge awarded $100 in punitive for the trespass. HBC appealed 3 times before getting a whopping $300 but no mention of why it was increased in the single line statement. Also in looking at something else. My kid was charged with another over one stupid package of $20. which was recovered the Loss Prevention Officer (LPO) clearly told me he had to do two forms but it is treated as one case. Now am not a lawyer but maybe Gerry can clear this up, says in Rule 57.01 (1) (h) (ii)
(h) whether it is appropriate to award any costs or more than one set
of costs where a party,
(i) commenced separate proceedings for claims that should have been made in one proceeding, or
(ii) in defending a proceeding separated unnecessarily from another party in the same interest or defended by a different solicitor;

Why charge both kids $600 each for the same incident one item! In any case I am not paying a dime, looked at many other cases too in regards to parents liability. My kid has is name reported, is banned from the mall for 6 months, HBC 1 year, had to go to court to do some court, Punishment fitted the crime, he has learned. Hitting my pockets will not \"deter\" this behaviour. Also they talk about costs in this letter, an amount recovered for their so called losses and cost of maintaining loss prevention therefore should be revenue neutral - seems to me someone is profitting large from this. Again I am no lawyer, but if someone is profitting from a crime is that not illegal?? Gerry what are your thoughts on that aspect of it?
On Sep 23, 2011, mark jick Said:
Hi so the beiging of September I for caught for taking 20 dollar sunglasses and I got a letter from patrick k Martin that said I have to pay 595$ by September 29 2011 from what the comments say I should not pay what do you guys think?
On Sep 23, 2011, mark jick Said:
I stole a 20 $ of winners. and they aclaim of 595 instead.
Im not a canadian citizen and Im applying for immigration. so Im scared that they sue me if I dont pay. and I have 15 days notice which is 10 days passed now. please help me what should i do ?
On Sep 19, 2011, fear not the scam Said:
To Adam,

read the blogs and you will see how long this scam has been going on. They are trained to put the fear in you.

I have done lots of research on behalf of someone and nothing so far has said that they have been taken to court. I find this scam very interesting because these lawyers are making easy money...even when some people do not pay. They make so much money for doing nothing from those who do give in and do pay.

do your research.
On Sep 16, 2011, Adam Said:
Hi so the beiging of September I for caught for taking 20 dollar sunglasses and I got a letter from patrick k Martin that said I have to pay 595$ by September 29 2011 from what the comments say I should not pay what do you guys think?
On Sep 15, 2011, picasa_a Said:
hi,
I stole a 20 $ of winners. and they aclaim of 595 instead.
Im not a canadian citizen and Im applying for immigration. so Im scared that they sue me if I dont pay. and I have 15 days notice which is 10 days passed now. please help me what should i do ?
On Sep 13, 2011, AnnaMaria Said:
Hi. I am going through the exact same situation as Jennifer below and my "15-day deadline" ends this week. I would love to hear from someone else.
On Sep 10, 2011, John Said:
Last Friday my son & his friend of age 16 stole a watch worth $18.00. They got warning police was not called since first time.
Got this letter also from Patrick K. Martin so how did this laywer got the mailing adress and all my information?
To me it looks like the all the security guards reports all these shoplifting to Patrick K. Martin and that is how people get these letters.
But yes according to all these stories it does look like scams to me. Check this website also.
http://patrickkmartin.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/hello-world/
On Aug 17, 2011, desiree Said:
I was shopping at safeway with my children when my brother called and said mom was in the hospital. noteven thinking about my grocheries i walked out ofthestore to call her in private when the guard told me i wasbeing arrested for shoplifting.i didnt even know what i was being arrested for because to me i wasnt stealing. i had full intention of payig. i dont have a criminal record, have never been charged with anything. thisbeing my first offence will i get a criminal record?
On Aug 17, 2011, Heather Said:
This is an update from my previous question a few paragraphs down....I did get in contact with a laywer over the phone using a 1-800 line that my workplace offers us for free legal advice and her exact words to me were....TELL THEM TO GO TO HELL!!! I was surprised she said it that way but she said they have absolutley no grounds as to what they can charge you for restitution for stealing. Many times the cases that do go to court, the lawyers who are sueing end up losing and the worst case cenario is the shoplifter pays for the amount that the merchandise was and then the lawyers get the court costs. I hope this helps anyone...she said to let the lawyers know and to stop harassing us or to just ignore the letter.
On Aug 17, 2011, dontbescared Said:
to worried for winners,

check the Hudsons bay website. Winners is not a part of the Bay. If you check the website, it is Zellers, homeoutfitters, fields that is on the website.

maybe you should check out winners website to ease your mind.I do not see Zellers on the winners website as one of their affiliate stores.

don't worry, but still do your own research so you will be more assured and not so scared. All the best to you.

concerned person
On Aug 15, 2011, Worried for winners Said:
Is zellers and winners owned by the same people?...my boyfriends mother is taking me out to winners on friday but i got banned from going to zellers. Can i still go to winners?
On Aug 15, 2011, dontpayfinalnotice Said:
to GRACE:

i know for a fact that someone i know had a final notice due LAST YEAR in september. he has not paid and nothing happened. they send thousands of these letters (first demand letter and final notice). If it is like the one i read, the last paragraph may say'if you have paid or a lawyer acting on your behalf has contacted me, disregard this letter".

Well, they obviously don't evaen know if you have paid or even received the letter. Secondly, they send thousands of these letters and many give in and pay. they are so busy fishing and depositing this money. these are just demand letters. DON'T LET THE WORD FINAL NOTICE SCARE YOU.

read more and you may be more aware of what these low life lawyers are doing. Only a judge can make you pay. have not heard or read about anyone who was taken to court. It's not worth there time and money...they can make easy money doing this.
On Aug 12, 2011, Heather Said:
My daughter was caught stealing roughly $20 dollars worth of stuff...she was not charged. She suffered my consequences for stealing but I just received this letter that we have to pay $300 dollars restitution for what she stole. Mind you everything was recovered and she learned her lesson. The first notice we got was sent back to post office cause it had the wrong address and my daughters name was spelled wrong..so technically the first one never reached us...I've been reading all these comments and the consenses is not to pay...but can we get away with a technicality of mis-spelling my daughters name?
On Aug 12, 2011, Jennifer Said:
Here is some info that I just received:

From the Executive Director
The John Howard Society of Canada

"While I cannot offer you legal advice, I did look at the B.C. statute and this action is supposed to be in small claims court and parents are able to defend themselves. See s. 9 and 10 below:"

Parent's defence
9 A parent has a defence to an action under this Act if the parent satisfies the court that he or she

(a) was exercising reasonable supervision over the child at the time the child engaged in the activity that caused the property loss, and

(b) made reasonable efforts to prevent or discourage the child from engaging in the kind of activity that caused the property loss.

Factors that court may consider 10 In determining under section 9 whether a parent exercised reasonable
supervision over a child or made reasonable efforts to prevent or discourage the child from engaging in the kind of activity that caused the property loss, the court may consider any of the following:

(a) the age and maturity of the child;

(b) the prior conduct of the child;

(c) the likelihood that the activity would result in property loss;

(d) psychological or medical disorders, psychological, physical or learning disabilities or emotional disturbances of the child;

(e) whether the likelihood of property loss arising from the child's conduct was reasonably foreseeable by the parent;

(f) whether the child was under the supervision of the parent when the child engaged in the activity that resulted in the property loss;

(g) if the child was not under the supervision of the parent when the child engaged in the activity that resulted in the property loss, whether the parent made reasonable arrangements for the supervision of the child;

(h) whether the parent has sought to improve his or her parenting skills by attending parenting courses or in any other manner;

(i) whether the parent has sought professional assistance for the child, designed to discourage activity of the kind that resulted in the property loss;

(j) psychological or medical disorders, psychological, physical or learning disabilities or emotional disturbances of the parent;

(k) any other matter that the court considers relevant to the determination.
On Aug 12, 2011, Grace Said:
Hi every1...I have all the read the blog..I am very confused as same happened with me. I am 22 yrs old and got caught in zellers. I have got 2 notices from the same P.O box. I am bit worried. Second one says its a final notice.
Should I pay to them???
Please i need URGENT help....!!!!
On Aug 12, 2011, Jennifer Said:
My 14 year old did a stupid thing - he stole a box of chocolates at the Bay. His first offense. The police came and gave him a good scare about the seriousness of his actions. They talked to me privately - they were great. They said they could tell that my boy was a good kid and made a very poor choice. They spent time telling him that they will not charge him this time but next time he would be. They were very serious and my son took it very seriously. The store security man was also supported the police and echoed the same thoughts. And, the guard told me that a fine of about $250 will have to be paid and that my son cannot come to the mall for one year unless he was with an adult. This all seemed fair. To tell you the truth, I wasn't upset that my son would have to put his allowance and babysitting money towards the fine. But, then I got the Hyde letter for $595! There is no way to contact these people. I goolged their office in ON but there is no one there to answer the phone. I left a message, no response. Then, I found this blog and decided to not pay. This week I got another letter stating the fine is now $695!

Can anyone supply any evidence that it is ok to ignore these fines? ie links to any law cases or articles in newspapers. I haven't found anything so far.

To the person who said we need to pay for our children's mistakes - yes, we are responsible. But the fines are out of scope to the crime. Ironically, my son who is so angry with himself for doing something so stupid is asking me to defend the HBC for their cash grab. HBC is making it harder for parents to justify such a fine. It is unreasonable, unjust, and intimidating - much worse than my kid's brief moment of stupidity! BTW he was grounded for a month - no socializing with friends, straight home from school, and no screens for a month (computer, phone, tv, etc) plus extra chores around the house. He actually thought he should be punished longer - the cops did a good job scaring him straight. But, that insane demand for $ has shifted the focus on his wrong action to the wrong action of HBC. Two wrongs never make a right.
On Aug 9, 2011, eric Said:
Hi

I need an advice. Two month ago I was shopping with my wife at Winners, I paid for my mechandise. But my wife was arrested for petty theft shoes price 60 $. She was given blue ticket by police. As I was her husband I told police officer my name. After 1 month I got a letter from Legal Hyde to pay 590 $ for theft that I did not commited. It seems that loss prevention officer decided to scam me because I and my wife don\'t speak English well. I wrote a letter to Legal Hude that it is a mistake but there was no answer. This is not fair. I am not going to pay this company and ready to go to Civil Court because they don\'t have any evidence of theft by me. Please advice me what to do and whom complain about injustice and discrimination ?
On Aug 8, 2011, doneresearch Said:
to Collette and others, yes, this is the p.o. box that is in the name of CIVIL RECOVERY. It actually started, as the principal owner, Patrick Martin, but the house belong to Patrick Greco...both real lawyers. Check BBB(better business bureau). Now It is HYde Legal doing it. They're all in this together. Why not get into this more lucrative business. It's much easier to get an easy $600 or more cheque than to actually do lawyer work. Lots of research has been done. I wonder if they are reporting this money they are getting from the shoplifters who actually pay. Must be nice to get "under the table money". DON'T PAY THESE LOW LIFE LAWYERS"
On Aug 5, 2011, Collette Said:
Anyone notice that all these collectors use the same P.O. Box?

"The payment should be sent in the enclosed postage paid envelope or to the following address: P.O. Box 193, Streetsville, Ontario L5M 2B8."
On Jul 30, 2011, One who knows Said:
"On Jul 25, 2011, zellers security Said:
would you rather have all the kids that shoplift have criminal records and waste thousands of dollars of tax payers money in court? how about parents take responsibility for there children?"

Nonsense. You have set up a false dichotomy. These cases described have not been criminally prosecuted and it is unreasonable to expect parents to supervise their kids 24/7.

It would probably more useful to have Zellers and The Bay put some more people on the floor. That would have the effect of providing better service to their clients so these customers would be more inclined to buy stuff (their present level of service is horrible) and providing better security.

Instead of these stores relying on enough people on the floor and better service, they have instead opted to rely on bullying tactics by these "lawyers" to provide security.

Well folks, this is the 'don't pay a cent, event!' Don't pay these people a nickle. They can't make you pay!
On Jul 26, 2011, Not Getting Scammed Said:
It's been over a year since I was caught and I received my first and second notices. Ignored them and nothing's happened to me so far. I got a call from a paralegal in Mississauga today (I googled the number. 416 944 1397 for anyone who's wondering), but I didn't pick up. Don't know if it's related to this or not, but whatever. I'm not scared.

Oh, @zellers security: honestly, if some kid decides to go to the mall and steal something while their parents are at work, should the parents be held liable? Don't be ridiculous.
On Jul 25, 2011, zellers security Said:
would you rather have all the kids that shoplift have criminal records and waste thousands of dollars of tax payers money in court? how about parents take responsibility for there children?
On Jul 21, 2011, upset Said:
upset, my daughter who is 14 was caught shoplifling recently at Zellers in the amount of $70. I too just received a letter from Legal Hyde seeking damages of $713.42 andfor me to pay within a week. I contacted free legal advice and was advised that i wasn't liable as a parent but that they could go after me for the civil part. After reading these blogs, i will NOT be giving them a dime. At the time my daughter was apprehended the security guy told her that it should not come to more than $300 and because it was her first offence, they wouldn't go through with it, that it was a warning. Well we were wrong, we are just sick to our stomachs over it. I don't agree that the parents should be held responsible, but that the child should have to do community work, as they need to know that there are consequences for your actions. I am upset that they came up with this amount after reading that others were fined $575. Where do they come up with these amounts

I am scared and wonder if i need to seek a lawyer. Please help!!!!
On Jul 18, 2011, Tammy Said:
DO NOT PAY!! I have done my research and this is soo a scam!
My son and my sisters son, both got caught shoplifting at Zellers. For an Item under 20.00. They did not get charged instead they got a yellow ticket to attend a two hour course at the Elizabeth Fry Society. So Basically they got a warning, one because they have never done this before, and they are only 13 years old!!
BOTH my sister and I recieved a letter from HYDELegal...demanding payment of $595 each......My first thought was wow, 1190???? WTF??
Then I reasearched it, and was advised not to pay this amount. For one the items were recovered and the boys were not charged in the matter. Only told they could not go into zeller, or home outfitters for 6mths!
It seems Zellers(hudsons bay company) is trying more to get back money's lost for they are a company in trouble!! So it seems we are paying there bankrupcy!!! again WTF? You can't do that to people!!
WE NEED TO TAKE A STAND...IT SEEMS THERE ARE A HECK OF ALOT OF PPL ASKED TO PAY THIS 595 OR MORE.....STOP SHOPPING THERE WOULD BE A START!! PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES, AND TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR SOME.....A SIMPLE ONE TIME CRIME OF SHOPLIFTING DOESN'T DEEM A PERSON EVIL OR HORRIBLE...THEY MADE MISTAKES!!! IF WE ALL TOOK A STAND AND STOPPED SHOPPING THERE, THEN WHAT WOULD THEY DO????? BY JUST A HANDFUL OF US NOT SHOPPING THERE AND SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT THEM...CAN CAUSE ALOT OF DAMAGE!! AFTER ALL WORD OF MOUTH IS THE BEST WAY!!!
PLEASE PEOPLE DON'T PAY....AND DON'T SHOP THERE!!! LETS END THIS!!!!
On Jul 16, 2011, One who knows Said:
Don't pay. No parent has ever been succesfully sued for punitive damages caused by their child and there is no case law that anyone has ever been successfuly sued for civil recovery.

These guys are playing the pecentages and you you will be the dummy who sends them money.
On Jul 15, 2011, Kristel Said:
Has anyone been sued because of not paying Hyde Legal?
On Jul 8, 2011, Jessica Said:
I was wondering how long did it take to receive the HYDE legal payment?
On Jul 5, 2011, Ryan Dow Said:
Hey, im 15 got caught for shoplifting at zeller. a pair of $15 sun glasses. although i am nervous right now ( i just recieved the letter) i have no intentions of paying the rediculous $595. Im just wondering if anybody that did not oay actually got taken to court? if i am sued and taken to court for a claim, i still plan on fighting the ridiculous 'civil recovery'
On Jun 20, 2011, alexisss Said:
i took something at zellers worth under $20 dollars in June 14 2011 and now I received from HYDE Legal asking for an amount of $ 595.00. Do I have to pay this amount? Will something happen if I don\'t pay them. They dont charge me. I am scare and feel really bad for what I did.If I pay this fine, mean that i dont in court or something. Thank you so much in advance for helping me.
On Jun 17, 2011, concered citizen Said:
dear i paid, paying (especially in ontario or alberta) is the stupidest thing you can do, this is because by paying you admit to the alleged damages against you that the letter talks about, and not only that, but $600 worth! which most people have not met. and this can have CRIMINAL repercussions for you. That is to say, if you're criminally charged (when the cop comes, blue ticket) and you go to court, the fact that you paid the hydelegal company is evidence and can be interpreted as your confession.

in fact, it ought to be because of the fear NOT to pay. because everyone and I don't want the cops coming back and arresting me because you tried to abide by corporate rules.
On Jun 14, 2011, I Otto Know LLB Said:
Don't waste your time complaining to the Law Society of Upper Canada. Lawyer are for the most part thieves.
The Law Society is there for the purpose of protecting their compatriots and ensure that no one else oversees their skullduggery.
Steal , lie and cheat is the unofficial motto.
The discipline department is there for protecting lawyers and attacking lawyers who refuse to go along with the pomposity and deception
On Jun 9, 2011, StayingStrong Said:
To wat2do,
I got the same letter from hyde (insert bad name here) legal today, exact wording but from zellers.

same everything from the price ($695), right down to the "with instructions from our client we will arrange for a law firm in your jurisdiction to commence legal action against you, in a Civil Court"
im not going to pay them anything, i think theyre just copying and pasting all theyre threats,
Its just a way of them saying, -were dropping this letter sending busy with you but heres our last ditch effort of scaring you into paying anyways!

please be strong and dont let this one mistake let you down, dont pay it and keep it off your mind
I will too
On Jun 8, 2011, I PAID Said:
To Ian Gomm:

Honest to God, I am not a lawyer pretending to be someone that paid. I cannot give out my name and address solely for safety/privacy reasons. To do so would be crazy! All I’m saying is that I am a person that received the letter and paid and will keep everyone here updated if anything happens. I just hope to God they get my money order, it’s not very good that they don’t have any confirmation.

To wat2do:

It looks like you\'ve received a statement of claim, although I\'m not 100% sure. It is either that (it should say \"statement of claim\" on it) or a document that is totally separate from the court and therefore like the first letter everyone receives cannot demand you to pay anything. Again, I wouldn\'t panic, and don\'t pay as there has been no record of a lawsuit for things like this...but I would seek legal counsel from a lawyer or someone you trust. Good luck.

It seems that many of you are parents writing for their kid\'s theft...however I am an adult and the circumstances facing me may be different - they may be less willing to drop cases like mine if I didn’t pay, thus me paying at the end. I commend those of you that did not cave into your fears and paid like I did. It seems like they do not follow up with a lawsuit as there has not been a case stating that here.

We should all write letters to the addresses that Steve Williamson wrote. We really need to uncover these lawyer\'s pitiful scams and stop them from getting rich off peoples’ fears! I think we all learn our lesson from being caught the first time as it is humiliating as hell...we don\'t need all this BS after - It should only be for re-offenders.
On Jun 8, 2011, Ian Gomm Said:
They \"Wat2Do\" go tell Hyde Legal to get lost, they have no legal ground to pursue funds to cover costs of their security team!!
On Jun 8, 2011, do your research Said:
To wat2do:

the last paragraph you wrote regarding the sentence that they will arrange for a law firm in your jurisdiction...sounds scary but it sounds like the same threat that someone else got stating that they would start seeking specific instructions to proceed to court. It's now been 8 months since that final notice was due and was NOT paid. no news of any action from what I've read and followed on the blogs so far. and most likely not. did you read Gerry Larrakker's blog? Do some more research. Don't panic...that's what they want you to do and give in and pay them.
On Jun 8, 2011, HM Said:
Please help...
I took something at zeller worth $ 15 dollars in April 2011 and now I received from HYDE Legal asking for an amount of $ 595.00. Do I have to pay this amount? Will something happen if I don\\\\\\\'t pay them. I was charged by an officer and have to go to the pollice station for fingerprints and then go to court for this matter, but this is the first time I steal something. I am scare and feel really bad for what I did. I will never do it again. Please help me and let me know what will happen in court and will I receive a criminal record for this matter. Do I need to pay the $ 595.00. Thank you so much in advance for helping me.
On Jun 7, 2011, wat2do Said:
Thank god I found this forum!!!
I just received my "final notice" 2 days ago from HYDELegal after around 6 months for my stupid decision of shoplifting $20ish worth stuff in winners.
No police officer was involved. I was told by the security that Winners would send me a letter about the amount of fine I need to pay in one or two months.
The thing is, I've never received the letter! I thought I got lucky that he might decide not to file my case to the company but apparently the letter somehow got lost in the mail.
Now I suddenly got this "final notice". They are asking me to pay $695 in 2 days (today's the deadline.) Since I don't have that much money, I tried to call them but no one answered the phone.
After reading the post here, I think it's ok for parents not to pay the fines for their minors. But since I'm 23 now, I don't know whether they will actually sue me if I don't pay the $695.
In the letter, they state that:
"Further to our previous correspondence, we have been advised that the payment requested in the Settlement Offer made on behalf of Winners Merchants International (the \"Plaintiff\") has not been made. As a result, with instructions from our client we will arrange for a law firm in your jurisdiction to commence legal action against you, in a Civil Court.\"
I\'m so frightened now. Does the above sentence means Winner has already asked HydeLegal to sue me if they don\'t receive the money on time?
What should I do??????????
Please HELP ME!
On Jun 6, 2011, Steve Williamson Said:
Update: I received a letter on Friday from Hyde Legal stating they are dropping any pursuit of civil recovery of funds with regards to my offsprings theft from HBC.
I\'m sure they are worried about my letters sent to the following offices, but I feel strongly this nonsense needs to stop and stop prompty!


The Honorable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa.,Ontario
K1A 0H8


Justice for Children and Youth
415 Yonge Street, Suite 1203
Toronto, ON M5B 2E7


Complaints should also be filled to The Law Society Of Upper Canada for what most people view as a misleading and unethical conduct on behalf of HBC and Zellers by Hyde Legal.


On Jun 2, 2011, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
Ok - how many times do I have to write telling people not to pay! The case Hudson's Bay v. White says the opposite in these cases of what the letter claims! Not only that, a case out of Manitoba made Zellers (part of the Bay) refund the money already paid by the parents! These lawyers just hope that you will be intimidated into sending them money. Don't do it.

Gerry M. Laarakker - and yes, I am a lawyer.
On Jun 2, 2011, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
Ok - how many times do I have to write telling people not to pay! The case Hudson's Bay v. White says the opposite in these cases of what the letter claims! Not only that, a case out of Manitoba made Zellers (part of the Bay) refund the money already paid by the parents! These lawyers just hope that you will be intimidated into sending them money. Don't do it.

Gerry M. Laarakker - and yes, I am a lawyer.
On Jun 2, 2011, shame on you lawyers who scam Said:
I agree with Iam Gomm.

I\'m sure that these lawyers have read up on all the blogs and articles people have posted. don\'t forget, they are very cunning and can think of many ways to scare the crap out of people. One of them would be to pose as a blogger on this site to say that they were NOT going to pay but decided to out of fear, etc. They can make up a really good story. Remember, they know how to write things and word it to intimidate you and make you think that well, maybe you should pay. These lawyers are not stupid. they will try anything.\\
If you\'re one of these lawyers reading this, you should be about ready to have nightmares and sleepless nights and break out with some terrible disease...but you\'ve been doing this scam for so so long, it\'s really nothing to you. If you don\'t pay for what you are doing now, you will pay eventually...if not in this lifetime.

You probably are trying to find out now who the people are who are trying to expose you.

If you are, you better be praying real hard that you don\'t have to deal with some of us.
On Jun 2, 2011, Iam Gomm Said:
Hello there 'I Paid" please provide us with your
actual name and address, to protect this forum from these so called lawyers Hyde Legal (scammers) masquerading as actual people that have been sent this demand letter and paid!
Exposing these clowns to what there up to, it's completing possibly they would attempt to persuade recipients to think people should pay these ridiculous demand letters and keep their pockets greased.
On Jun 1, 2011, I PAID Said:
I too like many of you received a letter from HYDELegal (John-Edward C. Hyde) asking for $595. Ridiculous amount considering I stole something under $10 and the store recovered it. Speaking to their professionalism, they even got the date of the incident wrong on the letter. I did a lot of research on civil recovery and I am thankful I came across this site as many of you are saying they are a scam and to not pay them. I also read on multiple sites that it's very rare that the law firm will actually take it to court as it's too costly for them. After much thought however, I ended up paying - dropped off my money order to them in the mail addressed to that same P.O. Box 193 Stn Streetsville. I decided to pay them although I know all of you said it was a scam because I just want this over with - The fear has been eating me. I know that it's rare they will follow up with a statement of claim (in which you should not ignore) but what if I am that rare case?? I seriously regret what I did (I don't even know why I did it really) and have felt so terrible and have had restless nights thinking about it ever since. I have learned my lesson and I just paid it so I don't ever have to worry about getting further letters in the mail or end up with a lawsuit (if I am that rare care). After reading some of the posts below, I believe I am the few that have paid the $595. I am afraid that they will not receive it as there is no confirmation of receipt. I will keep you guys updated if anything happens. I am just curious...if HYDELegal is a scam, then why would the retailer hire them? Whose decision is it to file a statement of claim? And for those of you that have NOT paid, has HYDELegal followed up with multiple letters, a lawsuit??? Any answers greatly appreciated!
On May 31, 2011, didnotpayacent Said:
Patrick Greco, then Patrick Martin, now hyde legal...they\'re all getting money sent to P.O. 193, which in previous blogs, is actually a house belonging to Patrick Greco..but Civil Recovery \'s owner, or principal is Patrick Martin....type in BBB(better business bureau) and look up civil recovery firm in Mississauga. You can read about all this in previous blogs from about half a year ago.

It\'s been 7 months since my friend got his second demand letter stating \"final notice\".He has no intention of paying. these vultures are still fishing and trying every means and different lawyer names to confuse you. they are basically one group of lawyers who want to prey on us and make fast easy money. DON\'T PAY THEM A CENT! read all the blogs.
On May 31, 2011, Ian Gomm Said:
This shady Hyde Legal outfit who asks to make the check payable to an acronym of ACLRSI is apparently located at :
6539A Mississauga Road
Mississauga Ontario Canada
L5N1A6
No one answers the phone, nor reports back from a letter or fax!!
Time to be exposed for unethical behavior by a lawyer.
On May 30, 2011, shane Said:
i too have received this letter. upon reading i honestly thought it was just a sham. and it seems no matter what you stole, whether it is a stick of deodorant or a $20 headphones, they ask or $595.00. 595.00 dollars of whitch i will most certainly not be paying to these dispicable "people".
On May 27, 2011, 16yrold kid Said:
ok, i got caught stealing with 3 friends. the security blocked us infront of the door while we were getting out. like 3 weeks later, which is today. i received a letter from the HYDELegal. my adress was there and stuff, and the letter was named accordingly to my dad. after reading all of this comments about the letter, it seems to have no harm to ignore the letter. my friends would pay for the 595$ though but im the only one who did my research and convinced both my parents about it. i think its a scam. lets see where this goes..
On May 19, 2011, Mr. Bob Dontpay Said:
Does anyone have the phone number for this clown...p.o. box 193 streetsville miss. ont.? Patrick Martin or john Edward Hyde ?

Thanks..
On May 19, 2011, Ian Gomm Said:
These \"insert name here\" letters from Hyde Legal out of Mississauga, Ontario really need to be reported to higher authorities.

The Honorable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa.,Ontario
K1A 0H8


Justice for Children and Youth
415 Yonge Street, Suite 1203
Toronto, ON M5B 2E7


Complaints should also be filled to The Law Society Of Upper Canada for what most people view as a misleading and unethical conduct on behalf of HBC and Zellers by Hyde Legal.

The real issue is whether HBC is morally right in threatening children, most of whom are first time offenders and already suffering the stigma and alienation of being caught shoplifting. Most certainly a serious crime, and one worth attempting to eliminate, an examination needs to made as to whether using scared, embarrassed people who make mistakes as a cash cow should be allowed.

This is playing on the emotions of good families during a time of embarrassment and amounts to fraud and extortion on the part of HBC/Zellers and no legal grounds to be judge and jury. I\'m certain that this violates the torts (wrong-doings) of their children by virtue of their status as parents , and the case Hyde Legal sites,Hudson\'s Bay vs White states the exact opposite ,so it must be pursued further.

As well there is several forums and ongoing media repercussions into this matter so all should be sharing their experience with others, to which none of it\'s good press for a long good standing firm such as The Hudson Bay Company I\'m convinced off.

http://www.globaltvcalgary.com/story.html?id=4405488
http://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=103344

Anyone receiving one of these letters should be faxing a letter to Hyde Legal an d HBC saying they will not be paying their demand and look forward to their claim.
On May 17, 2011, Ken Said:
re; Hyde Legal of Mississauga
I to have received the letter from this shady Ontario firm and will be filling a compliant to the Law Society of Upper Canada and the offices of Justice For Children and Youth.
My daughters poor judgment is scary enough to have to deal with , and we don’t condone her stealing , but I find this letter unethical and a use of intimidation to extort funds from parents.
I also will be speaking with the Regional Theft Prevention Manager at HBC in Edmonton James Petrosky and my intentions to further warn others of their unethical practices..
On May 12, 2011, Never again Said:
I got caught shoplifting at the Bay couple of weeks ago. I recently opened an account with them and did spend some money. I just paid them in full and asked them to close my account. They called me the last couple of days, finally I answered them and told them that I had paid every penny. The guy told me that my account will be closed and will send me a confirmation by mail.

My question is: because I had purchased from them, will they really go after me because I do not pay them the Civil Recovery.

Will they go thru past video and accuse me even further? I had not been stopped by them at all before.
On May 10, 2011, Heather Said:
Hi i got the same letter for my daughter taking eye makeup under 10 dollers and said she's not being charged and two weeks later i get this letter from a lawyer sayng i have to pay 595 please let me know what will happen if i dont pay it please
On May 10, 2011, Kevin Said:
Someone pleaaasse respond.

I was caught stealing 3 things. that were worth about 100$ altogether. i just got a letter today from John-Edward C. Hyde from HYDE legal. the police were call but i had no charges against me as it was my first offense. all i got was the fine of $595.00 and i got banned for a year from both the mall and HBC company. what will happen if i dont pay this fine? will they hunt me down for the money? will they take me to court? will they press charges on me?

PLEASE respond back to this!!

On May 8, 2011, Richard Said:
Hi all , this is a response from my Lawyer in Toronto re. the infamous letter we received as a result of some attempted petty theft by my daughter.

Hi xxx Just ignore the matter. They likely will do nothing further. The police will only lay charges if notified promptly and the Civil court is rarely used for this kind of matter as it is too costly to go thru for $500.00.

This matter will get the attention of the media at some point in the future as it appears to be an attempt to use the Parental Responsibility Act of 2000 to extort monies from families.
On May 4, 2011, themom Said:
Just a question... if it were normal for these letters to be sent it, would it be normal for them to be sent from a lawyer specializing in Labor (Labour) and Employment? I am doing more research. Wouldn't HBC have their own corporate lawyers to do this stuff?
On May 2, 2011, manu Said:

Hi ,
I`m sorry i did a mistake in my life for a stupid 7$ stuff. But the HYDE and co asking for $595.i was on the camera police came but no charges were pressed as tht was my first offense bt get banned fr zellers and mall for year.so terrified and confussed pl help me.
are you sure that i need not to pay
Is it ?

if i don't pay can thy press criminal charges on me.

Date Posted: Apr 22, 2011
On May 2, 2011, Lee Gauth Said:
My husband and I were caught last Oct 2010 in Zellers, basically we dared each other and got caught. Deservingly so. We have never done this before, nor never again. Anyways, about 1 month later we rec'd a letter from Patrick Martin (or Greco) demanding $595.00 from each of us or we'll be taken to court. We do not have this type of money, so we had to ignore the letter. Then SIX months later we received another letter from Hyde Professional (John Edward C. Hyde) now demanding $695.00 from each of us because of extra "legal" costs...blah, blah...and the date of this letter was April 15, and we only rec'd it on April 29, and the letter demands payment no later than April 25th??
Anyways, like many of the letters from alot of you also received, it also states "the bottom paragraph said, please disregard this if you have paid or a lawyer on your behalf has contacted me". Your right, would'nt he have already known this??
Has anyone themselves or know of anyone who has been pulled into court because they simply chose to 'ignore' these demands?
Should we pay / contact / or ignore another demand??
We appreciate any help you can offer!!!
L.G.
On Apr 23, 2011, B Scott Said:
Last year, my daughter got the same deplorable letter, (demanding $500 in lieu of civil litigation ) from an attorney claiming to represent Zeller’s.Here’s an even more threatening letter,that I helped my daughter write in response. Thereafter, we never heard another peep from that obnoxiously litigious windbag or Zellers Inc :)


****

Dear Mr. ( Legal Beagle )

I ( such and such ) am the mother of D ( name withheld ). I received your letter ,dated JanXX 2010, which was full of bogus allegations, falsely accusing my son D of being in possession of stolen property, pursuant to an incident in December XX 2009, at the Zellers store on 1211 Barton St. East in Hamilton, and in which your office has apparently designated as Case Number **** - ****

The allegations made in your letter to me, are completely and utterly false, and if you do not henceforth cease and desist from making them , my lawyer has advised me to sue Zellers Inc for defamation of character , based on your aforementioned wrongful allegations. My son D was NOT found to be in possession of any merchandise belonging to Zellers, in or around Dec 2009 , or at any other time, as you erroneously contend in your aforementioned letter to me.

On the date of the alleged incident, another boy was said to be in possession of merchandise belonging to Zellers, But both before and/or during this alleged crime, my son D was in no way a party to, nor a witness to, any illegal activity.

Prior to the allegations against the other boy being made, my son insists that he had no idea that any shoplifting had even taken place. My son further insists that he and the other boy weren’t together, for most of the time D spent in Zellers, on the date in question. My understanding is that the other boy likewise admitted that D was in NO WAY involved. The responding police officer, who drove D home, also expressed to me, that he believed D was innocent of any wrong doing.

My son D, who is currently 13 years old, has been diagnosed as Mildly Intellectually Delayed. Truth be told, he does not have the intellectual wherewithal to invent detailed and fictitious stories, which any reasonably intelligent adult, much less a seasoned police officer, might find both plausible and persuasive. Because of this, I am 100 percent certain that the allegations made in your letter to me ( Mr. Legal Beagle ), vis a vis my son, are TOTALLY FALSE. Hopefully, those bogus allegations are Not predicated on a degree of racial bias, since my son also happens to be a proud Aboriginal Canadian.

On the evening of December XX 2009, I was frantic when D failed to come home in time for dinner, especially since it was already pitch black outside. This was the first time my son had ever been missing after nightfall. D knows that he isn’t allowed out after dark, unless I know exactly where he is, and unless I am satisfied he is being supervised by a responsible adult. On the evening in question, I was manning my phone, and calling D’s friends and their parents in a desperate effort to find him. Meanwhile other adult relatives and friends were busy searching the neighborhood for my son. I even called police to report my son missing.

Contrary to the accusatory tone of your letter to me ( Mr Legal Beagle ) , I take my parental responsibilities VERY seriously. In my mind, the only irresponsibility, demonstrated during this entire unfortunate episode, has been on the part of Zellers Inc and those in their employ. In my eyes, the security staff at Zellers had no right to continue to detain my son, once it became clear that he was NOT in possession of property belonging to Zellers. Furthermore, Zellers’ staff had no right to detain my child , for any extended period of time, without even having the good grace to phone to inform a frantically worried mom ( yours truly ) of his whereabouts. I didn’t know if my son was alive or dead, until a police car pulled into my driveway, delivering him home safely. I find the actions of Zellers Inc, and some of their paid representatives in this matter , unconscionable. Despite NOT being guilty of anything, my child was crying profusely and appeared severely traumatized by the time he got home. A continued harassment by the representatives of Zellers Inc , in the form of those false allegations contained in your aforementioned letter of JanXX 2010 , have been a further source of undue stress for me and my family.

FYI I suffer from Crohn’s disease, a debilitating condition which has already required me to have bowel surgery, as well as resulting in a number of hospitalizations. My doctor has warned that stress can exacerbate my condition, with potentially life threatening ramifications. Consequently, I trust that upon receipt of this letter, there will be no further harassment, and no more demands for money under false pretexts, nor any more false allegations made about my son, by anyone claiming to represent Zellers Inc. Failing this, I may be compelled ( for the good of my health, and for the benefit of my son’s good name ) to sue Zellers Inc, not only for defamation of character ( both vis a vis myself and my child ), but also for what I believe is an undue emotional pain and suffering which the representatives of Zellers Inc have subjected ( and continue to subject ) my family and I to.

Since you ( Mr. Legal Beagle ) claim to be an attorney representing Zellers Inc, and since you also make reference to the Parental Responsibility Act, you will doubtless realize that said act was never intended to provide illegitimate recompense to big corporations, based on wrongful and hurtful allegations pertaining to everyday law abiding citizens, and with no basis in fact. To me, the threatening tone of your letter - demanding immediate recompense of $500.00, in lieu of possibly proceeding with a civil law suit - smacks of a shakedown. As a lawyer , you will doubtless be familiar with the term ‘ extortion’ as well.

Hopefully , next time you will get your facts straight ( Mr.Legal Beagle ), before falsely accusing an innocent child of anything illegal, and prior to using strong arm tactics to try to illicit funds from that aforementioned child’s mother, and under still more false pretexts ( i.e. by making false insinuations that said mother might have been somehow negligent vis a vis her Parental Responsibilities ).

In your letter to me, you cite the case of The Hudson’s Bay v. White, which presumably also falls under the auspices of that Parental Responsibility Act. Far be it from me , a mere mother, to try to tell some highfalutin lawyer his business; but I believe those in the legal profession have an even greater moral responsibility never to wield the powers of their high stations in a manner which might be deemed unfair and detrimental to the interests of the public at large. A Case which I might dub, Zellers Inc v. an innocent aboriginal child of 13, with a learning disability, springs to mind.

To me, this is a bonafide David v. Goliath story of the sort which makes for good press. In stark contrast to the tender sentiments of a loving mother, a corporate entity like Zellers Inc ( with no heart and no soul ) can never be made emotionally distraught over false and defamatory allegations. Nevertheless, in the court of public opinion , popularly known as the Internet, the financial bottom line of Zellers Inc might well be hurt, should the facts in this case come to light, and perchance become a cause celebre inflaming public ire.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all, if many other parents have similar ‘ retail store horror stories ’ which they too might be willing to share on-line. I doubt, that this is the first and only time that Zellers Inc has used what I would deem ‘ dirty tactics ’ to try to illicit money, again under false pretexts, from responsible and law abiding Moms and Dads. Sorry to burst your bubble, but( unlike my son ) I’m not a little boy some litigious corporate blowhard and bully could easily frighten; so word to the wise ( Zellers Inc et al. ) don’t further antagonize a doting mother.

Here’s the real bottom line, this mother will defend the good reputation of her only son, from slanderous and false allegations, come hell or high water. You Mr.( Legal Beagle ), along with Zellers Inc, have yourselves a prodigiously litigious day. Don’t go away mad, just GO AWAY....



Yours Truly, D’s Mom, Feb XX 2010

* * * *

P.S.: POWER TO THE PEOPLE BAByyyyyyy !!!!!
On Apr 23, 2011, notacent Said:
To those who just discovered this, read more on related subject. they are playing with your inner most fears and how you are feeling now...you are scared and not really able to understand the legal jargon. I read the two letters over, and I asked and researched the two previous lawyers(Patrick Greco and Patrick Martin). it's been over 1 year and i have not paid a cent. I received the first letter and then few month later, the second letter that they said was "final notice". However, I read the wording of both letters. The final notice didn't scare me. the bottom paragraph said, please disregard this if you have paid or a lawyer on your behalf has contacted me". They don't even know if you have paid yet. If they really were doing this on an individual case, they would know. My point is that they send out tons of these letter (they just change the name and your address and date of the incident)..think it's called mail merge,. They are fishing. Most of the time, they catch the the fish and they paya up out of fear, and wanting for this to just go away. I know the feeling, but I didn't give in. My suggestion is to do more research. Take a deep breath and don't panic.
Of course, it's going to take up some of your time and space in your mind, but for me, it was worth it. Take care everyone, and of course, don't shoplift again.

On Apr 22, 2011, Kyle, Ontario Said:
Hi , Thanks for everyone to keep this aware.
I`m sorry i did a mistake in my life for a stupid 12$ stuff. But the HYDE and co asking for $595 as they asking from others too. After reading this all stories,I am not going to pay this amount. My quistion is how these guys get all the information
are you sure that i need not to pay
Is it ?
On Apr 22, 2011, Gerry Laarakker Said:
@themom and rebecca.

Don't pay. I don't think Hudson's Bay v. White is on Canlii, I got it from the Law Library. It says the opposite of what these "legal beagles" claim! There is NO recovery for Civil Damages for cases such as this.
On Apr 20, 2011, themom Said:
@Gerry Laarakker,

Is the text from Hudson\'s Bay v. White available on Canlii? I am going to try searching it this afternoon but thought I would try here first.

My daughter is 19 and does not understand the repercussions of her actions. She does know right from wrong but was caught up in the moment and did something stupid. (Theft under $20.) We were told we would be contacted by the police regarding criminal charges and by HBC regarding recovery costs. It has been 8 days and we have heard nothing from the police. We received the letter from Hyde Legal today with a signature stamp from \"John Edward Hyde\". If the police haven\'t contacted us yet, should we still expect that they will? As for the letter from Hyde....
On Apr 20, 2011, rebecca Said:
okay so i got a letter from a Hyde person. In march of 2011 i was stupid, i tried......''tried'' to steal makeup which was worth about 30$. and now this hyde person is saying that the hudson bay company is claiming damages of 595$ like wth!

so is this ligit? should i pay? should I be worried?
On Apr 7, 2011, Gerry M. Laarakker Said:
Joan,
If you read this, I would very much like to obtain that email from the HBC. Please!!!

Gerry M. Laarakker

gerry@laarakkerlaw.com

PS Site manager, could you please assist by seeing to it that Joan gets this message?
On Apr 7, 2011, Gerry Laarakker Said:
I have written this before, and I will write it again.

I am a lawyer. Everybody, do not pay one cent to these people!

The case of Hudson's Bay v. White states the exact opposite of what these people claim. I wonder if they have even read it!

On behalf of a client I wrote one of these "lawyers" and told him what I thought of him as a lawyer and a human being, not much. Needless to say, I also pointed out that it would be a cold day in hell before he ever got paid.

I guess he didn't like that and complained to my Law Society (BC). The LSBC accepted his complained and is now set to hold a hearing whether my conduct was "conduct unbecoming" of a lawyer.

I am quite prepared to defend myself against the charges and will do. so. In my opinion, all of these lawyers engaging in this practice should be complained about to their own Law Society. I am of the opinion, as born out by the entries on this blog, that these guys are misleading the public and thereby besmiching the legal profession.

These people should be made accountable. In the meanwhile, don't pay them a cent and feel free to look up my name on the LSBC website in the discipline section. Should you agree with me I would appreciate any public support in the form of your letter to the LSBC, quoting the case number.

I have agreed as to the facts with the LSBC, which constitutes an admission of guilt, but I believe with all my heart that my conduct was justified. The conduct of that lawyer complaining should be the subject of an enquiry.

As lawyers we should be held to high standards. I am of the opinion that these people, as lawyers, do not meet them and bring disrepute to the profession.

I will admit that I am on a bit of a crusade in this matter. I hope the press takes an interest. Are you listening G&M?

I appreciate your interest.

G. M. Laarakker

Laarakkerlaw.com
On Apr 4, 2011, alex pierce Said:
S. they can try to sue you but they need to prove damages, this is VERY RARE AND almost IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE, i think there has ONLY been one case in ontario in the past 15 years where the bay took someone to court.

but it's a legit law firm obviously.
On Apr 2, 2011, S. Said:
how authentic is HYDElegal in Ontario?
I showed the letter to a lawyer and he said that the civil recovery letter settlement is \"definetly\" authentic and they can hold jurisdiction to prosecute someone until amount is paid.
On Apr 2, 2011, Pat T Said:
I received a letter o April 1st, 2011... but it's no joke.

I've had it with this Corporate bullying. It is time for us to fight back.

Everyone here should send a complaint to the Law Society of upper Canada. Everyone here should send a complaint to the Retailer, to your MPP and write or call the media.

Nice juicy rights violation, should make a good story.

I agree, do not pay. Corp's would not. And the Retailer will pay much more to take you to court with the realization that they will probably lose.

The most used word in Ontario Courts in "reasonable" and this is not.

Oh yeah, and please boycott the retailer and let them know you will be telling everyone you know of their heavy handed treatment of your child, and of their attemots to extort you.

I will be doing all of the above come Monday.

And if anyone has been charged or has to go to court or is required to do some community service, invoke this piece of news and ask the crown or the court how they can justify pursuing this matter, when they can't find the time for a $27 million theft.

http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/891556--dropped-charges-in-ponzi-scheme-raises-troubling-questions

Also, call a lawyer, the LSUC free referall service. Perhaps point out this site and the multitude of people being scammed. Perhaps a class action against this lawyer, and a suit against the retailers would put a stop to this.
On Mar 31, 2011, stoptheselawyers Said:
These lawyers want you to give in to your fears. Of course they will word the letters in such a way to do so. It all sounds so "legally" correct. Yes, they can demand money, but only a judge can ask for a judgment and get you to pay. It's not worth the lawyer's time to go to get a judgment or file a plaintiff's claim. It is so much easier to just keep sending these letters because it is cheaper and they know that most people will pay.

If you read the second letter with the subject, "final notice", you will see near the bottom or last paragraph that they say to ignore this if you have paid. so, they don't really know weather you paid or not because they are sending these letters out just to see what they can fish out of some people's pockets. Read carefully these letters. It's been 5 months and 3 weeks since the "final notice" amount of $600.00 was due. They will not see this in their bank account. These lawyers need to be stopped. Read up and do your research.
On Mar 27, 2011, William C Said:
EVERYONE in ONTARIO, download the following form:

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/uploadedFiles/helpform.pdf

COMPLAIN about these lawyers, we do have options, complain that they are using unethical intimidation to extort money from you, this cannot go on unnoticed.

if the link doesn't work, it's the law society of upper canada website, complaints dept.
On Mar 26, 2011, alex Said:
i need some advice here, in toronto. i was not charged but given a YELLOW ticket, if i ignore the letter, can the store then press CRIMINAL CHARGES?


help is obliged.
On Mar 26, 2011, didnotpay Said:
someone i know shoplifted from the bay about a year ago. he received a letter from Patrick Greco the lawyer (read up on him). it was received 25 days later in the mail. it asked for 500.00 and was due 30 days later. He didn't pay. He received the second letter with the subject "final notice" 4 months and 9 days later. this final notice letter was due in 7 days. It was for $600.00. he never paid it. it has been now five (5) months since it was due and nothing has happened. No letters or phone calls at all. Remember, the P.O. box 193 in mississauga (streetsville) is a house belonging to patrick Greco. However, if you look under BBB(better business bureau) and type in Civil recovery firms in mississauga, you will see it belongs to Patrick Martin (the Principal), who also runs american tax refund. Read up on all these lawyers and all the related stories. They know how to write these letters. the final notice sounds scary, but if you really read it, note what they are saying and how. They don't even know if you paid from the first letter.

Don't forget, they know how to word things to their advantage and to play on your emotions and fears.


On Mar 25, 2011, george p Said:
what's the advice if the person is not a parent, but rather was themselves directly involved?

same story?

don't pay?

On Mar 25, 2011, alex pierce Said:
i just got the same letter from hyde, there were 3 of us there, i assume i don't have to pay it?
On Mar 24, 2011, Billy Bob Said:
To all those who have received a Civil Demand letter from Patrick K. Martin! DO NOT PAY HIM! It’s all a scare tactic scam!!!!

The face of a dirty, $500 Civil Demand letter scammer lawyer! Don’t let him fool you into paying him. Big companies are not going to pay lawyers big bucks to sue you for petty theft under $20.oo

SCAM ALERT WEB LINK
http://patrickkmartin.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/hello-world/
On Mar 24, 2011, Billy Bob Said:
I just received the same SCAM letter from HYDE Legal wanting me to pay $595.00. This was for my daughter taking a hair clip which they got back worth $5.95 The first thing I noticed is they moved the decimal two places to the right.
People listen, this is a SCAM from what I have been reading and I will not be paying a dime. Check out this site:copy and paste in your browser http://www.jfcy.org/PDFs/Civil-Recovery-Apr06.pdf
It says it is for Ontario but I am sure it would be right across the Canada. If they want to take this to the next step I am ready for them. Chances are they won't and even if they seek more $$$ I will just tell the Judge I will do the time for the penalty. ( WHO IS PAYING NOW thanking him for his donation) Like he will go for that ! If he does I will hold my own and write a book about it all.

Justice for Children and Youth (if the letter involves a person under 18)
GTA: 416-920-1633
Elsewhere in Ontario: 1-866-999-5329
Your local community legal aid clinic: www.legalaid.ca
Lawyer Referral Service (half hour free legal advice with $6.00 telephone charge)
1-900-565-4577
If under 18 call 1-800-268-8326 (no charge)
On Mar 23, 2011, V Said:
My little sister in grade 9 got caught shoplifting a lipbalm. I recieved a letter from HydeLegal saying to pay $595.00. I do not have this kind of money. Are they being serious?! Will I get a lawsuit if I cannot make this payment on time?! Someone please help! I've been trying to call the office and have even faxed a letter to this John-Edward person, but no respond yet! This is a waste of money, time, and causing alot of distress!
On Mar 23, 2011, Shorty Said:
I just received a letter yesterday (March 22, 2010) saying that I must pay $500 on or before April 7, 2011. I understand what I did was wrong and in no way make excuses for what I did but $500 is alot for an item that was $9.99. I called the number on the letterhead to see if I could get the amount reduced but no one answers the phone, have also left messages and no return. Has anyone not paid the amount and what happens if you don't pay.

Thanks in advance for you responses.
On Mar 22, 2011, Nathalie Said:
if you avoid the first letter, had anyone received a second letter ?
On Mar 20, 2011, Stan Said:
I have received and ignored both letters beyond the deadlines. All is fine. PLEASE AVOID THIS SCAM. It\'s nonsense and they only do it because it\'s technically legal and they want to make big bucks.
On Mar 19, 2011, shirley Said:
@Joan if HBC knows this is fraud why do they allow Hyde Legal to send these letters? was there an explanation?
On Mar 17, 2011, Joan Said:
I recieved the same $595.00 threat from Hyde Legal, my son tried to shoplift an $8 item and was caught. After numerous call to Hyde and no response, I e-mailed HBC. They told me that the letter was fraud and I was to ignore it.
Please do the same.
Joan...Vancouver
On Mar 13, 2011, big bob Said:
pay it and take some freaking responsibility for your idiot sons actions.
On Mar 10, 2011, Laura Lynch Said:
and they call this Canada!! My God what has this world come to.....the teenager knows he did wrong and although i am not condoning his stealing of the chocolate bar..the punishment does not fit the crime!!! Hire him for weekends to stock the chocolate bar rack... i am sure he would appreciate the job!!
On Mar 9, 2011, jackie Said:
If this letter is the result of a teenage child shoplifting then you do not have to pay it and if they try to take you to court or threaten to go to collections let them because they have to prove that they had a contract with you to obtain a judgement and they did not. if the store wants to press charges by all means let them but this letter is just a way to side step the judicial system and make a quick buck Do Not Pay the money it is a scam and Zellars has no legal right to be conducting themselves in this manner they are not authorized to levy fines agains the public if they want recorse they have to have to press charges..
On Feb 18, 2011, AP Said:
Hi guys,

I received same letter from John edward. My mom forgot she had lipstick in her pocket and she crossed check out and started waiting for my dad inside main doors. My dad went next door to buy milk. Afte 5 mins sicurity guy came and took my mom in his office. He called police and she has to filled out some forms and got tresspass notice for a year. She called my dad and he paid for lipstick.My mom was stressed and got sick for a weak. Her blood pressure was so low and i was extremely worried. After a month I got this bulls***t letter. She again feeling sick and got dark black marks around he eyes because of tension. I just want to sue this guy. Anybody is interested to join me and stop this f***ing scam?
On Feb 14, 2011, Michelle Said:
I just received a letter from HYDELegal demanding 595.00 for a five dollar item my 16 year old tried taking from Zellers, now i don't agree with shoplifting and she has dealt with punishment from me.....However these loss prevention guys are idiots, they held my 12 year old as well who didn't know my other daughter shoplifted....My 12 year old has type 1 diabetes and he refused to let her go even though it was time for her insulin.....she ended up hospitalized.....Now i should ask who is going to pay for that!!!!!! The idiot almost cost my daughter her life and now THEY want 595.00....Good luck.....You will never see it!!!
On Feb 3, 2011, howinteresting Said:
Well, looks like more lawyers are trying to get in on this easy money business. It's truly sad when companies have to sink so low to make money. The Bay (Hudson's Bay), Zellers, Home Outfitters, Fields belong to the Bay. I guess they aren't making enough money from sales so they look for other opportunities to make $500-$600 or more.

Come on now, the police should be spending their time catching and watching the big criminals. Stealing is wrong and yes, it should be punished. However, most first time offenders should be let go and not charged. If they don't have a history or record , they should not be fined.

While the retailers are trying to protect themselves, they should hire more staff and train them better. It seems like there is little or no "customer service" help in places like, Bay, Sears.

The law should be punishing the murderers, rapists, child molesters, abusers, drug dealers, and the scam artists on Bay Street...which include Patrick Greco, Patrick Martin (on don Mills Road), and this new "Hyde legal" scum.

It is all a "business" and a greedy one at that.


So far, I have not heard of anyone getting phone calls to collect money. so far, I have read some people got a "final notice". I read of someone who has ignored both and it has been few months and nothing has happened. They (the lawyers) are playing with your mind and your fears. they know how to word things and intimidate you and psychologically try to scare the crap out of you.

Well, enough now. read all you can related to civil recovery/demand letters and these low life lawyers.
On Jan 30, 2011, GerryL Said:
Sorry - found a John Edward Charles Hyde on Mississauga Road in Mississauga.

Still, don't pay.
On Jan 30, 2011, GerryL Said:
This is a scam folks, the LSBC Lawyers' directory does not list anyone by the name of Hyde as a practicing lawyer. There is a woman with that last name, but she is non-practicing in any event. Someone call the Law soc. of Upper Canada please and copmplain.
On Jan 26, 2011, GerryL Said:
Well Steve, that is the retailer's problem. Get enough sales people on your floor, take the appropriate security measures and you won't have this situation.

If you choose to waist [sic] 24 man-hours (what, no women work in your store?) on keeping a kid detained who is perfectly capable of traveling by himself, it's your choice, I agree with the mom. If it had been my kid, I would have let you keep him! See how long you would put up with that.

Even then, the minutest infractions by a child are being punished by the harshest penalties. All the while the 3-piece suits on Bay street are robbing you blind. The kid may steal some candy or whatever. The 3-piece suits are robbing your future.

Get a sense of proportion in all of this. And do take the proper precautions.
On Jan 25, 2011, unkonwn Said:
Hi,

My friend also had done the same mistake and got the same kind of Settlement letter from John-Edward C. Hyde.

The details also same as mentioned by the other blogs.
Payable to Civil Recovery, the address post box 193.., amount $500, send via cheque or money , postage paid cover with address.

The incident happened on Dec 27 and got letter on Jan 21st. The letter says due date is Feb 6 or else law suit may be commenced.

Not sure what to do.

Is it the legal notice send by lawyer on behalf of retailer?
is it really sent to scary the person?
What happened to the people who not paid as mentioned in the letter?

Please help us by reply.
On Jan 25, 2011, Wayne Said:
My wife just got the same letter first letter for $595. They\'ve seem to have changed the lawyering and it\'s now from John-Edward C. Hyde from HYDELegal Professional Corporation.

Of course there is NO record of this company... the address on the letterhead is registered to AClaim and the payment is to the PO Box 193 that other posters have previously researched... certified cheque is still to be made to CIVIL RECOVERY.

I looked up Mr. Hyde on the Internet and he\'s at Blaney McMurtry LLP... I just tried going to the website and it seems be be down... being DDOS? I\'m just wondering if he knows he\'s on these letterheads!

Thanks to everyone for their work in figuring out this scam.... It seems they are getting a bit greedy trying for $595. Hell, I think we would have paid the $100 that the judge awarded them in the Hudson\'s Bay v. White case to acknowledge my wife\'s wrongdoing but to \'strongarm\' so much makes people question and rise up!
On Jan 17, 2011, Marc Said:
Did anybody receive a similar letter from someone from HydeLegal called John-Edward? same PO box193, streetville, ontario, L5M-2B8. Is it Patrick Martin or Patrick Greco disguised or associates?
On Jan 17, 2011, Chris Said:
on janurary17 I am not a theif nor do ilike being labled a thief. my friend had stolen something right infront of me although she got got away i was detained before i could even exit the store(zellers)just after i had purchased what i had went ther to buy. i am now being sued civily by a group called hyde legal out of mississuaga ontario. should i be concerned with this. i dont believe that what part i had in this whole charade is worth 600 dollars. come on now. i am not disagreeing that the role i played was right but i do disagree that im a thief, and that i should have to pay an obscene amount for items in which i did not take. i even offered to pay for the items my friend had taken while i was forceably confined in their infamous backroom they did not except my offer then so should i except there offer now?
i only have 1 week to send them this money what happens from that point if i dont?
On Jan 6, 2011, Nic Said:
If you don't pay the civil fine, can your credit be damaged?
On Jan 6, 2011, get ridof both Patricks Said:
Steve, the loss prevention guys only took no more than 15 minutes to do their thing. Two guys to escort you and then one guy to use the computer and enter a few pieces of information which a standard form is set up on the computer already. There is only 1 police officer. The one L.P officer just sat for a while and waited for police then went to the other small section of the claustrophobic cubicle. They did not spend a lot of their time. Their time was not WASTED.

Also, note that Patrick Greco and Patrick Martin work together. NOte that on the BBB website, BBB (better business bureau) could not get information about the company "CIVIL RECOVERY" run by Patrick Martin from the PO box 193, (house belonging to Patrick Greco). GEe, I wonder why he couldn't talk to BBB...maybe because he and Greco are one big scam...they are trying to hide something...raking in the money most likely tax free. I would not pay them. The following is from the BBB website. Just type in Civil recovery P.O. box 193, Mississauga, L5M 2B8



Business Contact and Profile
Name: Civil Recovery
Address: P.O. Box 193
Mississauga, ON L5M 2B8
Principal: Mr. Patrick Martin
Customer Contact: Mr. Patrick Martin
File Open Date: July 2010
Type of Business: Collection Agencies
BBB Accreditation: This company is not a BBB Accredited business.

The BBB has requested basic information from this company. The BBB has not received a response. Without this information, the BBB may not have current information concerning such things as the company's management or its nature of business.





On Jan 5, 2011, Shirley C. Said:
We also received a letter dated Dec. 21st 2010 for my daughter's wrong doing, but it's from a different company called "Hydelegal Professional Corporation," and the lawyer's name is John-Edward C. Hyde, everything else is almost the same as everybody else here. We were requested to pay CAD 595.00 for a 3 dollars elastic band.........I am not trying to emphasize the value difference here, I just don't understrand how could they (Zellers, The Bay......) destory a kid's life with a greedy request. I was almost ready to pay since the deadline is few days later. The other parents of her friend told me that they haven't received anything yet, and even they did receive this letter, they will not pay because they simply don't have this kind of money. My daughter becomes quieter and quieter ever since. I totally agree that there must be a punishment for the wrong behaviour, but I also think all kids deserve a second chance. If the compensation is reasonable, most of us will pay it willingly, but definitely not like this amount!
On Jan 3, 2011, seebothsides Said:
Yes, I am not talking about the general small shop owner who does not have a "loss prevention team". It is the large companies like shoppers, and walmart, The bay, Zellers and their affiliates like Fields that should not be "hiring" these "lawyers" to do their dirty work. I feel for the retailers too. but it is like a school bully who is bigger than you and that's what these lawyers really amount to. It is just not in the schoolyard and it is verbal written threats.
On Jan 3, 2011, Steve Said:
As a retailer who "is the victim" in cases of shoplifting, I'm always suprised at the general populations belief that there is little or no cost to theft!
Catch a criminal and you and a colleague spend hours with the criminal, mall security times two and police officers times two writing up the incident and waiting for someone to pick up the criminal!
Six people waisted 4 hours each (24 manhours!) waiting for the Mom who was working and wouldn't leave "just to pick up her son who was capable of taking a bus".
Who sho pay for that colossal waste of time ... the retrailer ... the mall ... or the taxpayers paying the police to protect them or maybe the responsible parent who didn't care enough to even pick up the idiot 15 year old?
On Dec 28, 2010, breathe Said:
to most people here, that\'s what they want you to do...PANIC, and just give in and send them the ludicrous amount. this is a test and they know all the PSYCHOLOGY of your thinking and what people are feeling. These two lawyers, Patrick Greco and Patrick Martin should be tormented everyday but they have been doing this for so long that it\'s just another business to them to rake in the money. TRY NOT TO GIVE IN IF YOU CAN STAND IT...AND READ UP MORE.

On Dec 23, 2010, Takecare Said:
To Radine:
i was wondering why you just got a letter december 21st. Is this the same letter from a Patrick Greco or a patrick Martin? Is this the same demand letter that most people got? It is not a FINAL NOTICE letter is it?(the second one demanding payment? If they are THESE, and NOT A PLAINTIFF'S CLAIM from the lawyer, then, you may choose to ignore them. Read up on this blog and check the Osgoode Hall Law school article on CIVIL RECOVERY LETTERS" .Only a judge can make you pay. Do your research and don't panic. Read more on the situation. All the best to you.
On Dec 22, 2010, Gerry Laarakker, LL.B. Said:
Received one of these Civil Recovery letters? Live in BC?

Let me defend you. I am a lawyer experienced in these matters and dislike these tactics. My charge is $100 + $12 HST. I will inform the Claimant that I act for you, so no further letters or harassing phone calls will come your way. I will defend you if it goes to trial and I will even pay out the claim at no charge to you should we lose! I guarantee results.

Remember, BC ONLY! (I am not a lawyer in any other province and will ignore any requests for assistance outside of BC) Respond by email ONLY to Gerry@Laarakkerlaw.com.
On Dec 22, 2010, Gerry L. Said:
Don't pay. This is a scam. Court decisions have consistently declined these claims. Particularly if it involves minors and they are trying to weasel money out of the parents. I am a lawyer. This is free advice.
On Dec 21, 2010, kathy Said:
I stole a pregnancy test from drug mart and next time i came in i was told by security guard that they saw me on camera but store manager wont press charges this time and i should never come back; if i do then they will press charges. i never did. they did not take my name down or anything. after 1 year, as i was expecting a certified mail from canada post i missed it and they dropped it off at that same drug mart...i really need to pick up that letter but if i go there to get it can i be charged with trespassing? or if i go is there a possibility that they will recognize me on camera later and since the letter that i am about to pick up has my name and address, will they forward that info to police? please help i am panicky
On Dec 21, 2010, Radine Said:
I am please looking for some advice. I will be honest here. I have been severely depressed for the past 4 years and last year was probably the worst. I shoplifted from the Bay. I shoplifted a bunch of stuff, umbrella, shirt, I don\'t even remember the rest but I had no need for any of the stuff but I really had bad depression at the time, so i shamefully did this.

I was told by the Loss Prevention Officer that I was under arrest at the exit. I began to cry and shake uncontrollably. I was asked if I wanted a lawyer, I said yes and I never actually got to talk to anyone. I confessed to what I had done of course and the police was called, however, I was told I was not going to be charged but the loss prevention guy did say that they might ask me for money later. I am on income assistance and can hardly afford to survive. I am receiving psychiatric treatment but right now I am too ashamed to even tell my psychiatrist about this. I will do so the next time I see her but I don\'t know if I can handle all of this.

I used to be an A student in university until depression literally changed my brain. I would like to go back to school at some point and work possibly in the legal field as a paralegal. I am curious to know that if there is something I can do about this letter and the arrest record. I am not a bad person, as I\'m sure most people on here are not. I made some terrible mistakes and engaged in risky behaviour when I stole, which is something common of depressed people.

I was caught last February and only received a letter this week, December 21st. Is there something I can do to clear my name? I am also curious about my rights being violated, as I asked for a lawyer and the loss prevention officer just kept pursuing me and insisting I go to the hospital or something

Any help would be much appreciated. Kind regards, Radine
On Dec 6, 2010, Jenifer Said:
I received the exact same letter but in french and from Robert Eidinger, but oddly enough, it also says to send the money (a fee of 595$) to the exact same PO box in Ontario, while the Edinger attorney is located in Montreal. This smells scam. I do not intend to pay the money which was from a stupid $5 thing I accidentally walked off Zellers with. This is ridiculous, especially since they did not call the cops, and didn't make me sign anything. I never admitted to the crime, why would I pay $600 a month later? The letter was not registered either, so who says I received it? I was stupid enough to give the guy my real address. If I didn't, I wouldn't even have received this. I am a little scared they follow this through, but from what I read I could not find a single case in which people were sued for real after not paying. I feel this is just to scare us, and the stupid ones will pay. I won't pay for something that I did not take. I will wait and see what happens and post here later, but I'm pretty sure there won't be any follow-up.
On Dec 2, 2010, why Said:
so far, have not read that anyone has received anything after receiving the letter that says "FINAL NOTICE". From all I've read here and other blogs, no one mentioned anything about receiving another letter or a "plaintiff's claim". These two lawyers are fishing and trying to get easy prey. I don't think they really want to go through much trouble to go to court and etc. Besides, it costs them money and time (check costs of plaintiff's claim) on small claims court Ontario site. I believe it is about $145 for an infrequent claimant. Why would they go to court and give up the probability of making more money by scamming people who they bully and intimidate. Read further down on this blog. They are so busy printing these letters up and making easy money that it would be not really worth their while . NOtice that Hudsons bay vs. White case they noted is old
On Nov 26, 2010, Shelly Said:
I too have a 17 yr old son who also attempted to steal a $10.00 Halloween mask at a Shoppers Drugmart. Security watched him until he was leaving the store and asked him if was able to pay for that mask. My son replied yes I have the money for it. While inside the secuirty fellow decided to call police. My son was arrested taken to jail, stip searched and was treated like a repeated criminal. He was scared as he had never hung around Toronto before and has grown up in a small town setting. He pleaded guilty the following day, and is in the process of a diversion program which includes counceling and either community service or an effective apolgy letter from him to the the store and the community for his wrongful doings. I have now received the letter described from others in the exact wording. I have made a number of calls and was also told not to pay. I am calling a youth lawyer to give me advise as to resonding to the amount they have asked for. I also called the store and spoke with the store manager and he said he knew nothing of the civil law charge to myself on behalf of my son. Also had names spelt wrong and they were also wrong on the address of my son and that I was his legal guardian. He did not live with me and I was only contacted that night of the incident as my son wanted to talk to me. Interesting how they would get all this info.
I will report again after I speak with head office of Shoppers as well as a Lawyer.
On Nov 25, 2010, ahh Said:
Has any one ever gotta a letter from them after the one saying FINAL NOTICE?
On Nov 24, 2010, Lynn Said:
I got a second notice. 4 months after I received the initial letter. I ripped it up like I did the first one. My son had to do restitution through the Youth Justice System in Alberta. One of the first things the counsellor asked me was if I received a letter like this. I said yes. She said ignore it, tear it up and forget about it...it's nothing more than a scam and has no legal bearing. Zellers has given this guy permission to say that he's been contracted by them and whatever he recovers he gets a portion of. I'm betting my clear criminal record and excellent credit rating that nothing ever comes of this....and I've torn up the second letter. This guy should be rounded up and pissed on....scum of the earth, piece of shit.
On Nov 21, 2010, dontpanic Said:
to ssk: like me, I was curious and did my research. So far, from googling everything from demand letters, civil recovery letters, Patrick Greco, Patrick Martin, and any related search, I have come across none that says that they were given a statement of claim or plaintiff's claim. Only a judge can make you pay. YOu might get a second letter that says final notice...but this is not a judgment by a judge. ..it is still a demand letter. Yes, the wording sounds scary. Read about these two.especially on this site and read an article from the Osgoode hall Law school regarding civil recovery letters. DO your research and if you can handle it, wait. SO far, I haven't heard of recent cases regarding shoplifting and letters from these two lawyers.

All the best.
On Nov 20, 2010, ssk Said:
I received the same exact letter from this patrick martin and many of you are saying nothing will happen if i just ignore this letter and not pay the $500 amount. Is this true ?

and why is it $500? is this justified?
if it is, i'm guessing private investigators of canada gets paid $400-500 hourly; i did not damage anything and i did not get to keep what i tried to steal. i only took only an hour of the investigators time
someone please reply
i really dont wana pay $500 for trying to steal a $3.00 drink

please

On Nov 17, 2010, keddy Said:
my son was detained for shoplifting- 17 and his first offence. It was a gamefrom the mark down bin $13.00. He was not charged and was let go by the police. We received the same letter and I am definetely not paying 595.00 for a 13.00 game. If I have to I will fight this to the very end. What I find really funny is the fact that only a judge can make you pay monetary restitution. These are just money hungry greedy assholes who like to get their money by scaring people
On Nov 8, 2010, paynoway Said:
Hi, just wanted to let people know also that this Patrick Kim Martin owns American Tax REfund...a company that suppossed to get you back some money from your gambing winnings in the States. This guy is also the principal of CIVIL RECOVERY" in Mississauga where he or Patrick Greco asks you to send the money order or cheque. The nerve of these two. They already want 500/600 dollars from you and want you to spend another few dollars on a money order too? I wouldn't trust them with my cheque...now they have information on your banking and bank accounts.

Also, when you go to the BBB website, there is a link that tells you what are fair debt collection practices. Tells you what collectors can't do or say to you. Might want to read it.

They're both probably laughing and enjoying fine meals and driving around in their nice cars and having nice vacations from the money they have scammmed from the shoplifters. MAKE THEM WORK FOR THEIR MONEY.

I f you can stand it, don't just give in and pay...you know your individual situation (financially and emotionally).

I just don't like to see these two get easy moneyfrom anyone. I don't want anyone to get into trouble of course.

Keep us posted
On Oct 31, 2010, Hans Wienhold Said:
At first, I thought of sending the following message to Mr. Martin anonymously. Then I thought... well, he must get so many of these kinds of letters he probably doesn't even read them.

I was really blown away when I got this letter from him.

My family has been going through hell lately over the shenanigans of our 17 year old son.

He's dropped out of school. He is using, god knows, what kinds of drugs.

We have been worried sick about him.

Then he just disappeared for two weeks.

I did not go to the police for a number of reasons including:

1 - i suspected he left of his own volition. (And that, therefore, even if the cops brought him home he would just leave again.)

2 - I no longer trust the police to act in a socially beneficial manner. (They are, after all, government employees. They do NOT work for us. They work for the government. A serious student of government will, at the very least, question whether the police do more harm than good.)

3 - he was periodically updating his Facebook page....
...and so... I waited.

For him to come home.

Every day when I came home from work I would look for his shoes inside the door... so I would know he finally came home and was safe.

And every time I opened that door to see no shoes... my sense of grief weighed me down.

The hole in my heart grew and grew.

I told myself I had to prepare for the worst.

A black cloud hung over me the whole time.

It was slow-motion bereavement.

There is nothing worse than losing one of your children.

Relief finally came in the strangest way...

When I learned my son had been arrested for stealing five cans of whipped cream from a Shopper's Drug Mart in Toronto.

Isn't it strange that bad news can also be good news? (The call from the police was proof he was still alive and well.)

I should also mention that the cop involved gave my son some of his own money to take a bus home. (It's reassuring to learn that not all cops are insensitive robots, "It's the LAW." I want to thank this particular cop, personally, for showing some compassion and understanding.)

The cop still had to do his job. And I don't blame him in this case. What my son did was WRONG.

Taking things without paying for them is wrong. It's called stealing.

One way or another, taking things which do not belong to you or which you have not paid for is wrong. One way or another, it is an activity that should be discouraged.

---

Which brings me around to the gist of my rant...

about a week after my son got caught shoplifting I received a letter from Patrick K. Martin, B.A., LL.B, B.C.L., "WITHOUT PREJUDICE," demanding that I surrender $500 to him based upon some angle he and Shoppers Drug Mart had wrangled out of the "Parental Responsibility Act, 2000."

Basically, what this intimidating letter told me was that, in addition to all of the misery and heartbreak our family had been going through as a result of our wayward son, we now suffered exposure to a further legal, "GOTCHA!"

Ding!

These are the rules.

You LOSE.

Send us $500 OR ELSE!

Well, I aint sending them no $500.

Fuck them.

.. so I wrote a reply to Mr. Martin... but instead of sending it to him, I decided to post it here....

----


Dear Mr. Martin,


------------------------------------------------------------------------
shyster·ism n.

Word History: Calling someone a shyster might be considered libellous; knowing its probable origin adds insult to injury. According to Gerald L. Cohen, a student of the word, shyster is derived from the German term scheisser, meaning literally "one who defecates," from the verb scheissen, "to defecate," with the English suffix -ster, "one who does," substituted for the German suffix -er, meaning the same thing. Sheisser, which is chiefly a pejorative term, is the German equivalent of our English terms bastard and son of a bitch. Sheisser is generally thought to have been borrowed directly into English as the word shicer, which, among other things, is an Australian English term for an unproductive mine or claim, a sense that is also recorded for the word shyster.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, Mr Martin....

Do you subscribe to the notion that minors are simply automatons that can be controlled by tweaking a few settings here and there?

Or are you just a common shyster seeking to harvest low hanging fruit?

May you decompose in your own disgusting moral fluid. Just, please, try to keep the stink to yourself.

Here is a dollar for you.

Go and rape your mother.

And then you can sue *her* too.

Yours Truly,

A potential victim of the Parental Responsibility Act.




On Oct 30, 2010, dontpay Said:
to those who got a second demand letter saying "FINAL NOTICE", it is still a demand letter and asks you to pay even sooner.

it also says that the Plaintiff reserves the right to commence legal proceedings....they haven't actually commenced it.

but look at the bottom and it says "Please disregard this correspondence if you have paid or a lawyer acting on your behalf has contacted me by the time you receive this letter."

They should know if you already paid or not or your lawyer has contacted them. These letters are usually sent in batches and not individually sent. (researced and read it online).Type in demand letters.

Well, you can choose still to ignore this if you want because it is not a court order to pay and not a judgement by a judge. DO NOT ignore a statement of claim though. On the Osgoode hall law school website and they have an article regarding demand letters.

Don't panic. Some people have ignored the second letter and nothing happened to them.


Do your research. good luck and kee us informed
thanks
On Oct 29, 2010, againstrecovery Said:
to lokaa and others who received a second letter. I suppose it says"FINAL NOTICE" on the letter. does it say that they "will be seeking specific instructions from the Plaintiff to commence legal proceedings against you before a civil court"? and the next paragraph starts saying that "you may stop/or prevent the commencement of these proceedings by paying $600 ..." the next paragraph says" Please submit by a certain date (probably one week's time). Should you not do so, the Plaintiff reserves the right to proceed to court..."

The last paragraph states : "Please disregard this correspondence if you have paid or a lawyer acting on your behalf has already contacted me by the time you receive this letter."


It doesn't actually say that the Plaintiff is going to go to court or has gone yet. Also, don't you think that they would know if you have paid yet or a lawyer has contacted them? (see the bottom paragraph)


Now, this is still a demand letter and you can choose to ignore this too. read the article on civil recovery letters on the Osgoode Hall Law School website as follows: www.osgoode.yorku.ca/clasp/civilrecoveryletters.html.

Also, read up on the article 'NO FRILLS RACKET" REGARDING SHOPLIFTING. there are lots of other people writing about their experience.

a few people have received a second letter and ignored it and heard nothing again from these vultures. One person even gave it to her lawyer and the lawyer laughed and ripped it up.

Do your research first and don't panic. The lawyers Patrick Greco and Patrick Martin know how to word things to scare you and intimidate you an play on your fears. Ask around and read up more. You are not leaglly required to pay these amounts. Only a judge can make you pay by a "judgement"

these two lawyers are working together out of a house in Mississauga . HOwever the principal of this CIVIL RECOVERY is Patrick Martin.(check BBB...better business bureau).

keep us posted. these two young lawyers want quick easy money and the amount has nothing to do with administrative costs.

they say you can choose to ignore these letters. HOwever...DO NOT ignore a statement of claim as this is a plaintiff's claim filed in court by the Bay or Zellers to get money. you have 20 days to respond.

From what I've read and researched so far, no one has mentioned that they were sent one of these plaintiff's claim.

research first.
On Oct 26, 2010, lokaaa Said:
last year i got cuaght stealing with two of my friends and a few weeks after tht they sent all 3 of us a letter sayin we had to pay 500$ ..one of my friends actually paid..but me and my other friend didnt..
its been about 6 months or more and i received another letter today sayin tht since i hadnt paid the 500$ that i now i have to pay 600$ or else they will take it to court..but im not sure if that should be paid or not =
On Oct 25, 2010, Maureen Said:
My 13 yr. old tried to steal an XBOX controller but got caught before leaving Zellers.The Police Officer told my husband he didn't need to sign the document given by the Merchandise Recovery (undercover/plain-clothed security guy)of which we had no plans on doing anyhow prior to him telling my husband.2 weeks passed and we also get an intimidating "with extreme prejudice"although they say"without" I told the security guy we weren't going to be paying any bill no matter the threat.Today is Oct.25th/'10 and tomorrow is the big deadline .This time shall pass without my sending either a cheque or money order in the amount of $595.00.I haven't lost one wink of sleep since the extortion came in the mail.I will keep this site posted on what? if anything further happens.In any event my stance is firm...I WON'T BE PAYING ANYTHING!!! EVER!!!
On Oct 20, 2010, Marsha Said:
I got the same letter in the mail Monday asking for $595!!! My son had been caught shoplifting at Zellers with his cousin on oct 10/10 my cousion also got the same letter. i was so scare and i contact the one of the lawyer and have appointment on friday oct 22/10 conferance call for 1/2 hour free advise. lets see what lawyer have to regarding the letter. but now i'm little bit relex since i started reading the post on the internet.
On Oct 14, 2010, lawreception Said:
Who's the real thief here....think it might be Patrick Greco and Patrick Martin as they are using their legal position to their advantage.

Look up on Google.com and type in : civil recovery firms in Mississauga, Ontario". then you click on :BBB review of civil Recovery in Mississauga, On". Now, you will read that the address is P.O. Box 193 Mississauga, On L5M 2B8..the address where Patrick Greco asks you to send your cheque/money order to. here comes the interesting part...the principal is Patrick Martin and the contact is Patrick Martin. Both these lawyers ask you to send your money to this address. Well, this address is actually a house belonging to patrick Greco. it is at 667 Dinsmore court in Mississauga. (check canada 411 and google maps-street view and aerial view).
this file on them at BBB was opened july 2010. I think these two young lawyers want to earn quick easy money and they are working together.

do your research on postage meters and postage paid envelopes. the red stamp indicates that the letters from Miller thomson are being sent from a Mississauga post box or post office but the envelope is actually from Miller thomson with a downtown toronto postal code starting with M...

thewe two need to stop this tactics and do the honourable thing and work for their money.

Of course they're not going to ask you to send it to a house address...P.O. Box sounds more professional and legal.

I know how postage meters work. it sure saves time licking stamps and since both these Patricks send SO MANY letters out, the postage meter is a business expense write off and helps them make more money which they do not deserve.

dO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE, THAN THINK ABOUT SENDING MONEY TO THESE VULTURES.
On Oct 3, 2010, Help Said:


I recently shoplifted a pair for 15$ earrings from Sears and was caught. This was my first time shoplifting and I don't know why i did it. I have had no criminal offences. They let me go saying there would be a 50$ fine maximum and I received a trespassing notice from the Rideau centre. There was no police involved, only the mall security.
Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from Sears and they want 500$ from me. . Is this letter actually legit? Should I pay Sears? The earrings were returned and I was in the back office with security for no more than 20 mins.

I am a student and work part time at a restaurant but make next to nothing!. I have never done anything bad and I currently don't know what actions to take.
On Oct 1, 2010, caughtstealing Said:
Has anyone received a final notice letter to pay or else they will seek specific instructions from the plaintiff to commence legal proceedings against them? The letter asks you to pay by certain day. should you not do so, the plaintiff reserves the right to commence proceedings to take you to court. has anyone got this "FINAL NOTICE" from this Patrick Greco lawyer from Miller Thomson? Did you get take to court? What happened in the end?
On Sep 29, 2010, adp Said:
Anyone sued for not paying civil recovery money?
On Sep 29, 2010, rocky Said:
i got the same letter today i stole a candybar from shopper drug mart for .97 cents and a few weeks later i got a letter telling me i got sued for $500. is this guy a fake and should i ignore this claim?
On Sep 29, 2010, caughtstealing Said:
has anyone received a second letter demanding more money/? It says FINAL NOTICE". If you don't pay by this date, the plaintiff has the right to proceed to court..Has anyone ignored the second letter demanding a higher amount to be paid and have you been taken to court ? did you receive a "Plaintiff's Claim" to respond to within 20 days? please share your experience.
On Sep 29, 2010, MaryDD Said:
I got the same letter in the mail yesterday asking for $500!!! My daughter had been caught shoplifting a $17 tube of lipgloss. Was apprehended at the store, they called me, police came and they let her go with a warning. She is also banned from any Shoppers Drug Mart and also the mall. They told her they would let her go w/out charging her because she seemed to be a good kid and if she promised to never do it again....Ugh Teenagers!!! I already dished out a punishment for her crime when it happened. I'm glad I found this site....I just threw away the letter :) But I did let her know about the letter yesterday...Not that I threw it out but how costly it was for doing something stupid
On Sep 28, 2010, Jennifer Chan Said:
Does anyone know if you could bring the letter to a police station and have them verify it?
On Sep 21, 2010, simo Said:
Hi guys
i was working as pinter at the bay with contractor for 5 days and i went to bay water cost $2.40 and i forgot to pay!! the catch me and saying we don't gonna involve the cops but just u gonna receive lettre and you can't go to te bay or zillers for 2 years, i receive the letter with $825.00 i have to pay WTF!!! anyone tell me what i should do? Thx
On Sep 15, 2010, Narta Said:
I received the same letter. What should I do? It looks like everybody here asks questions; however, I didn't find a respons - do they send second letter or do they proceed with a civil claim???
On Sep 12, 2010, Doug Said:
If you are a parent who has received a demand letter due to your child shoplifting you are not legally obligated to pay. Parents are only legally responsible for harm caused by their children if parents are negligent in the way they supervised them or directed their children to cause the harm. Parents are not negligent for allowing their child to go shopping. Recently in Manitoba, Zellers was ordered by the courts to repay the amount paid by parents in response to a civil demand letter.

It should also be noted that these letters are demand letters and not a statement of claim. You may wish to ignore a demand letter, but you cannot ignore a statement of claim. A statement of claim is a court order agaisnt you.

On Sep 6, 2010, Kari Said:
So, i got the same letter by Patrick K. Martin today. My story is that i was walking through zellers after i was done work and came across my friend and she insisted to be with her and window shop. so i did. But apperently she had stolen something already and as soon as we stepped out the store the Lose and prevention agent came to us and took us to the office. The agent was super nice to me and treated us like nothing had happened. He was doing his job and it seemed that he was used to this...
But anyways, i just got this letter stating that i had to pay them $ 595 before september 26th. thats less than a month and they expect me to pay them almost $600. I cant afford that!! From what i have read here, many people are saying to just ignore it... But i m not sure what to do?? I am scared that if i ignore it ill end up with a bigger amount. Is it true that its just a scam and u dont need to pay it?? Please help!! I dont really know what to do and its killing me...Has anyone gotten a notice or letter after their due time of paying stating to take them to court or asking for more money?? Need some guidance.. help!!
On Sep 4, 2010, Anonymous Lawyer Said:
Don't pay these guys a nickel. Hudson Bay v. White means nothing. This is just to scare some money out of the pockets of the gullible. As a lawyer, I despise lawyers like this. These are the kind of individuals that give lawyers a bad name.

You might phone Miller Thompson in Toronto, ask for the Managing Partner and tell him or her what Mr. Greco is up to. That ought to put a right quick end to this nonsense. Miller Thompson is a great firm, they would not tolerate their lawyers engaging in this nonsense.
On Aug 20, 2010, Anon Said:
If anyone is worried about having to pay these listen to this. I recieved one of these letters in the mail.... Gave it to my lawyer and she literally laughed and ripped it up. She told me that it is a scam and said DO NOT PAY IT! End of story.
On Aug 18, 2010, Newgirl Said:
Same thing happen to me. I went to zellers 2 months ago with my cousin. I bought a ring worth $200. And there was a ring remained stuck in our bucket worth of $5.00. When we came out of Zellers, the LP stopped us, took us to the office. Gave my cousion and me a warning letter, stating that your record is cleen, but you will get a letter from our insurance company to pay this off. i was not at fault, but still I get the same warning letter, and A $590 dollar gift in the mail. Can anyone please tell me what should I do now, should I fight for this, or pay this etc. I got the same prepaid envelope, as everyone talking abt. Thanks everyone...
On Aug 17, 2010, silly girl Said:
I got the same demand letter as the people talked about on the site. and wanted to know how many people received a second notice, or third notice?

If so, how long after the first notice did you receive the second notice?
On Aug 4, 2010, scared Said:
I got caught shoplifting. They took my information, and made me sign a form I barely understood.. They didn\'t give me a copy of it either. It just said I would be fined and something like that. . they could take me to court. Has anyone signed this form? I have not recieved the letter yet for the fine, as of right now I do not know what to do. I am hearing the fine is $500 for something under $15 .. I was not charged and I am 18. What is going to happen??
On Jul 28, 2010, Jane Doe Said:
I got a letter asking for $500 and she (my 14 year old) gave back the $4.50 make-up she took and spent 4 hours stewing there with security so I think she totally learned her lesson when the police had to drive her home. I\'m a single mother and am ignoring the letter....let them take me to small claims court if they really want to.
On Jul 28, 2010, Jane Doe Said:
I got a letter asking for $500 and she (my 14 year old) gave back the $4.50 make-up she took and spent 4 hours stewing there with security so I think she totally learned her lesson when the police had to drive her home. I'm a single mother and am ignoring the letter....let them take me to small claims court if they really want to.
On Jul 14, 2010, debbie Said:
What an emotional nightmare to put these families through because their kids made a stupid mistake months before! I wonder if drug dealers. abusers etc get letters like this!!!
I am so curious how "Patrick" got this information. Seems to be a Privacy, FOIP breach on the part of Zeller Inc. Is there not a lawyer's association or perhaps a media outlet that could use this information?
On Jul 13, 2010, Sherry Said:
I am sooo happy I found this site. How is it possible this scam is still going on and is so far reaching? My kids got caught stealing a sample bottle of cologne at the Bay, first time offence, and believe me they were punished!! I am not paying this letter of extortion after having read everything here. The store and security is definitely in on the scam since they are the ones who told me I would be receiving this letter. Shame on you for taking advantage of scared folks this way!!!
On Jul 5, 2010, Johny Said:
Hello. I ate a couple of chocoloates at zellers, so the police came and he gave me a minor ticket for 65 dollars, which I paid. He said that it will NOT go on my record. The security officer at zellers told me that I will get something in the mail. In the area of 500 dollars. What's your advice? Just give 500 dollars & get this crap over with once the letter comes? Please let me know.
On Jun 28, 2010, mcass Said:
a friend received this exact same letter by patrick k martin as below, they claimed $2500. it was in regards to theft from the bay; it has been over a year and three months- letters were ignored as we found this site- & they haven\'t bothered back.
On Jun 28, 2010, Walter Said:
I got a letter in the mail from a \"Legal counsel\" and i guy called Patrick Greco. I was with a few friends at Zellers about a half a month ago. 1 of my friends decided to shop lift but i didnt even touch a single thing. We got held up my mall security then later police showed up. I asked if we are getting fined and 1 of the officers told us no! Now i get this letter in the mail saying that the retailer is prepared to settle its claim for civil damages against you in return for a payment of $500:00. First of all i didn\\\\\\\'t damage any property and second of all i didn\\\\\\\'t steal anything. Can this still be a scam even though these guys know what date me and my friends were caught and the location of the Zellers ?
On Jun 25, 2010, Regret Said:
Did anyone have to sign something saying that they will be charged for the item & \"Damages\"?? I was told by Loss Prevention I would only be charged for \"Damages\" if i was charged \"Gulity\" and if I did not pay I would be sent to Small Claims and sued. I signed it only because I was told I couldn\'t leave if I didn\'t sign it and the cop didn\'t correct Loss Prevention in this statement. I got my $500 letter today requesting payment in 2 weeks :( and my court date isn\'t for another month and a half!!

On Jun 21, 2010, Cyprian Said:
Hey i just got a letter for 523.99 for something that happend in May. ive been reseaching this guy and all i am reading is that he is a scam. i want to know is there anybody that actually ignored it?
On Jun 17, 2010, GoogleEverything Said:
How do these people get their information? Who is making money providing them with this information?

Has anyone every told HBC, Shopper's Drug Mart that their name is being used fraudulently?

This appears to have been going on for quite some time and wide spread over the province. I fell for the initial scam too (my son was the culprit) but was able to put a stop payment on post dated cheques after reading comments on this site.
On Jun 5, 2010, nancy Said:
what happens if we dont pay him. can we call thompson Miller company and speak to higher authority, will that help
On May 23, 2010, hegotcaught Said:
Patrick Greco and Patrick Martin ..both lawyers need to work for their money. ..NOT PREY ON SHOPLIFTERS. These two guys want to retire earlier and want EASY MONEY taken from unknowing victims who don't know the law. Do your research and consult legal aid. I wouldn't pay these scam artists who ask for payment to P.O. box 193..Mississauga L3M.(address on the letter and on the postage paid envelope)...they are both Patrick Greco's house in Mississauga. Check Canada 411 and Google maps...streetview and aerial view. I did.
On May 14, 2010, coleh Said:
has anyone called this guy! i got a letter when i got home from school sayen to pay 500$ . i got caught shoplifting at hbc. nothin was damaged and they didnt loose any money. i called my diversion program person and she said its to scare me. this hole thing is a bunch of ...i put my parents though enough over my stupidity this doesnt help.
On May 14, 2010, J. Hung Said:
Has anyone recently got a letter from Patrick Martin, lawyer at Miller Thomson law firm in downtown Toronto? He sends a letter stating he is legal counsel for Hudson's Bay and asks on behalf of Hudson's Bay for the shoplifter to send $500.00 to 'CIVIL RECOVERY' STATED ON THE POSTAGE PAID ENVELOPE or to another address stated on the letter he sends. If you google the addresses that he asks you to send it to P.O. box 193 Streetsville, it is actually a house that is in Mississauga belonging to P. Greco. Both addresses are in residential area and are houses. Go to Canada 411 and also go to google maps. you can see the serial and streetview (the front of the houses).

I would not send money to this civil recovery. He even uses a postage meter that has a red postage meter stamp with a L5N... Mississauga postal code on the envelope he mails this letter from. the envelope is from Miller Thomson law firm in downtown Toronto with a postal code of M5.....
why is it not being sent from the law office with the postal code belonging to the law firm? The postal code on the red stamp should be from Miller Thomson. I am suspecting he is using his "expertise" to get money for the security firm at the Bay and for himself.

From all I've read and researched, this guy is a scam who was called to the bar in 2004. He just wants easy money. These demand letters can be found online and anyone could make one up.

Also, Patrick Martin, another lawyer asks you to sent to the same P.O. Box 193 on the letter and postage paid envelope.

Both these guys are young lawyers who want a quick buck I think.

Do your research first...then think about sending them the $500 or $425 or whatever settlement amount they made up
On May 8, 2010, Christine Said:
daughter shoplifted in 2008...got a letter asking for 500....Its been 18 months and no sign of anymore letters..I never paid the 500...DONT PAY IT
On May 6, 2010, Michael Said:
http://www.americantaxrefund.com/company.php

This is Patrick Martin.
On Apr 30, 2010, hegotcaught Said:
I got a letter from Patrick Greco on April 19 2010 on befhalf of Hudson Bay demanding $500.The same format as most people here. It is my first letter.I researched on Canada 411 and typed in Po.O. box 193 Mississauga(Streetsville) and comes up as a house in Mississauga belonging to P. Greco. The other address he asks you to send money to is a house too. Go to google maps and you can even see it by
streetview".

THe self addressed envelope has a bar code and belongs to him.

The envelope with Miller Thomson law firm where he works has a postal code starting with "M' which is downtown Toronto .

NOW, the postage meter stamp(in red), shows the date of when he sent it from L5...postal code. This indicates it is sent from Mississauga area and NOT from Miller Thomson law office. I researched postage meters and how to read them. The postal code on the bottom indicates the owner or mailbox where the owner must deposit the mail. FISHY

Patrick Greco is using letterheads and envelopes and pocketing money (sharing some with others)...Don't send him money.

By the way, anyone can send a demand letter. Doesn't have to be by a lawyer. Research "postage paid envelope" and postage meter and Canada 411 and google maps.

It's easy $500 for him and the security company and The Hudson Bay.

On Apr 28, 2010, hegotcaught Said:
I am wondering if anyone at all here received more than one "civil recovery" letter from either this Patrick Martin or Patrick Greco. Yes, they are both lawyers. I received the letter demanding on behalf of Hudson Bay to be sent to P.O. Box 193 Streetsville Mississauga L5M 2B8 or to the other address on the self addressed envelope. I googled both P.O. box and and the name Patrick Greco and the house address is 667 Dinsmore Crt. Mississauge L5R 3G4Another person on this blog also did the same and I also did and saw another house much bigger. Also, go to Canada 411 and type in P.O. Box 193 Missisauga L5M 2B8 and it will come up with 667 Dinsmore Crt and Patrick Greco's name. He is running this scam from his houses. Notice that the bar code on the self addressed envelope has a postal code the same as L5M 2B8 on top.

The envelope from Miller Thomson law firm in downtown Toronto that Patrick used has a postage meter stamp in red. There is a postal code that read L5N 1A6 which is in the Mississauga area. It should read M5H 3S1 from Miller Thomson. A large law firm will have its own meter. I researched about meters and it seems FISHY to me that it is one from a postal code in Mississauga. Why would a large company like Hudson Bay as you to send money to "civil recovery" TO A P.O. BOX (A HOUSE)? ANYONE CAN BUY A METER AND SELF ADDRESSED ENVELOPES.

Did anyone get phone calls from this Patrick Greco or "civil recovery" company to demand payment? anyone can share their experience and thoughts would be great. What was the final result?

do the research and see what else you find on this vulture who was called to the bar in 2004. He should be removed.

thanks
On Apr 28, 2010, madeleine Said:
nothing happens
On Apr 27, 2010, hegotcaught Said:
If anyone gets a letter from Patrick Greco (a lawyer at Miller Thomson in Toronto)who demands money on behalf of the Hudson Bay for civil recovery, look where he asks you to send the money. Go to canada 411 and type in his name and P.O.BOx 193 Streetsville Ontario L5M 2B8. It comes up as 667 Dinsmore Crt in Mississauga. It is a house. go to google maps and enter the address..it is a house and go to "streetview" and you will see the house's front view. Also, the postage paid envelope he sends has a bar code. the Postal code belongs to him...the same house...FISHY. The envelope from Miller Thomson actually has postage meter stamp(in red) and shows a mississauga postal code of L5N 1A6. A large law firm will have its own meter and it will be from Miller Thomson's postal code of M5H 3S1...something fishy going on here.
Why would Hudson Bay ask for money to be sent to a P.O box belonging to a house? BEWARE of Patrick Greco. We must stop this harassment and uttering threats by mail.HAs anyone else got this recently? Did you just ignore it? what happened? Did they take you to court?
On Apr 24, 2010, madeleine Said:
I ignored Patricia Martin\'s letter in 2005. Nothing happened....FYI my lawyer says they have to legal right to demand money.
On Apr 24, 2010, madeleine Said:
Is H&M also part of this scam? My daughter was caught shoplifting at Zellers in 2007 (12 yrs old) I received the bogus letter from "Patricia Martin" and of course I ignored it. I have yet to hear anything else from "her". So now my daughter was caught at H&M, Toronto, 2 weeks ago. She was not charged. I am waiting to see who this next letter will be from. Maybe this time it will be "Patrick Martin". Has anyone else had dealings with H&M? What type of letter did you receive?
On Apr 23, 2010, hegotcaught Said:
A friend of mine the letter from Patrick Greco last week. the P.O. box 193 streetsville , Mississauga is a house. go to Canada 411 and find Patrick Greco and P. O. box 193 and it will show up 667 Dinsmore Crt. It is residential. Go to google map and type in 667 Dinsmore Crt and you will see...also go to the "streetview" and you can see the house number. I think Hudson Bay would not ask you to mail a cheque or money order to a P.O. box or a house.

anyone got the same from this Patrick Greco?

also, on the postage paid envelope, the barcode above the address show the postal code L5M 2B8 which is the same postal code on the civil recovery letter . The Envelope from Miller Thomson (where Patrick Greco IS a lawyer) has a red postage meter. the postal code is a Mississauga postal code and not the M5H 3S1 that the law firm in Toronto should be using. Patrick could go buy a meter. If you go to Canada post website, you can find out more. also, most lawyers have "secretaries" typing letters up and at the end should show their initial. The letter was not registered also. I guess Patrick doesn't want Canada post to have a record of his scam letters. VERY FISHY.
On Apr 15, 2010, jojo Said:
does anyone know what happens if you dont pay the civil law letter ? i think the amout they are asking for is not reasonable.
On Apr 9, 2010, Marissa Said:
I received a letter from this Patrick Martin and I\'ll admit I was scared and ashamed all over again. I am over the age of 18 and I made a mistake of taking a $7 pair of earrings from H&M. If I had the chance to change what I did, I wish I could but I can\'t. Well what happened was, my sister (my sister had no idea I had taken an item she did not receive a letter) and I was stopped by an undercover Loss Prevention Officer and was taken back inside the store where I gave them my id and was than told police will be involved because I may be charged under the Shoplifters 500 Act. I was scared but the loss prevention team and police were both nice and calm. I was not charged or arrested which was to my relief. That whole incident scared the hell out of me and I have not been in trouble since. The police said since my record is clean they will not charge me but they did warn me if I do something illegal again, I will be arrested and charged. They did not have to tell me twice. I was dumb and I promised I would not do anything illegal again. I was banned from the store for 1 year and if I were to trespass, I would be arrested and charged. The police & LP Team did not mention that I would receive a letter for a civil recovery claim.

A month later, I received a letter from this PATRICK MARTIN it was enclosed in a plain envelope with a regular stamp and my full name was handwritten on the envelope. I read the overall letter and it was exactly word for word as posted on the blog except the names, company and dates were changed of course. The said I only had a moth to pay the full amount of $500.00 and it said if I did not pay on or before March 28th of this year the police would be involved. Since no one else knew of this situation except myself and my sister. I ended up paying the full amount because I was scared and did not want to have another encounter with the police ever again. I am employed but my pay is not a glamorous pay where I can easily afford dropping $500 just like that.

Before I made the payment, I did call the number provided on the letter which was 416-847-3359 and like others in this blog have stated it was his female assistant stating to leave a message. I did not leave a message because I assumed they were out so advised by my sister, it was best to pay off the amount. I did confide in my boyfriend about the whole situation and he said I should fight it or investigate it because his sister does work in a law firm but again I was scared and told him the letter stated I would be charged interest if I took this to court and tried to fight it. I couldn\'t have afforded $500 up front but forking up more money when I was under the impression I would lose and all of this civil recovery was legit. Honestly, I should have took more precaution but this was all new to me and I was scared so I did what they asked.

I payed in the form of money order and along with the payment, I wrote a note addressed to PATRICK MARTIN stating enclosed is the payment and to ensure that he has received it, can he please write me back just because it stated in the original letter in order to communicate, everything has to be in written format. It has been over 2 weeks since I have given the payment and there has been no response at all from PATRICK MARTIN. Since I have seen this blog and forum, I feel I have been scammed.

But if I knew what I know now, I would have taken more precaution because even though I know I did something wrong and I am admitting it.
On Apr 6, 2010, jones__3 Said:
did the police end up calling you or even show up at your home
On Apr 5, 2010, jo jo Said:
i got caught stealing 2 days ago at zellers, i had stole diapers and the security/ undercover from lost preventions stoped me outside and told me that i had to go upstairs to the room.
she took my info down (my address, d.o.b and other info and no cops showed they told me that the cops will call me and ask me what happend and they will tell me if i have to go to court or its just a warning. and they also told me that i will have to pay a fine for the items that i stoled te letter will come in the mail.
they let me go after that but does anyone know if the cops will call and do i have a record and am i charged?
On Mar 19, 2010, Ana Said:
Why are trespass notice at retail store given without a date, apparently no one was charged, no one signed the recipients, it was written as Verbal. How long can one hold the tresspass notice for? Police came and warned to stay off properties of the chain stores.
On Mar 19, 2010, Wilma Said:
When my daughter was caught taking something she was not entitled to take, she was traumatized by the following actions. As she is under a certain age she was told she would hear from the crown prosecutor and would be, as punishment, asked to complete a said task. At that time, she was NOT told that the store would also be requesting a recovery fee. So today when we received this letter demanding a fee of $500.00, I was flabbergasted. We are slapping murders on the wrist for beheading someone and caring for them in taxpayers facilities, but charging minors for minor misjudgements. I am sorry if I see something wrong in this. I personally would rather spend the money retaining a lawyer that works for his money instead of sitting and waiting for suckers to pay his way in life. Shame on you! I am sure you were the perfect child. Think WAY back.
On Mar 8, 2010, secguy Said:
Lisa,

Couple of things wrong with what you have written in terms of legal power and authority.

1. Theft is theft, its either theft over 5000 or theft under 5000. You can be arrested from theft of am item that costs a dollar
2. Security only arrest, they cannot charge. That is for the police to do. You can be arrested for theft
3. Assault is separate crime from theft in fact if someone is stealing and uses violence or threatens violence in the course of that theft the charge then becomes robbery not assault or in some cases it becomes assault peace officer.
4. Read the trespass to property act, it contains arrest powers and the things you can arrest for under that Act. One of those things is “fail to stay away when directed” so, in accordance with the law that old lady could have been arrested

I agree with your position on the civil demand letters, but people come her to get advise and information. You need to check your facts
On Feb 28, 2010, Lisa Said:
Do not pay!!! i would say theyre just trying to make money in \'other\' ways. Their sales and profits are down bigtime! an x employee of the bay, I would see the loss prevention guys at work. Some of them do tend to pick on the \'easy\' targets - usually the younger kids in groups. Disgusting, i didnt realise that they did that sort of thing for items under $100 especially to kids. They cannot charge you unless you assault one of them either verbally or physically. The items have to be over a certain amount (I think over $1000). Did you ever think of all the Crazies and homeless that Come into the store? Do you think they pay their $500? Some of them probably dont have permanent addresses. There was a group of us that saw such a lady, she was blatantly putting things in her bag much to our amusement, at the time, she clearly was not all there. Talking to herself and she looked like she was 80 years old. Security took her downstairs, took the items from her and escorted her out of the store probably telling her not to return, but I saw the same lady in the store walking through. They can\'t do anything unless they cause trouble
again. Now I know where all the security were when I actually was being harrassed by a \'freak\' and i needed their help. Arresting teenagers for stealing items under $20! Way to go HBC! Stooping to new lows! Good
riddance so glad im not working there. Evil company
her out.
On Feb 12, 2010, missy Said:
alright so a month later after my 17 year old daughter stole about $13 worth of mascara ive recieved the same letter that everyone else has. to mail $500 to what seems like an odd business. i was told that following my daughter being released from zellers security that a call from the police would happen. this was supposed to be within 2 weeks and no call has happened. they had told me in zellers security that all charges will be discussed over the phone yet no phone call had been made. im not quite sure if i should be paying the damages as i do not understand how they justify $13 worth of makeup. any advice if i should ignore this problem or make any legal actions?
On Feb 11, 2010, k Said:
Similar story to everyone below. My teenager stole an item under $10.00 we were told we would be billed for the item via mail. This was a stupid teenage prank (her and a friend caught at the same time). I just received a bill from Zellers for $520.00 if we don't pay they will persue further action. I hav eno problem paying for the item but this is extorsion.
On Feb 10, 2010, secuguy Said:
Cole,

Sounds like a false arrest to me, If i were you I'd get a lawyer and sue them
On Feb 7, 2010, Cole Said:
Hi, a friend of mine and I got caught shoplifting for hockey cards worth 19.99 at Zellers. No Police came and when we asked what would happen to us, the loss prevention officer said we just got a caution and won't be convicted since it was our first time offence. It was theft under $5000 and they didn't find anything on us but just say that we stole something and they saw it. We saw the box already open at the store so we opened it and left it there but the loss prevention guy said he saw it took us to the back. They took a picture of us, picture of the merchandise and got our information down and made us sign stuff. They then just told us to not come back for a year and that we will get something in the mail. Is this something in the mail the "Civil Recovery" mail everyone is speaking of? Will we have to pay it or go to court? We are both 24 years old. They didn't have any evidence on us what should we do?
On Feb 5, 2010, Justice v. the Big Box Said:
My wife got a letter from a Patrick Greco exactly like most people on this site did. I knew immediately that there is no way they can pursue this as it was not sent registered.

Not only that but I decided to Google Map the address of:

P.O. Box 193 Streetsville Ontario, L5M 2B8

If you do the same and look at the sattelite map, you will see one helluva mansion with a big ass pool in the back yard. Here is the link:

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=l5M+2B8&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=33.219218,92.724609&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ontario+L5M+2B8&ll=43.588722,-79.720091&spn=0.002269,0.005659&t=h&z=18

I smell a freaking rat here people. Don\'t send those vultures 1 cent. This is extortion plain and simple. They have no legal recourse against you and someone is profitting from this. This is borderline fraudlent activity in itself.

I have noticed how things have changed in thee way fraud/theft/shoplifting has been handled since the friggin HBC sold a majority of their interest to the USA.

Screw you HBC and Zellers. Good riddance we will never step a foot again in your s**tbox stores. Take your American crap \"shoot first -ask questions later\" and die in your every increasing debt. This is Canada.
On Jan 30, 2010, Important Question Said:
Hi everyone I have a question regarding this matter. Say you get a letter and you don't pay and the due date passes by. Then you get a letter telling you to go to the court what would happen then? Did anyone every get a letter telling them to go to the court? Please anyone help me answer this question as my time is running out. It would really be appreciated.
On Jan 29, 2010, Ralp Seeney Said:
Yeah parents, watch out! It starts with lipgloss and pretty soon they'll be on Wall Street stealing Billions!!! Or they will be selling overpriced inferior merchandise.Cry me a river.
On Jan 26, 2010, LM Said:
I hope your friend didnt pay this. My son had a similar situation happen to him in Zellers where he stole a handful of smarties. I received the same letter and a pamphlet about parental responsibilites act. I called my lawyer and was informed to ignore the letter. I never heard back from this lawyer. Some companies have independant secruity companies who they do not pay. The security company makes revenue on letters like this.

My lawyer explained to me regarding the parental act that if I taught my child to hot wire cars and steal them then I could be charged. However if ones child breaks the law the parent is not sued. I think my son should have been made to go and mop the floor for a week that would have been the best lesson.
On Dec 30, 2009, secguy Said:
As I have stated in earlier posts I do not agree with the actions taken by HBC concerning these civil demand letters. Im not sure that the LS has much input into this, its not extortion and its not illegal, nor do you have to be a lawyer to send these letters out, just and agent for the compnay. Further if you take a look at the Ontario Trespass to Property Act it allows for the prosecution of defendant up to 1000,00

Damage award

12. (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 2, and a person has suffered damage caused by the person convicted during the commission of the offence, the court shall, on the request of the prosecutor and with the consent of the person who suffered the damage, determine the damages and shall make a judgment for damages against the person convicted in favour of the person who suffered the damage, but no judgment shall be for an amount in excess of $1,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 12 (1).

Costs of prosecution

(2) Where a prosecution under section 2 is conducted by a private prosecutor, and the defendant is convicted, unless the court is of the opinion that the prosecution was not necessary for the protection of the occupier or the occupier’s interests, the court shall determine the actual costs reasonably incurred in conducting the prosecution and, despite section 60 of the Provincial Offences Act, shall order those costs to be paid by the defendant to the prosecutor. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 12 (2).

Damages and costs in addition to fine

(3) A judgment for damages under subsection (1), or an award of costs under subsection (2), shall be in addition to any fine that is imposed under this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 12 (3).

Civil action

(4) A judgment for damages under subsection (1) extinguishes the right of the person in whose favour the judgment is made to bring a civil action for damages against the person convicted arising out of the same facts. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 12 (4).

Idem

(5) The failure to request or refusal to grant a judgment for damages under subsection (1) does not affect a right to bring a civil action for damages arising out of the same facts. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 12 (5).

Enforcement

(6) The judgment for damages under subsection (1), and the award for costs under subsection (2), may be filed in the Small Claims Court and shall be deemed to be a judgment or order of that court for the purposes of enforcement. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 12 (6).

Paying 500.00 sounds better than paying a 1000.00. And if lost under TPA you would court ordered to pay
On Dec 21, 2009, Joe Said:
This appears to me to be legalize extortion if the Law Society of Canada allows this to occur. Are there any real lawyers out there reading this? If not there should be since your profession is again getting dragged through the mud. Here is a questionable lawyer with a PO address to send a cheque to, not to the store where the infraction occurred but to something the lawyer controls. Does Zeller, Shoppers, Sears (and who knows how many more) know that this scummy character is 'acting' on their behalf? The key word may be acting? If so all these locations should be boycotted by the decent people that may have had a young child unfortunately go beyond their means and steal something. In my young son's case was a $5.00 item where this request is now $500 for a "$900 recovery cost". My son has paid his dues, believe me, he will not be doing this again, we have handled this as a family issue. This 'lawyer' is someone just getting his fees at the expense of a reputable store. Again, where are the controls in our legal system? Do we not have enough problems in this world?
On Dec 15, 2009, jen Said:
i just got a letter from this patrick guy saying i have to pay 500 by january thats only 3 wks from now i am a single mother on assistance and there is no way i could pay this but after reading most of these other comments i am left wondering if i should even worry about it i was giving jail time as well as probation already and then i get this? what to do
On Dec 1, 2009, Jen Said:
Has anyone who has not paid actually had to go to court? I have decided not to pay as per the advice of legal counsel but I am still a bit worried to get a statement of claim in the mail.
On Nov 28, 2009, secguy Said:
Bunz,

You were placed under arrest as per section 494 of the criminal code. You do not have a criminal record as you have not had a trial and been found guility of anything. If you are found guility of a crminial offence at trial then you will have a criminal record.You do have an arrest record however, this record is on file with the local police and will remain there until the sun swallows the planet. This means everytime time the police have to deal with you for any reason, they will know who you are. I would suggest that if the nice police officer said that "you might get probation" or words to that effect, then you will at some point be going to court. You should call the station and talk to the officer that handled the situation.

Security can be over zealous at times when making an arrest and there is never a good reason for that, but an arrest is an arrest no matter who performs it or says the magic words. Once you have been arrested, security may choose to handcuff and search you, they have the right to do this via caselaw and company policy. They may search for weapons and means of escape and in some cases, evidence, although, in the case of shopliffting they would have seen you selcect the item, conseal the item and then leave without payment. Or in your case commit an offense resembling theft. They may handcuff for your safety, thier safety and to prevent flight risk. This is usually controlled by company policy
On Nov 27, 2009, Whatnot Said:
On May 31st, 2008 I was charged by Shoppers Drug Mart for shoplifting a bottle of Advil. No excuses- I was out of a job, and was really sick with mono- but hat doesn\'t make it right, just explaining why someone would steal Advil haha. I went to court, and after my first appearance in Sept 2009 I was told that If I completed the Alternative Measures program (Ontario) that I would be cleared. I went through the St. Leonard\'s Society, was charged 100 for their services, and donated some of my paintings to a local charity. Fast forward to December 2009, last court appearance- since I completed my \"work\", I was cleared of charges. Another fast forward- today. I just received this letter.

I am not paying it, because I don\'t have to. I served my \"time\" and completed my sentence. Sidenote, I am 24, my boyfriend whom I live with works at the exact store I lifted from (started dating after the fact), and I\'ve gone to their corporate Christmas party, his co-workers know what I did, as does their boss, and they know I am sorry. This letter is not coming from them at all.

The point is, you don\'t have to pay this regardless. All of the people on here with the \"Do the crime, pay the time\" mentality are dead wrong on this particular field. If you research Civil Recovery in Google, you\'ll find some firms that do this, and just read about what they do. I think you\'ll get the picture that you really, really don\'t have to pay. It took them a year and a half to send me my letter, and I only got it because an old roomate happened to mention it was there. It wasn't registered mail, and who the hell sends and envelope with a credit card form? If they were legit, you would get a notice from the company you committed the offense on. It's just a money grab for the guilty... because they k now you want to clear your conscience, and they are taking advantage of it.

That said, stealing is wrong, and if we didn't do it we wouldn't deal with this!
On Nov 27, 2009, whatnot Said:
from a "civil recovery" website. DON'T PAY when you get the letter. considering they say that it doesn't cost the retailer to commence a civil recovery, it's total bullshit.

http://www.expeditedclaims.com/about.htm

What is Civil Recovery?

Civil Recovery is a program offered by Expedited Claims Inc. to assist retailers in obtaining monetary compensation for the financial losses caused by shoplifters and dishonest employees. These losses may include the value of missing or damaged merchandise, as well as the cost of security measures such as floorwalkers and CCTV. It is very important to note that civil recovery does not replace criminal prosecution - it is a separate procedure which works independently of the criminal process.

How Does it Work?

Civil Recovery begins with a notice, which is presented to the shoplifter at the time they are apprehended. The notice makes a demand for payment from the shoplifter (or their parent or guardian). It also explains the purpose of the payment, and makes it clear that if payment is not made a claim may be filed against the shoplifter in civil court - a far more expensive process for the shoplifter or parent than simply paying the requested amount. Prior to any court action, the notice is followed by at least two Demand Letters and telephone contact.

Can Civil Recovery Be Used For Employee Thefts and Frauds?

Yes, employee thefts and frauds are subject to Civil Recovery. There is no legal distinction between a theft committed by an employee and one committed by a stranger. Because dollar amounts are often higher in employee thefts than in stranger thefts, our rates for this service are typically less than for shoplifting.

Why Doesn't it Cost Anything?

Civil Recovery is self-financing - you pay nothing at all. The amount demanded from a shoplifter is typically $450.00. When a payment is made 55% - about $250.00 on a normal demand of $450.00 - is provided to you, while the remainder is retained by Expedited Claims Inc. as compensation for its efforts on your behalf.

Are Criminal Charges Required for Civil Recovery to be Used?

No. Civil courts and criminal courts have very different standards of proof. Even someone who is acquitted of charges in criminal court, where the standard is proof 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' may be found liable for damages in a civil court, where the standard is proof 'on a balance of probabilities' (as happened in the case of O.J. Simpson). What this means in practice is that the police may decide not to lay criminal charges against someone because they don�t think they can meet the higher standard of proof, while in a civil court it is still possible to have that same person found liable. Where civil liability is possible, the Civil Recovery system can be used.

Summary

Civil Recovery is a program with no set-up cost which allows retailers to recover some of the losses associated with theft and fraud. At the same time, the money obtained through the Civil Recovery process can help pay for other loss prevention measures. Civil Recovery, used in conjunction with other professional services, is an essential component of a successful, cost-effective, shrink-reduction strategy.
On Nov 27, 2009, anoynmous Said:
hi everyone
i actually paid my 500 a couple of weeks ago and the due date is this monday nov 30...how would I know if they actually receive it? I paid by money order and gave it to the post office.
On Nov 25, 2009, mm Said:
i recived a letter from this lawyer patrick person, i was caught shoplifting at hvm 8 months ago practically a year and a letter comes saying if i dont pay 400 by a certain date i will be taken 2 court and they will make me pay 900 instead, they refuse credit and cash they want a cheque or money order both are hard to trace on whos reciving it i think it is some sort of a scam for the company to see if they can squeeze money out of you. But the question is what if iam rong will they take me 2 court i just want to ask for someone in the same sittuation to say it has been a year since they recived their letter and still have not been taken to court.
On Nov 24, 2009, Gobsmacked Said:
Someone should break this lawyers legs or consider him for a home invasion, he obviously has tons of money from the certified cheques and money orders he has collected, money that I bet he doesn\'t report. Seeing as he is sending letters to confirmed criminals I\'m surprised this has not already happened.
On Nov 24, 2009, john Said:
HEY,I JUST WANTED TO KNOW WHY I HAVE TO PAY SO MUCH FOR MY CIVIL SUE I DIDNT STEAL, ME AN MY FRIENDS CHANGED THE PRICE TAG ,WE LOWERED THE PRICE BY $20; THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I DID SOMETHING WRONG IN MY LIFE AND HAVE TO PAY$400. I AM CURRENTLY IN HIGHSCHOOL 15 YEARS OLD AND MY ICOME IS LOW HOW AM I GONNA PAY IT OFF? CAN THEY ERASE IT BECASUE IM 15,, AND FIRST TIME II DID SOMETHING WRONG?

OK THANK YOU
On Nov 23, 2009, bunz Said:
hey,
these comments are so interesting, and I think Ill be sleeping a little bit better tonight!
My boyfriend and i did something suppperr silly, we did a price tag change on a jacket, to save 30$ because he only had that amount to pay for the jacket. we paid, left, got caught. Long story short, I have a letter from sears for 500$, and so does my bf. Now, I contacted a lawyer, and I have to pay him to review the file, but said that it would not be necessary to pay the 500 each.
But the only other thing that is bugging me now, is that the security guard said \\\\\\\'your under arrest!\\\\\\\" but... the police officer who spoke with us, was super nice and calm, and said, \\\\\\\"ur probably just going to get a pardon\\\\\\\"
the event in question was oct.6, i just got the letter from the sears lawyer guys on friday,
I have not recieved anything about court dates or whatever from the police.
Do i have a criminal record?
On Nov 16, 2009, LKM Said:
I too have recieved a demand letter. As other parents have stated below I am ashamed and share responsibility for the actions of my child and am willing to pay. I too also agree that $500 for a $8.00 item that was returned feels abit steep. However, I appreciate and agree with many of the postings of secguy as I acknowledge that my child made an unlawful choice and there are consequences. However I would really like to be sure that any money I choose to pay is actually ending up back in the pockets of the company from whom she stole. I would feel better going and giving it directly to that store than mailing it to an anonymous \"Civil Recovery\" address. Any thoughts on that?

Thank you.
On Nov 13, 2009, ruck fredericton Said:
i too am in the same situation my daughter, who is 17 , at Zellers was caught with items less then 10 dollars doinng a 411 look up this phone # doesnt exsist, they went through my daughters purse , rough handled her she lost her job,and she did not yet leave the store, she has community service and she has been punished. now as a parent i am suppose to pay this does not make sense , or I would have community service and have lost my job etc. if she is old enough to have a job and work in a mall by herself then she does not need supervision in the mall. at what point does Zellers stop extorting parents because they are embarassed. i will not support zellers anymore or their affiliates. yes my daughter was wrong I have never stolen myself and do not participate in not punishing. but something is fishy about this.
On Nov 10, 2009, KP Said:
I just received a letter from this Patrick Martin acting on behalf of Winners. My 16 yr old daughter was caught stealing the value of $6.
On the day of the incident I was contacted by store security and told my child was currently "under arrest" for shoplifting. He stated how much she stold and that if I could not pick her up by store closing she would be turned over to the police. Of coarse I could not be there as this was 30 min before closing. Her 18 year old sister picked her up. She was told she was banned from entering any Winners store ever again and that was all we were told. I was very surprised to receive this letter. If she has not been charged by the police then I am assuming this is the store "sueing " for damages. Also the last line of the letter states "in certain cases" shoplifters are liable for punative damages.
I don't intend on paying the $400 they are asking. I would prefer they asked for my daughter to do community service in there name........wouldn't that make more sense? Considering a minor you would think $50 and some hours served would make a kid think twice about what they have done.
I agree there needs to be consequences.
On Nov 10, 2009, Secguy Said:
Girl,

You were not convicted of a criminal offence, so there is no criminal record. Your information was entered into the local police system and will remian there forever and a day, if you get into more trouble and they run your name it wil show up. I dont think it will affecting your future employment or travel. There are some jobs out there that will do a police check, in addition to a criminal back ground check if a security clearance is required. So you may be screwed there. Also I would stop with the high moral ground about HBC being a "bad" company and how you wont shop there again. By your own words the last time you were in an HBC store you committed a criminal act
On Nov 4, 2009, Joe Said:
I was recently billed for an amount of $500. I paid it right away as I was embarrassed and wasn't too sure what else to do. I am not under a juvenile act as I'm over the age of 18. However, I then search the name and found this blog, which then lead me to cancel my credit card so the payment could not go through. I was then billed again a month later with a change of $535 as the payment did not go through. Will they actually take me to court if i do not pay this?

I called the number on the initial letter and it just goes to voice mail. I don't want to have to have a criminal record, as I know what I did was wrong, but I took something worth $2 and will never ever do it again. I was not charged at the store, nor did they get my SIN number. Just my address..I'm not too sure what do do.

Please Help.

A one time wrongful citizen who knows not to do what i did again. I messed up but don't think i should have to pay $535 for something I took worth $2.

On Nov 2, 2009, Mike Said:
In the case cited, "Hudson's Bay v. White, The accused stole $200.00 of materials which were recovered. The judge in that case awarded only $100.00 in civil damages and costs which I believe, are capped at 15% of the award(Small Claims Tariff pursuant to rule 57.03).

I think the amount demanded is unjustified. Maybe more people have to see what would happen in court. Frankly, I doubt they would pursue it. Just look at what they \"may\" do in the letter. I think \"may\" is just a threat to intimidate people.
On Oct 26, 2009, girl Said:
Hi everyone, I need all your help that I can possibly get. Here's my story, ashamed and regretfully telling you it.

In August I shoplifted from the Bay, stupidest thing I have ever done, I'm 21. It was about $100 and they caught me, the cops came and thankfully they did not charge me saying that they were going to give me a second chance, but they did write stuff in this little notepad. My question here is: Since i'm not being charged criminally, will I still be able to clear a criminal record check or anything of the sort when applying for jobs? And will travelling be a problem?

Now here is my issue with this stupid civil recover letter:
I received it for $500 from the same Patrick guy. I live at home and my dad is a lawyer, I come from a very strict household and I have not told my parents a thing, nor anyone else. I have agreed to pay the $500 just because I cannot risk it if I do get sued like the letter states. I decided to pay it by credit card since I don't have a job, I'm a student. I know the letter states money order or cheque but it came with a credit card option on the other sheet. I got it back stating that my credit card was "denied" and that I have to give them a certified check of now $535!!!!!!!! first of all, I know they didn't want to charge the credit card, b/c wtf does denied mean? my credit balance is at $0!! Also, why the extra $35???? Where do they think they can justify the extra $35??? because they had take up time opening my envelop?? it's total BS...they just didn't want to charge it to the credit card. Now i'm struggling to come up with $535 cash to stick in my account so i can certify this cheque by november 13.
Anyone else have this issue? And how many people have actually gotten sued for NOT paying the amount???

I used to shop at HBC a lot. Now with all the crap i'm reading, I realized what a bad company it is, and I am never shopping here again.
On Oct 14, 2009, Secguy Said:
First, there is no such thing as the “Juvenile Act” I assume that you are attempting to refer to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Second, that Act requires that a Parent or Guardian be called and informed of the situation and allows then to be present during any questioning. It does not prohibit any questions being put to the person under arrest. Which brings us to the third point, your child was placed under arrest. Case law and common laws allows for the searching of the person and belongings in relation to the offense. I would also suggest that you look up the meaning of “class action”

Many times these issues are dealt with police “by other means” in essence the Police officer chooses or is asked by the LPO to not lay a charge. Your child will remain on the local police computer system forever. Your daughter was not charged with an offense which would make it difficult for her to have a trial, you see how that works? No charge, no trial.

As for “them” deciding that your daughter was guilty without benefit of a trial, I think you have done that in the first sentence of the first paragraph of your post.

In all fairness I do not support HBC in the civil claims they are laying against people. I do however think that the person responsible for theft should be held accountable
On Oct 8, 2009, liza Said:
I have received the same letter recently. My child was wrong, she was punished and I was willing to make some sort of settlement. I was not going to pay $500 for a $4 nail polish though. Factor in time the security guard spent at his rate of pay, double damages for the cost of the item, maybe a bit extra for paperwork.

I figured we could settle on $150 at best. I am not going to be gouged for all the shoplifters of the world who don\'t pay. I think my child should pay her portion and let Patrick there sue the pants off everyone else. NM that my child was not charged criminally and that the \"Juvenile Act\" sort of violates common law in that manner. They have deemed my child guilty without fair hearing.

I called this lawyer, hoping to discuss a settlement that was workable for us both. Surprise, all I ever get is voicemail for his assistant. I left several messages to her message of \"I will return your call promptly\" I am still waiting.

In talking with my lawyer friend though I realized something. They hold me responsible for my minor child. So why did they not call me to attend before they searched her and her property? That my friends, is the nice basis of a class action suit no?

I left my last message today. I informed them that I was more than willing to discuss a reasonable payment settlement for the time and hassle. But that I would also like to discuss how they want to handle the illegal search of a minor child by a very adult male. I wonder if Patrick will call me back......
On Sep 28, 2009, Monkey Said:
I too have had a similar story as the rest, with my daughter shoplifting from Zellers. Being that she was only 17, the letter referenced the 'Parental Responsibility Act' presumably making it my responsibility.

Prior to reading this Blog, I was a little sceptical, but none-the-less, I responded back indicating that I would pay $100 (the award in the quoted case). Their response to that was that they couldn't change the $500 amount, but would accept multiple post-dated cheques.

Needless to say, I haven't responded back to that request and I haven't heard back from Martin in about 3 months.

I am prepared to argue in court if it comes to that, but not holding my breath.
On Sep 12, 2009, friend Said:
this Patrick K. Martin guy. He makes reference to a case supporting his claim but if you actually read the case - it\'s the opposite. The court tells Hudson\' Bay Company to shank off and stop clogging up the court system with jacked up claims.

The judge actually says \"If The Bay\'s goal is really to deal more effectively with shoplifters then perhaps it should seek to convince Parliament and the police to adopt a sterner stance rather than seek to invoke the aid of the already overburdened civil justice system.\"


Not only is he scum for extortion but he\'s scum for LYING to the people about the law.

Somebody should see if this is reportable action.

check out the case online http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=580
On Sep 10, 2009, Diane Said:
I too have been in this position a first time offense should not hold this hefty fine.However if it is a recurring situation than yes, I think that the scare of getting caught was a lesson in itself, I would like to know the legalaties on photo taking, and being rough on a young lady of 17 years weighing 100 lbs by store security, which is a highed employee of zellars, and they seem to think they themselves are above the law, which I would like to know what kind of training they have, besides being a total asshole to my daughter and myself, and the police.
On Sep 10, 2009, jts Said:
Mr Patrick K Martin is subject to regulation by the Law Society of Upper Canada. If you suspect he is acting less than scrupulous; feel free to register your complaint on the Society's website.
On Sep 2, 2009, Norm Norris Said:
Other than the fact that the amount of payment has now increased to $500 all the relevant information remains the same, which would still allow one to smell a rat in a scheme that does not purport to provide a bonafide receipt and indemnification of responsibility.
On Aug 28, 2009, an insider Said:
OK people, enough!
Ignore the letter and DO NOT PAY!
They will NOT take you to court!!
You may get a second letter some months later, and if you still do not pay, you will NEVER hear from them again.
I know this for a fact.
On Aug 25, 2009, moonmamma Said:
Okay...I just got the same letter from "Patrick Martin." My 17 year old son consumed a power drink on the premises while he was actually shopping. He was stopped by security. My son offered to pay for the drink and payment was refused. He was taken in for an investigation meeting/questioning and the police was called. No criminal charges were laid.

Here's my question. Last time I checked, they have no right to investigate or ask questions of a minor without the parents or legal guardians being present.

Any comments on this?
On Aug 25, 2009, Ssm Said:
With regard to the civil action (letters of demand for $500 or so) as a consequence of being charged with shoplifting, I wonder how does the store calculate the amount? do they tally up the cost of all the security services and divide by the average number of offenders?

I worked in one of the stores mentioned here as a salesclerk and had a security guard (loss prevention) fellow instruct me not to count the amount of items this woman was going to take into the fitting room, he was adament that I not do anything to deter her. Is this not enabling the potential offender?
On Aug 13, 2009, CdnMomOf2 Said:
This Patrick K. Martin person also conducts business as "American Tax Refund Corporation"; same name, address and telephone number. See: http://www.americantaxrefund.com/company.php

For the person who wanted a photo, there is one available. The website also has an e-mail address where this individual may be contacted.

A search of his name on Google did not reveal any reported cases where he took a case to trial on this kind of civil claim.
On Jul 30, 2009, evans Said:
Has anyone ever contacted this lawyer and asked him what exactly how the $500.00 is broken down. I wonder how much Zellers actually receives. Who's robbing who here?
On Jul 28, 2009, cca Said:
I got the same letter...understand the amount of money lost due to shoplifting...my 14 was caught and things returned so why is it I have to pay 400??...Was told this was retailer bullying and they can not charge someone without an investigation. Considering the items didn't come close to the 400 dollars asked to be paid...think this is BS .
On Jul 27, 2009, A friendly helper Said:
HBC is actually trying to extort money from me? Ha. Not only am I not the guardian or parent of the underaged person who stole (my baby brother), they also mispelled my last name.

No, I wasn\'t going to pay anyways, but that made it even funnier. People, if your child stole from the store and get a letter from this lawyer, you have NO legal responsibility to pay. Afterall, letting your kid hang out at the mall does not constitute neglect on your part and a judge will throw it out of the court if HBC does consider pursuing the case (they won\'t, by the way).

Oh, and that BS court case that the letter cites (Hudson\'s Bay V. White, just Google it)? If you go and read the verdict, the judge dismissed HBC\'s ridiculous claims save for a minor trespassing fine ($100). That\'s right! The letter cites a case that shows THEY WILL LOSE if they go to court.

What you (or more likely, your kids) did was bad and you should teach them that, but the blackmailing that HBC and this lawyer is doing is far and away worse.

Teach your kids a lesson, but call BS on this letter. They will not pursue you besides possibly another letter or two. It won\'t ever go to court because the per hour charges of the lawyers will be astronomically higher that the $500 (or whatever) the HBC is demanding and they\'ll lose the case anyways.

Note: If your kid was caught INSIDE the store, that isn\'t even theft yet! As long as a person is still within the premises, the law sees it that they still have the OPPORTUNITY to pay for the items, even if it\'s concealed in a picket or sleeve. They\'ll never be convicted or charged if the security officers detain them (unethically) before they ever leave.

I hope this helps.
On Jul 14, 2009, Dalanie Said:
I love how you all act like the victims here....

You did the crime........ you deserve the fine.

Who the hell do you think you are going into a store and taking something that isn't yours... is that how you people were raised, just to stal something if you can't afford it....

Stop complaining about this fine, and blaming everyone else but yourself for what you did.

The fine is for restitution, cost of merchandise taken, investigators time, etc..etc..
On Jul 13, 2009, Private Said:
Bonnie Brooks is CEO
HBC Zellers- a kind hearted clerc in a store on Robson named I.in Vancoubver tried to activate a discount available in the store that day, in the clothing department he billed my Zellers acccount several times and deletd the charges I got billed twice for the same items. Despite letters to teh head of the departmetn Sue Hillis asking to speak to someone to explain this, they have sent my account to HBC credit services and are double billling me for teh same items and the items are listed the same way on my credit card statement.
On Jul 3, 2009, Summer Said:
Hi everyone, I wrote some previous posts but it disappeared.
Basically I got my letter after 7 weeks. It was from Patrick Greco on behalf of Miller Thompson.
They addressed my gender incorrectly as a Mr., and they asked for the $500 as well as giving other details that are pretty much identical to the original letter posted with just some details changed to make it more personal?
Anyways, at the time the police did not come and I didn't have my SIN card on me or a photo/fingerprint taken. Now that they are addressing me a mister, it makes me think that they have no clue or information on me personally.
Initially I was thinking of paying back this amount just to get this off my mind, but after this long while and reading the letter after it's arrival.. I'm not sure what to do anymore.
Anyone in the same situation?
Does anyone feel that they changed Patrick's last name and changed the Law company their with? Although I can actually find this patrick on miller thomson's site...
What to do? Thanks in advance.

Also, to those with the same letter, did you get more letters from mr. greco afterwards? How many months after, and how many letters? Anyone pay the amount indicated of 500?
On Jun 29, 2009, unknown Said:
Does anyone have the same letter but written from Patrick Greco without signing in actual ink. It is on behalf of zellers & miller thompson and the PO box is the same and everything. I`m not sure what happened to my previous posts, but what to do anyone?
On Jun 23, 2009, secguy Said:
The trespass issued to you is from HBC and has nothing to do with the police, unless you return to the property, in which case you can be arrested for trespass and the police will return and may charge you with trespass.

Once on file with the police you are always on file with the police so you will be in the system. You will not have a criminal record unless you are convicted of a criminal offense. I’m not sure where you are in Canada but there is a good chance family services will be called in because its reads as if you committed the act while your son was with you. If you did, huge mistake!

On Jun 23, 2009, upsetmom Said:
SO I had a mind relapse and changed a price ticket on an item at zellers..cashed out.....was stopped at the door and brought back to the back to be questioned. They left the door opened so employees passing by could look in and they threatened to question my boyfriend as well and place my son in social services care. They have the item and the amount I paid for it...less then original price but I still paid something on it. So they have my money. A police officer was called in as well. I signed papers.....1 stated I could not return to store for 1 year and another to a person not yet charged with an offense......but I have to go for finger work and have my picture taken at the police station and I have a court date? is the finger work just to get me on file, my record is clean clean clean......do they want me in the system or to give me a record?????
I will never shop at zellers again and I will never change tickets on anything every again....first time and it was a learning process.
On Jun 15, 2009, secguy Said:
lol well "lawyergirl" are you suggesting that Martin is sending the letter out on his own without authorization from HBC?

And yes thats a cut and paste, whats your point "lawyergirl"? The information is still accurate and correct
On Jun 15, 2009, lawyergirl Said:
Sec Guy,

HBC isn't the one sending out the letters!!
And you are just copying and pasting, don't think you actually understand what you are writing. Go do your job, and stay off this site.
On Jun 15, 2009, dude Said:
Hi, how long does it take to get the letter and is it always 500$??. (Me and my friend got caught shoplifting a couple days ago, they said the fine would be split??)
On Jun 12, 2009, secguy Said:
Fraud itself is defind in case law rather than the criminal code The offence is described in Sub-section 380(1) and (2)of the Criminal Code.
The elements of the offence are:

by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means,
whether or not it is a false pretence,
defrauds the public or any person,
of property, money, or valuable security or any service.
Note: this last element is essential to the offence. If the victim is not deprived of property, money or a valuable security, then it is not fraud. To convict for fraud, the crown must establish and prove dishonest deprivation. In other words, someone must have been deprived of property, money or a valuable security, and there must have been an element of dishonesty.

organizations like HBC are sending out these demand letters based on the actions of people that have stolen from them or have been a party to an offence, Therefore HBC is not committing fraud

On Jun 12, 2009, disillusioned Said:
Sec Guy,

Is it not "fraud" for these charges being sent to people by Patrick Martin by "HBC"? With threats made to them to pay or legal proceedings will occur and to please conduct yourself accordingly.
On Jun 12, 2009, Michelle Said:
I recieved a similar letter, but it comes from an office in Montreal. I was with someone who took a 2$ item (we are both adults) and even though I did nothing I am still being charged 500$... My letter comes from 'Eidinger & Associés' and not by the Patrick Martin. I just wanted to know if anyone in Montreal has gone through this. Did you get any other letters after not paying? Thank you.
On Jun 12, 2009, secguy Said:
If the guard stated and you have proof of him stating that your son was arrested \"to scare him\" I would honestly suggest that you take the guard who, under Ontario law is required to be licensed under the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to task. There is a code of conduct that all security is required to follow in the Province of Ontario (as is the employer). If you make a formal complaint regarding the nature of the arrest OPP officers seconded to the Ministry will be required to investigate the case. Private security has the authority to arrest under the criminal code of Canada section 494 (1) and (2) for indictable and criminal offense’s (theft falls into this area) arresting someone “to scare them” is not allowable by anyone for any reason. Based on what you have said it could be considered a false arrest for which there is a civil remedy.

In fact to all others out there, next time you have an interaction with any form of security in an arrest situation you have the right to ask to see their Ministry issued license. They can not refuse to show it you and must have it on them at all times while working. If they don’t have one then they and the company for which they work are breaking the law and are subject to fines under the Act ranging form 50, 000 (for the individual) to 250, 000 for the company that employed them.

Further, it may also be a defense to the arrest itself due to the fact that they are not supposed to be working without a license in the first place.
On Jun 12, 2009, p.o.'d mom Said:
I received the same letter about my 13 yr. old son. He was with my mom, who was shopping for almost 2 hrs in Zellers. He ate some marshmallows from an open bag on the shelf and was stopped in the parking lot. The police came, no charges were laid and the security guard said they did it to "scare him from really shoplifting in the future". He was banned from the store for 1 yr. We (his dad and I) still took it seriously and he was grounded - more chores and less independence for 4 weeks. We also told him before WE allowed him back into the store he would have to apologize to the store manager for his actions. No mention was made at any time about us incurring fees from Zeller's. I have since been told not to pay this - by other parents and a lawyer I contacted.
On Jun 12, 2009, secguy Said:
First, I do not work for HBC in any way, go back and read my posts I disagree with the stance that HBC has taken with the civil demand letters and encourage people not to pay them.

Second, retail theft cost Canada a little over 2 Billion dollars year. Who do you think has to pay for that loss? The cost of goods goes up and we all pay more. You don’t really expect that the organization will eat the cost of the loss do you?

Third, It’s a common theme here for people to say that have made a “mistake” it seems that they only have a problem with their “mistake” when they get caught and then have to face the music.

Fourth. Whether the police choose to charge or not, the criminal act has taken place and you are in the police system for the rest of your life, even if they left you go with no charges. The realty is the police often look at the likely hood of a conviction or the odds of the Crown not proceeding with the charge. If they think it has little chance of going through then they don’t bother with it, just caution (some times a peace bond) and release. This doesn’t mean that no criminal act has taken place however.

Fifth, I find it ironic that some here speak of HBC committing fraud, which is a criminal offence when they themselves or there kids have committed the criminal act of theft.

On Jun 11, 2009, disillusioned Said:
I regret that the world is so full of people who take advantage of people, blaming them for their misjudgements, never allowing that they are just as bad or worse.
On Jun 11, 2009, piegoose Said:
hey secguy ...

can i assume you work for HBC in security?

you have missed the point.

my daughter was punished by her father and i.

the police were called and they did not think charges were warranted.

they did say that we would be getting a letter requesting $450 - $500 ...to cover the costs of paperwork. ??????????

the point of this entire blog is that a huge retail corporation is committing FRAUD.

this whole thing is a scam.

how much money do you get paid to complete the paperwork for shoplifting?

$400 ? $500 ?

are you getting a cut of this action?

I doubt it.
On Jun 11, 2009, secguy Said:
This is just amazing! The amount of people that have posted on this site and have no regrets for their criminal actions. You commit a criminal action and then complain when you get caught. I feel for this country, I really do. The impression I get is that you are ok with stealing and feel like you are the victim when you get caught!


On Jun 10, 2009, regrettful girl Said:
But does anyone know how much my fine is going to be because this is my second offense?!
On Jun 10, 2009, Summer Said:
regretful girl,
It's been more than a month and mine has not arrived in the mail yet... I'll keep you updated.
However, from the looks of it, everyone is saying to not pay the enormous amounts.
I know I have learned and I know you will too from our mistakes.
On Jun 10, 2009, Summer Said:
regretful girl,
It's been more than a month and mine has not arrived in the mail yet... I'll keep you updated.
However, from the looks of it, everyone is saying to not pay the enormous amounts.
I know I have learned and I know you will too from our mistakes.
On Jun 10, 2009, PIEGOOSE Said:
DO NOT PAY IT

IT IS A SCAM

SAVE YOUR MONEY

AND

DO NOT SHOPLIFT AGAIN.
On Jun 9, 2009, regrettful girl Said:
I got caught shoplifting 3 days ago in Zellars. I\\\\\\\'m 17 and am really really stupid. I stole around $60 worh of things I didn\\\\\\\'t need from the store and a secret shopper stopped me when I had taken 2 steps our the door. I was taken into the scary room, with the door left open for alllll the people to see me crying and completely embarressed. My Dad came and brought me home. Basically, the same situation as everyone else on here, except this was my second offense with shoplifting. The first time I was caught shoplifting I was 14 and it was from The Bay. The Bay: HBC, Zellars: HBC. I was sent the letter and my Dad paid the $475. And I was grounded for 6 weeks. So the secret shopper found out about The Bay incident and raised my ban of the stores to 5 years.

Does this mean my fine is going to be $900? Is it going to be more?

I\\\\\\\'m going to pay it because I have a job and have money, and I\\\\\\\'m going to be take responsibility for my actions. But if the letter doesn\\\\\\\'t come for 2 months. I don\\\\\\\'t know how much money to put away for the bill because I\\\\\\\'m saving up for school next year.

Anyone know how much the bill will be for my situation!?
On Jun 9, 2009, regrettful girl Said:
I got caught shoplifting 3 days ago in Zellars. I\'m 17 and am really really stupid. I stole around $60 worh of things I didn\'t need from the store and a secret shopper stopped me when I had taken 2 steps our the door. I was taken into the scary room, with the door left open for alllll the people to see me crying and completely embarressed. My Dad came and brought me home. Basically, the same situation as everyone else on here, except this was my second offense with shoplifting. The first time I was caught shoplifting I was 14 and it was from The Bay. The Bay: HBC, Zellars: HBC. I was sent the letter and my Dad paid the $475. And I was grounded for 6 weeks. So the secret shopper found out about The Bay incident and raised my ban of the stores to 5 years.

Does this mean my fine is going to be $900? Is it going to be more?

I\'m going to pay it because I have a job and have money, and I\'m going to be take responsibility for my actions. But if the letter doesn\'t come for 2 months. I don\'t know how much money to put away for the bill because I\'m saving up for school next year.

Anyone know how much the bill will be for my situation!?
On Jun 9, 2009, regrettful girl Said:
I got caught shoplifting 3 days ago in Zellars. I\'m 17 and am really really stupid. I stole around $60 worh of things I didn\'t need from the store and a secret shopper stopped me when I had taken 2 steps our the door. I was taken into the scary room, with the door left open for alllll the people to see me crying and completely embarressed. My Dad came and brought me home. Basically, the same situation as everyone else on here, except this was my second offense with shoplifting. The first time I was caught shoplifting I was 14 and it was from The Bay. The Bay: HBC, Zellars: HBC. I was sent the letter and my Dad paid the $475. And I was grounded for 6 weeks. So the secret shopper found out about The Bay incident and raised my ban of the stores to 5 years.

Does this mean my fine is going to be $900? Is it going to be more?

I\'m going to pay it because I have a job and have money, and I\'m going to be take responsibility for my actions. But if the letter doesn\'t come for 2 months. I don\'t know how much money to put away for the bill because I\'m saving up for school next year.

Anyone know how much the bill will be for my situation!?
On Jun 8, 2009, Patdick Matin The Fag Said:
I have the same letter and i had to pay by June 7th i didnt pay since this seems like BS worst comes to worse i go to court and say the letter was lost and pay for it...
On Jun 5, 2009, Sarah Said:
I just recieved an e-mail saying my comment was replied to... but i'm looking, and no such luck..

i don't believe we should have to pay this ridiculous amount, when the item was returned and we were caught 3 feet from the doors STILL IN the mall.

i'm asking if i should go to legal aid, and officially discuss this matter with them.
On Jun 5, 2009, Sarah Said:
My mother recieved the same letter asking for 400 dollars because of my actions. My friend handed my a plush toy worth 2 dollars, he ripped the tag off and told me to put it in my bag because he "got it for me".. i know it was wrong, but where does the 400 dollars come from? The item which i took was worth 2 dollars, and if the 400 dollars is for labour i dont see how, because me and my friend were caught 3 feet from the front doors of Zellars. My friend also recieved the letter, we're going to see legal aid about it.. seeing as i have no money and neither does my mother. That means they are charging us 800 dollars in total for 3 feet of walking and a 2 dollar plush toy that didn't even leave the mall....
ridiculous? i think so..
On May 30, 2009, T.M Said:
Wow I just received the same letter from parasite Patrick K Martin.I did not steal, my daughter stole 50 dollars worth of make up, from Shoppers Drug Mart..now I get a 500 dollar demand letter. If I pay this demand I am left without being able to either Pay my rent or feed my 2 daughters. As the child in question may have stole, she still deserves to eat. Now I will never pay a parasite that sends me a letter like this without any proof attached to what thier actual costs are.to start. I hope he get cancer and dies.
On May 26, 2009, Ellen Bone Said:
To Whom It May Concern;


First, let me say that I understand why Ellery was let go, but I feel that the punishment was extreme. She worked at Zellers for almost 4 years and was a well liked and an eager employee. She made a mistake, but in life unfortunately everyone makes mistakes. She is young, but is really a very honest and trustworthy person, and she made an error in judgement. If nothing else comes of this, it should ensure that a change is made in the policy of having only one cashier on duty. There should never be just one, but at least two, so that each cashier has the ability to leave their post to use the washroom or get a drink. It was also brought to my attention that on the day she was let go, she came into work and everything seemed normal. She was the only cashier for half of her shift. Then when another cashier came on duty, Ellery was called into the office and fired. She was escorted from the store like she was not trustworthy enough to make her own way out. That was degrading and demeaning. She has a long life ahead of her and I hope that the reason for her dismissal will not impact her future. She is going to school to become a criminal psychologist to work for the Canadian Security and Intelligence Agency, and that would not help her in her future endeavours. I used to shop at the Salmon Arm Zellers for most of our family purchases as well as for my job. I do not feel that I can do that anymore and will shop at other stores now. I hope that the experience will not be repeated with other Zellers employees as they are generally a really nice group of people, and no one should go through the experience that Ellery went through.


Sincerely,

Ellen Bone.


The letter we received from your office came as a shock, over $5.00. I am dismayed at the proceedings in this matter.I feel that they are excessive to say the least. I have contacted the Salmon Arm Zellers store and the Merchandise recovery person in Kelowna. I know you are not in a position to do anything regarding this matter, but felt you needed to know the circumstances in this case.
On May 20, 2009, bystander Said:
People,

I've already posted here a year ago but still see exactly the same questions arise: "do I have to pay?", "will they prosecute me?". The answer is NO to either of them. I am 24 years old. Was arrested for stealing a $7 item. I signed papers banning me from the store. The police officer issued a provincial offence ticket (which I decided to fight in court. The officer didn't show up so the charges were dropped). I received that infamous $500 extortion letter, even two of them. One - 3 weeks after the accident, the other - 9 month later. I called a lawyer who laughed and said to ignore the letters. I did and they left me alone. I waited for 2 years from the date of the accident (legally they cannot do anything after 2 years) and started shopping in the same store again using a credit card with my name on it. I never had any problems. Folks, don't be scared with their dishonest and intimidating tactics. Live your lives happily and don't steal!
On May 19, 2009, Susana Said:
i got the same letter only it was for my daughter and from shoppers drug mart in portage place she was with her friends and the were the ones that stole sumthing for about $8 worth and just because she was with them she got in trouble also and now all of a sudden 3 months later just like that i get this letter in the mail saying i'm being charged for $400 and if i don't pay on o before june 7th then i will have to go to court and the cost could go up to $900 or more.
On May 13, 2009, secguy Said:
It sounds to me from what you wrote that you were issued a Provinical offences notice for Trespass. You can fight that in court its your right. If you lose the court case or choose to pay, it will not go on your record as its just a Provinical offense.
On May 13, 2009, Mamabear Said:
Hi:

On Mothers day I won $500 worth of gift certificates from Majic 100 to spend anywhere in place D\'orleans I spent $450 at Zellers and had $50.00 left. A few thing didn\'t fit and I brought them back and was given a gift card to the store. A few days later while out with my 1 year old daughter I decided to go in to Zellers and walk around. When I entered the store I looked for a basket to put on top of my stroller so I could shop but there was none so I made the mistake of putting items on my strollers while I shopped. I was in the store aprox. 1/2hour or longer no less. I bought juice baby food looked at clothes diapers and other items and when I got to the baby food isle my daughter seen her cookies and freaked. I gave her the box but she would not calm so I went to the checkout where some poor man had pity on me and let me go ahead of him even though he only had 1 item. So I rushed through paid for my items and left the store just as I was pouring my daughter juice right outside the door a woman full of tattoos and quite frankly looked like an addict approached me and asked if I forgot to pay for something. I replied very honestly that is was quite possible as my daughter was freaking in the store and said she could check it out if she liked. She then said NO YOU CHECK THE CANOPY so I did and there was a pair of glasses I forgot about .She asked me to go back into the store and I respectfully complied and she kept saying all the way back then put me in a small room with my baby with monitors two chairs and a desk. Where she informed me I was under arrest. She explained that she watched me put the glasses there when I first started my shopping on the monitor and then walked around following me in the store. So staying calm figuring the police would watch this video and see my daughter standing in her stroller freaking and would realize it was just a horrible mistake I waited. When the police arrived a 1/2 hour later they asked me for my side so I gave it and asked them to watch the video. They left and I assumed they were going to watch but instead 2 mins later they returned and told me that since I paid with a gift card they THINK I was after the glasses and I would need to walk escorted through Zellers with my baby and wait at the car for a fine. I told the officer NO it\'s not what you think that matters it is the facts on tape that do and that I want a lawyer. That\'s when I was told that in order to speak to a lawyer I would need to be placed under arrest and taken with my baby downtown. Again I assumed ok I am going to get to the car they will run my name and when nothing comes up they\'ll give me a warning and let me go so I went with them. All the while my just 1 daughter is freaking due to the stress she is feeling from me and being angry @ this point it is nap time and she is CROSS. We get to the car when a bunch of teens start to fight and I am left at the car while they respond and then escort a teen who tried to flee and was tackled leaving injuries back in cuffs to wait behind me and my child and give me a $^5 fine and a trespassing notice. When I got home I called professional standards and was told:

1) they do not need to watch the video unless I was charged, a fine is civil I can only fight it at the city level and no intent has to be eastablished
2) I would be getting this bill in the mail
3) I was never allowed at any bay or Zellers for location
4) If this gets dropped can not go after them for slander, stress, putting us in danger or anything else but if it get upheld I can be sued for legal costs.

I am a 27 year old honor roll student who is the health field specializing in brain injuries. I have worked home care retail and many other jobs with large sums of money and never been accused of stealing. Today I go to fight this at the city level but I am truly amazed at how far this has went over a stupid choice on my part to not double check everything was out and paid for. What I don\'t understand is if I had a record they would have charged me and had to prove their case but because it was a fine due to my spotless record not proof is required on their part. I have talked to lawyers with no luck but I still feel this is WRONG and if they are right this is the the laws stance on the matter it needs to be changed. How many people have been in the same situation??
On May 13, 2009, Mamabear Said:
Hi:

On Mothers day I won $500 worth of gift certificates from Majic 100 to spend anywhere in place D\'orleans I spent $450 at Zellers and had $50.00 left. A few thing didn\'t fit and I brought them back and was given a gift card to the store. A few days later while out with my 1 year old daughter I decided to go in to Zellers and walk around. When I entered the store I looked for a basket to put on top of my stroller so I could shop but there was none so I made the mistake of putting items on my strollers while I shopped. I was in the store aprox. 1/2hour or longer no less. I bought juice baby food looked at clothes diapers and other items and when I got to the baby food isle my daughter seen her cookies and freaked. I gave her the box but she would not calm so I went to the checkout where some poor man had pity on me and let me go ahead of him even though he only had 1 item. So I rushed through paid for my items and left the store just as I was pouring my daughter juice right outside the door a woman full of tattoos and quite frankly looked like an addict approached me and asked if I forgot to pay for something. I replied very honestly that is was quite possible as my daughter was freaking in the store and said she could check it out if she liked. She then said NO YOU CHECK THE CANOPY so I did and there was a pair of glasses I forgot about .She asked me to go back into the store and I respectfully complied and she kept saying all the way back then put me in a small room with my baby with monitors two chairs and a desk. Where she informed me I was under arrest. She explained that she watched me put the glasses there when I first started my shopping on the monitor and then walked around following me in the store. So staying calm figuring the police would watch this video and see my daughter standing in her stroller freaking and would realize it was just a horrible mistake I waited. When the police arrived a 1/2 hour later they asked me for my side so I gave it and asked them to watch the video. They left and I assumed they were going to watch but instead 2 mins later they returned and told me that since I paid with a gift card they THINK I was after the glasses and I would need to walk escorted through Zellers with my baby and wait at the car for a fine. I told the officer NO it\'s not what you think that matters it is the facts on tape that do and that I want a lawyer. That\'s when I was told that in order to speak to a lawyer I would need to be placed under arrest and taken with my baby downtown. Again I assumed ok I am going to get to the car they will run my name and when nothing comes up they\'ll give me a warning and let me go so I went with them. All the while my just 1 daughter is freaking due to the stress she is feeling from me and being angry @ this point it is nap time and she is CROSS. We get to the car when a bunch of teens start to fight and I am left at the car while they respond and then escort a teen who tried to flee and was tackled leaving injuries back in cuffs to wait behind me and my child and give me a $^5 fine and a trespassing notice. When I got home I called professional standards and was told:

1) they do not need to watch the video unless I was charged, a fine is civil I can only fight it at the city level and no intent has to be eastablished
2) I would be getting this bill in the mail
3) I was never allowed at any bay or Zellers for location
4) If this gets dropped can not go after them for slander, stress, putting us in danger or anything else but if it get upheld I can be sued for legal costs.

I am a 27 year old honor roll student who is the health field specializing in brain injuries. I have worked home care retail and many other jobs with large sums of money and never been accused of stealing. Today I go to fight this at the city level but I am truly amazed at how far this has went over a stupid choice on my part to not double check everything was out and paid for. What I don\'t understand is if I had a record they would have charged me and had to prove their case but because it was a fine due to my spotless record not proof is required on their part. I have talked to lawyers with no luck but I still feel this is WRONG and if they are right this is the the laws stance on the matter it needs to be changed. How many people have been in the same situation??
On May 11, 2009, Corey Palmer Said:
Just for peace of mind, my friend paid the $500.00 they asked for. She did not even receive a receipt to state it was paid in full. Can they keep sending and say it was never paid? ALso, when the occurence of theft happened at a local mall, the mall security was called in and the said she cannot be in the mall for 1 year or she would be charged for tresspassing. The store loss prevention, very ignorant and rude individual, who left marks on her arms said she was not allowed into the store indefinitely, that could mean a year or two or five or forever. He told her she would have to call the loss prevention office and plead her case if she ever wanted to shop in Sears again and they would decide. The case was that she changed a few tags on some merchandise and paid but it was fraudulent to change tags. The police did not charge her. The store just cancelled the transaction, returned her funds as she stated she did not need the merchandise. So in effect, nothing was taken just time to call the police, drag her in the back room, while she almost had a nervous breakdown (she was severely depressed at the time, on heavy pain medications and anxiety pills and not thinking clearly at all, walked around in a daze for a few weeks). She is a highly educated and intelligent individual and had a better job than the loss prevention clerk..lol (he was probably jealous, idiot). Yes it was wrong, she admits it, however, do people not have any heart and understanding or are they paid to be forceful, mean and ignorant; Blind to the circumstances but she has bounced back and it back to her old self again and no more medications as they were causing her too much grief and more illness.
Has anyone ever had to call a store and beg them to allow them to shop there again?
On May 10, 2009, christin Said:
Summer...It is a trickery letter like you said...any money collected is then split between Patrick Martin and HBC .My friends letter was opened and mine was put back into a mailbox unopened with RTS on it.Yes the letters address Im sure had a Don Mills address on it.I know what my daughters friend letter said..You were supposed to pay the 500 by a certain time and then the amount would keep on increasing.Scare Tactic...dont be fooled!
On May 10, 2009, Say no to Extortion Said:
For those of you that have recieved a letter from Patrick Martin here is something very interesting!!!!!
His business address listed with the Law Society of Upper Canada is:

300-1370 Don Mills Rd
Toronto Ontario
M3B 3N7

Copy and paste the above address and Google it- there are at least a dozen companies, few of which seem to be related to the practice of law, which use this address. My guess is it is a mail drop for shell companies which would indicate the type of \\\\\\\"lawyer\\\\\\\" you are dealing with. Nobody seems to have recieved a letter by registered mail. A few posts down there is a reporter looking to expose this white collar extortion ring. I suggest we all contact him and bring national attention to this despicable practice
On May 10, 2009, Say no to Extortion Said:
For those of you that have recieved a letter from Patrick Martin here is something very interesting!!!!!
His business address listed with the Law Society of Upper Canada is:

300-1370 Don Mills Rd
Toronto Ontario
M3B 3N7

Copy and paste the above address and Google it- there are at least a dozen companies, few of which seem to be related to the practice of law, which use this address. My guess is it is a mail drop for shell companies which would indicate the type of \"lawyer\" you are dealing with. Nobody seems to have recieved a letter by registered mail. A few posts down there is a reporter looking to expose this white collar extortion ring. I suggest we all contact him and bring national attention to this despicable practice
On May 10, 2009, Say no to Extortion Said:
For those of you that have recieved a letter from Patrick Martin here is something very interesting!!!!!
His business address listed with the Law Society of Upper Canada is:

300-1370 Don Mills Rd
Toronto Ontario
M3B 3N7

Copy and paste the above address and Google it- there are at least a dozen companies, few of which seem to be related to the practice of law, which use this address. My guess is it is a mail drop for shell companies which would indicate the type of "lawyer" you are dealing with. Nobody seems to have recieved a letter by registered mail. A few posts down there is a reporter looking to expose this white collar extortion ring. I suggest we all contact him and bring national attention to this despicable practice
On May 9, 2009, Ken Said:
That's your choice i guess...i opened the one for my son (he was a minor and it was addressed to me) but did not pay. I did my research first and realized it was highly unlikely they would try and prosecute. That was over 2 years ago.
Don't sweat it you weren't charged nor convicted of a crime just heed the trespassing order tho.
On May 9, 2009, Summer Said:
Thanks! I feel much better now, should I just keep the letter and open it and read it? OR should i not even open it and put "Return To Sender" and drop it off to a mailbox?
On May 9, 2009, Ken Said:
The quickest way to get past this is to learn from your mistake and forget about the rest.

Ignore the letter as Christine said it doesn't even come registered, so who's to say you even received it?
On May 9, 2009, Summer Said:
I really really appreciate any responses because it has really tuned down the amount of afraid level, nervousness and intimidation.

I forgot to add they do have my home phone number too!
On May 9, 2009, Summer Said:
Thanks for the replies Christine and Ken.
However, I think my mail will be addressed to me instead of my parents.

Furthermore, if I dont pay, will I have some sort of record in their database that says I did not pay for a punishment, etc.?

I was really thinking of just paying the ~500 fine, because I would like this to end fast. However, your responses lead me to think that the 500 will just be a stupid trickery payment.

The lost prevention worker also told me that I have to pay the amount that will be mailed to me by two weeks (I think this is what i heard, i was quite scared by then), and if I do not pay, I will most likely have to go through a worse and longer process (eg. court, lawyer, etc.). Since you guys said you recieved after 1-2 months, how does the 2 weeks deal he was talking about work... and I dont know who will be mailing me but I think it would probably be the Patrick Martin everyone is talking about since I am dealing with zellers/hbc.

And believe me, I have definitely learned my lesson.
On May 9, 2009, christine Said:
summer ..the letter will come about 2 months after.It will not require a signature so they have no way of knowing if you actually received it.My daughters friend received hers first.The letter came addressed to the parents of xxxxxxxxx xxxxx.I didnt open it .I put RTS on it and put it into a mailbox.This was Feb of 2008 and it has been over a year and nothing else has come.My friends parents even went to a lawyer and he even said not to pay it.Please dont lose sleep over this.You have learned a lesson and are entitled to one mistake.Try to stay away from that place or you will be charged with trespassing.
On May 9, 2009, Ken Said:
summer i'll answer by question number:
1.was about 4 weeks for my son
2.the letter will state that you have to pay or face legal action and possibly higher fines. don't be intimidated by this.
3.nothing will happen if you don't pay....nothing.
4.only one letter

Just don't pay....and don't steal anything again and you're all good

kthxbye

On May 9, 2009, Summer Said:
I forgot to add that they do not have my SIN number or any photos (unless the loss prevention room had a secret camera), and after they let me just walk out of the store with one of their employees, and I walked my way home. There was no police involved since they were busy, except a few phone calls to try to get them to come.

They still did mention that I would be receiving the mail to pay a fine of $200-500 amount. That is why I would like the previous questions answered, and I realize it has been a while since anyone has posted here. Any help is appreciated!
On May 9, 2009, Summer Said:
I am so glad I found this site, and see the amount of people in this situation. Biggest mistake of my life happened a few days ago.
I am 19, and has never had any criminal record. I don't know what I was thinking that day at Zellers.
Anyways I have a question regarding the letter I am to receive which will state an amount I have to pay between 200-500, as said by the loss prevention worker. I returned the merchandise without any harm or use. The police were going to come but since there was a more serious incident around the area, so I waited hours in the room without any police showing up, which in the end when the store was closing and the police had still not arrived, they said I was lucky and gave me a Notice Prohibiting Entry for a year to HBC buildings, and a Notice of Intended Legal Action (by ACLAIM). They have all the information on my drivers licence including address and height and weight, but no photos or finger prints or anything like that.
My questions are followed if anyone can reply as soon as possible.
1. When will the letter arrive in my mailbox? And is it discretely packaged (how does it look like)?
2. Is it mandatory that I pay? I read through ALL of the previous posts and it seemed that no one paid, BUT i really just want to get this off my mind and let it go past me so I wouldn't mind even shelling out a ridiculous amount of up to 500... Did anyone pay?
3. What would happen if I don't pay? (Would just like to clarify for a 19 year old situation). Will anyone come for me at my house, or would I get a criminal record for not paying?
4. Are they just sending the first mail, or will there be many after (how many)?
I'm sorry for the amount of questions which may have been answered briefly before, but I'm just very worried about this situation and would like it to pass me asap.
-A regretful and confused college kid who has learned a lesson

On Apr 20, 2009, patrick.k.martin's dad Said:
if you're going to send the settlement amount to martin, change the address and send it to me cuz martin will spend that 500 on photocopying more letters to send out. i'll use that 500 to pay my tuition.


you choose.
On Apr 20, 2009, hotrider Said:
i received the same letter demanding $500 from martin last month. the deadline to pay has just passed and i and not goin to pay $500 for a merchandise that was recovered at the scene. wtf did the retailer(winners) loss? they're making a gain out of it.

yes, shoplifters should be punished, but not 100x!!!! this is bullcrap!
On Apr 7, 2009, micky dee Said:
This is a little old now, but in the suburb where I live, just outside Victoria, BC, a young person was caught tagging private property. The kids parents setup a place in the backyard where he could practice his 'art'. The police compared his 'art' with the tag he was caught with, and compared to many other tags.

Long story short, the City of Langford is suing him and his parents for $30,000 for cleanup, policing and other costs.

The city also ordered his parents to remove the 'art' from the garage in their back yard, or they would do it for them and bill them.
On Apr 2, 2009, MIMI Said:
To Spring

just ignore it because this happen to my cousin when he was caught. He had already gave them back the items and parents was contact and so on. But than this letter asking $500 came in. Our family freaked out and contact our lawyer demanding for a reason for this amount. Our lawyer right away told us to ignore it because he had many situations with the HBC sending out letters demanding these stupid amounts. Trust me just ignore it!!! If you don\'t believe me than go to any university or colleges legal aid and ask them (it\'s free).
On Apr 2, 2009, parent of the year nominee Said:
I'd like to make a post to the in the know - both of em and wow, but what I want to say I'm sure would never actually be posted.
I'm sure you can all read between the lines there.

Still waiting for my parent of the year award.
On Apr 2, 2009, John Said:
I received one of these letters because of a situation that my daughter found herself in while at Zellers. The floor walker or rent a cop wannabe grabbed the two girls hard enough to leave bruises, dragged them into a room. The girls were traumatized by the experience and we were not even notified until the police brang them home. The Police officer that came to the house with the girls was great, made them feel better and offered his appologize to us because of what had happed and indicated to us that it was an avoidable situation and that it was not dealt with properly. Now i am not saying that kids are inocent by any means, but accidents happen, that is why they are called accidents, i have seen grown, resposible people accidently walk out of a store with things that they forgot to pay for just because they were preoccupied with something else. I know that shoplifting is wrong and so do my kids and for them to claim that amount of money for losses is outragous. I find all the comments funny about not being able to resell merchandise and all the losses that they claim when you go into any store there is always broken items and clearance racks and i would be willing to bet that the merchandise that is recovered and not able to be resold wouldn\'t be just tossed in the gargage, chances are that it is shipped back to the company to get credit for it. But charging a cost of a product, yes in some situations, but recovery costs of 500 to 900 dollars is crazy, how much does that rent a cop get paid for his amazing csi investigating. Well i know that i will not be paying this, they are lucky that i am not pressing charges or suing them. I did find some interesting information on another site, hope this helps.
John


My child was caught shoplifting, but the letter is addressed to me.
Do I have to pay?
No. Parents are only legally responsible for harm caused by their children if parents are negligent in the way they supervised them or directed their
children to cause the harm.
The letters refer to the Parental Responsibility Act as the basis for the store’s claim against you. This Act only states that a parent might have to prove they were not negligent. This does not mean that a parent is always legally responsible for their children’s actions.
It is unlikely that a court would find parents negligent for allowing their teenager to go shopping with friends at the mall.
In one court case in Manitoba, the court ordered that Zellers Inc. pay back the money that a parent paid in response to a civil recover demand letter. The court said that the parent was not required to pay the money and that the store had no right to keep it.
On Apr 1, 2009, Also In The Know Said:
Spring: Pay It!
On Mar 20, 2009, dflf lkjkloy Said:
http://www.golishlaw.com/answers/answe991.htm
On Mar 12, 2009, Spring Said:
MIMI and BILL LLYOD and others:

im 19 years old and awaiting the letter, i cant afford to pay $500 fine.

and if the letter is not sent by registered mail, how do they know if I even received my first notice or second?
how can they send any one to court without proof that they were notified before hand?

since i am not a minor, do you still think i should ignore it aswell, seeing as many people believe it is a scam?

will my credit be affected if i dont pay?

PLEASE HELP ME!!!
before i receive my letter so i know what to do!

thanks alot!
On Mar 12, 2009, Spring Said:
Hi, I am awaiting for this mail to come, and wanted to know how many people received a second notice, or third notice?

If so, how long after the first notice did you receive the second notice?

And has anyone actually been ordered to go to court?
On Feb 25, 2009, Also In The Know Said:
They do get there break JUST ONCE! It's called The Youth Criminal Justice Act. Everyone under the age of 18 get's the chance to mess up once! You should all be happy you're not dealing with the justice system the first time around.... that would mean finger prints, mug shot, court date...... I think the YCJA is fair...giving kids that did make a "stupid' mistake, the chance to change there ways before commencing judicial proceedings! However - At store level, we still lose. So the fine is fair!! It's jut unfair because you as a parent now have to pay for some "stupid" mistake your kids made....C'est La Vie!
On Feb 25, 2009, smitty Said:
Well, this is starting to get interesting here now. I would love to say some really nasty thing to a few of the latest posts like the douche bag comment. I agree that people that steal on a regular basis and get caught should pay a severe penatly, but for a kid making a stupid decision...cut them a break...once!!! I have taught my daughter right from wrong, but no matter how much you drill things in to their head, if they hook up with the wrong crowd, as in my daughters case, it all seems to go out the window. She was caught as an accessory, she had no merchandise, should I still have to pay the $500 blackmail thay asked for. Do I still get the parent of the year award? Bite me! I cant wait until your kid makes a stupid decision and gets caught doing somthing, then see how quick you change your way thinking.
All I can say is she got caught, rather the people she was with got caught, she no longer talks to them at all and she know damn well not to even try to shoplift. As I said they are kids, they make kistakes, they need to be cut a break...ONCE.
On Feb 25, 2009, IF YOU'VE HEARD OF IT Said:
Sorry spelled Deuche bag wrong........you know what i ment.......
On Feb 25, 2009, IF YOU'VE HEARD OF IT Said:
The worst part of the arrest is telling people that they are going to be getting this letter.I absolutley HATE it. I've never seen one nor do I care to, but just the same if your kid is being a duece bag or you yourself are being a deuce bag and stealing stuff that you dont need (luxury items not necessity items) then you deserve to pay the deuce bag tax. And dont give me this crap about "oh it was under 10 dollars.....lip gloss yadda yadda" BS!! Hold you and yours accountable for their actions......prices go up for EVERYONE when people steal.......period.
On Feb 24, 2009, Also In The Know Said:
Actually Biff - your odds are wrong.... cause we're not the same person, but here's a hint ;) we do all know each other!
On Feb 24, 2009, WOW Said:
To all these parents who are saying to ignore it should all be mailed "Parents of the Year" award....lets teach our children that they can do whatever they want without a consequence. Yes you can yell and scream till you throat hurts but what does that accomplish, nothing!. How about you yell and scream and on top of that throw a $900.00 bill in, now thats a kick in the you know where. I'm sure after working their tails off to pay that bill, they'll remember how much grief stealing caused them.
On Feb 24, 2009, Biff Loman Said:
Odds that the last "group" of posters is the same person, anyone?

I'll say 1:1
On Feb 24, 2009, WOW Said:
To all these parents who are saying to ignore it should all be mailed "Parents of the Year" award....lets teach our children that they can do whatever they want without a consequence. Yes you can yell and scream till you throat hurts but what does that accomplish, nothing!. How about you yell and scream and on top of that throw a $900.00 in, now thats a kick in the you know where. I'm sure after working their tails off to pay that bill, they'll remember how much grief stealing caused them.
On Feb 24, 2009, Also In The Know Said:
I agree 100% with the comment made by \"In The Know\" and I am \"Also In The Know\"... speaking from experience... You can ignore that notice of legal action all you want... you\'re only hurting yourself in the long run. It\'s true!

Most shoplifters will remove something from it\'s packaging before stealing it. The packaging is typically destroyed...making the merchandise difficult for resale. Most stolen merchandise that is recovered is typically marked down in price significantly or written off. As stated before, would you purchase a bottle of fragrance lone, sitting on a shelf, or would you pick the one in a box, all wrapped in cellophane?

We all win when shoplifting stops!! - Shoplifting means fewer jobs for teens in the future. Talk to your kids about it….if you had done this already you wouldn’t be facing this hefty fine!

Don\'t be so naive! You\'re kids were caught shoplifting, and they tell you it’s there first time...this may be a shock to all of you, but believe it or not, kids lie to there parents! It was there first time being CAUGHT! I\'ve been scratched, punched, bitten, kicked, spit at.... I\'ve had to arrest a shoplifter that turned violent in the store, causing customers and small children to turn away, and leave... This has an impact on customers....the one\'s who actually PAY for there merchandise. These are the things YOU as a shoplifter and YOU as a parent of a shoplifter should be paying for......legal or not.... extortion or not..... it\'s restitution! Why should I take a beating or verbal lashing from your disrespectful kid? Because I am paid to? Believe me I am not paid enough for what I do, and for the people I deal with everyday. There is NO EXCUSE for stealing.

I’ve seen many parents drop there kids off at the mall on a Friday night…. Why? because it’s Friday night, and teenagers crowd the mall to “hang out”. Does this really seem like a good idea?? A mall is a shopping centre, and if you have no money to spend, you have no business being there, especially to loiter! As a parent you are being negligent dropping your kid off at the mall with little or no money just to “hang out” . If your kid needs something from the mall, you should be in there with them!

I have arrested shoplifters as young as 12 years old and there parents were not present. Tell me what a 12 year old is doing at the mall without parental supervision?? NEGLECT!

My point? Legally responsible for your child or not? You SHOULD be! You’re child may only be getting a slap on the wrist now…. But you will see…. It starts with a lip gloss, and then it’s a couple of CD‘s, then it’s an iPod, and then it’s a TV and then it’s a car!! Let’s not forget skipping out of school, drugs and everything else this behaviour leads to!

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR KIDS, KNOW WHAT THEY’RE UP TO…. AND I GUARANTEE YOU, I WON’T BE MEETING THEM!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CHOSE TO IGNORE THE TRUTH - I’M SURE I’LL BE SEEING YOUR CHILD AGAIN SOON!! =D

Yours Truly,

Undercover Investigator
On Feb 24, 2009, In the know Said:
Ignore it, extortion, blackmail, rip off, fake, fraud, do you people realize that theft in this country costs retailers $3,000,000,000 last year, yes i said 3 billion, that\'s the stuff that got away, and your little angels, getting caught with just one stick of lip gloss, well more than likely in my experience have been caught just this once, on average these angels have been doing this for some time and this is the first time they have been caught by loss prevention in these retailers. Some of these kids are remorseful and sometimes it is their first time, but the majority of them are rude, mouthy swear at the investigators, fight, try run away through parking lots. Canadian retail council states that statistics show that for every one person that is caught three get away. No i say they are not angels, and no you were not keeping a close eye on your child, sorry but i say to you parents out there, take a closer look at the things your children bring home, VERY CLOSE, if your daughter has a larger amount of cosmetics then you are used to, or jewelry, check her underwear drawer, this was not the first time. Your sons, do they have A LOT of video games that they BOROUGHED from their friends, it wasn\'t their friends that they boroughed them from. Kids are a lot more devious than we give them credit for, trust me i know from experience.
Answer me this if someone ran up to you as you were getting in your car and pushed you to the ground and took yor car for a joy ride and brought it back a day later unscratched would you you not charge them and SUE them for what they put you through or would you just say \"well its in one piece so no harm no fowl\"!
What do you say to that, well that\'s a different situation?
Theft is theft!
On Feb 24, 2009, Justina Said:
Maybe as parents, you should talk to your kids about shoplifting and then you won\'t have to worry or stress over these so called demanding letters! I constantly tell my kids, if you want something and you can\'t afford it YOU CANT HAVE IT! I tell them there is always someone watching them, and if they steal they WILL get caught. This should be taught in school for goodness sake! My kids know if they ever call me to pick them up from the mall because they were caught stealing, they can wait in jail for the night! The kids that do steal, I think there parents should pay! I bet there kid would never steal again!!!!!! Know why? Because there parents would make them payyyy!!

Merchandise isn\'t always saleable. An opened CD or DVD. Sure the item is in working condition... but would you buy an opened DVD or CD? or would you go for the sealed package!? Most teens steal cosmetics and jewelry, removing the items from there packaging and sometimes destroying the packaging. Would you buy cosmetics where the seal has been removed? or jewelry without the original packaging... no... Sometimes the items taken are in good working condition, but it still makes the merchandise difficult to sell, and items need to be marked down. PEOPLE your only hurting yourself!! KIDS ADULTS steal and the cost of merchandise goes up!!!! Keep your sticky fingers to yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stealing hurts everyone - so if you\'re going to steal then YOU SHOULD PAY and if your under 18 - parents should pay! If you knew where your kid was then they wouldn\'t be stealing...

The Retail Council estimates that theft cost the Canadian retail industry about $2.7 billion - more than $7 million a day. The council says that if there were no shoplifting in Canada, retailers could create 100,000 new jobs in their stores. The council said 55 per cent of theft is committed by customers, 26 per cent by employees and 19 per cent can be blamed on errors.

young people often steal for the thrill of it, while poor people and drug abusers steal for money, and professionals steal for a living. Some can make more that $1 million a year
On Feb 20, 2009, MIMI Said:
Just ignore it. Don\'t write anything back because it will atract attention. They sometimes send a second telling you to paid more or else they will sue you but just ignore it again. You have no legal obilgation to pay them. TRUST ME I KNOW!
On Feb 20, 2009, MIMI Said:
Just ignore it. Don't write anything back because it will atract attention. They sometimes send a second telling you to paid more or else they will sue you but just ignore it again. You have no legal obilgation to pay them. TRUST ME I KNOW!
On Feb 15, 2009, Bill LLoyd Said:
When you receive these extorsion requests, simply mark it "moved" and put it back in the mailbox. These guys are on a fishing expedition, send out a thousand demands for $500 and be very happy with all the money that foolish people will mail in. They will NEVER initiate court action against anyone for a paltry $500, think about it, a lawyer charges at least $250 an hour. His law firm will spend more money than they could ever hope to recover.
On Feb 10, 2009, Frank T Said:
My Mom got the same letter asking for $500.00. She was picked up and charged with stealing a pair of 4.00 gloves. Actually 1.20 after the discount. She is 73 years old and didn't realize she still had the gloves when she left the store. I went to court for her and it got thrown right out. The crown couldn't believe the Bay actaully went ahead and charged her. Even the officer that took her finger prints was discussed with th Bay.
Anyway, I will call this law firm up and if I don't get a response the paper I go. The Bay should be embarrased by their actions. Thats the last time I sjop there.
On Feb 8, 2009, David Said:
Hi,

My daughter, the same got caught with lipgloss from zellers, again (under $10) -- I have no intention of paying the letter I received from Mr. Martin....

As far as | am conserned..all merchandise was returned in tack -- the security guards are paid employees by zellers and are part of their operating expense! If the goods were not returned in tack -- then I can see the cost to recoup the cost of the products...this letter is bull!

But, if anyone has not paid as well...and had any response or consequenses from not paying...please let me know!
On Feb 3, 2009, Jane Said:
We just got a letter today because our 14 year old daughter took something from Zellers (pop and lipgloss under $10) and while we are very disappointed in her we also realize she made a mistake. A mistake that we sure as hell won't be paying $500 for!!! Thank God I found this website because Paul whoever can go and screw himself. Zellers should be ashamed trying to coerce money out of families and I'll be thinking very carefully whether or not I'll be shopping there much at all anymore.
On Jan 23, 2009, E.B Said:
ok so i worked at an hbc company store before, and i happened to give extra disounts to one of 2 of my friends, and mi sister.On 2 ocassions i was under 18 and i was still on my probationary period(december 07).Then, in august 2008 (i was 18), i gave more disounts to one other friend and thats when i gout caught and got fierd.When the undercover people spoke to me, they asked for the money upfront in Cash, (370$), which was supposed to be the money they where out.I didnt pay that, so they said that there lawyer will be contacting me with a much larger amount, which i supposed to be for "breach of contract, fees for the undervcover officers..".Finally Patrik k. Martin send me a letter asking me to pay 1600.00$. I've already payed 200...should i still be paying the rest...has anyone gone through the same thing???
On Jan 22, 2009, cf Said:
Ken - do you have a citation for Hudsons Bay v White. I cant find it and would like to read it. thanks.
On Jan 20, 2009, kenneth m Said:
Melanie, they have the legal right to try to recover thier costs for loss prevention.

Also the letter is an out of court settlement. By not paying they say they will take you to court for a greater amount so i don't see how this would affect your credit rating in any way. It hasn't affected mine nor has any collection agency called.

As i have said before because this is based on case law (hudsons bay v. white) they will not risk going to court and losing.

Ken
On Jan 20, 2009, Corey Palmer Said:
If anyone has ever paid, or even partially paid, have you received a receipt of proof of payment. These big retail establishments should be ashamed of themselves sending unknown letters for compensation. No one even knows where the funds are going or to whom...like who is this Patrick K. Martin and it seems he acts on behalf of all large retail establishments. Being anonymous, he must be a billionaire because he can't show his face and ask a retail security guard and they don't even know him.....

To secguy, you sound like the moron Ryan character, or hello Ryan I should say. No I was not there but there were people around, witnessing what was happening. Speaking to other employee's, he is known to be nothing but a bully and they have had many complaints.

As far as driving, if it were alcohol they would stop her hopefully or charge her for impaired, well drugs are the same. Anyone in their right mind would try and stop this person for safety reasons or atleast if they had a heart.
Irregardless, my sister has become her old self again, no more meds and the past is the past, life for today because you don't know if tomorrow will come.
On Jan 19, 2009, Melanie Said:
How long can they keep sending these letters out? At some point isn\'t it harrassment? Has anyone acually gone to court yet or found that thier credit has been affected due to this letter?
My son also made a mistake and was caught with goods, those goods were given back. They even handcuffed him and told him he was banned from thier stores for 2 years. They didn\'t ask him to sign anything but they did put that they read it to him cause he was in handcuffs. The police let him off with a warning since it was his first offence and his friend was the one who stole it but gave the stuff to my son and ran when the loss Prevention person caught them. So my Son took the full fall. The mall security nor the zeller\'s loss prevention staff did not contact neither myself nor my husband even though my son asked numerous times to have us called. We ened up finding out after the police got there, heard his story and let him go with a warning and he called us himself.
My question is since I have not yet recieved a payment demand as of yet, but i am sure I will since they gave my son a copy of a \"notice of intended legal action\".
The mall security I spoke with said that legally since my son is 17 they did not have to call myself or my husband, which I know is crap since he is a minor and as a minor I should have been contacted but yet they might be sending me a letter demanding money out of me for my minor son. It\'s a laugh to think they claim I do not have to be contacted but I have to take pay extra money for a mistake that I am sure my son has learned his lesson over and was not charged with.

Well I know this I will not pay the demand and will go to court if or when they decide to take me but in the mean time what does the law say about harrassment ? How long can they keep sending out these letters of demands? Can they call my house and harrass myself and my family and can they affect my credit over this? Anyone truely know ? Oh and is Alberta laws different from Ontario laws ?
On Jan 12, 2009, kenneth m Said:
It was sept 2007 when i recieved the letter because of my sons mistake. I did NOT pay and have heard nothing.

IMHO retailers will not pursue the matter if you do not pay. I believe they do not want to risk the precedent being overturned if it is taken to court thus denying them the money that they do recieve from people who do pay. (and i'm sure there are some)
On Jan 12, 2009, FANCY Said:
My son is 12 and was caught in zellers on 6 Dec 2008 for $ 4. Got the first worning and was told it is o.k.After few weeks i got the letter from patrik martin asking for $ 500. I am a single mother with two kids. am doing part job and this amount is very difficult for me to pay. I donot know what to do.Please and please guide me . should i pay or not If not what are the consequences.
reply me at fancymir@gmail.com
ASAP
POSTED ON 11 01 09
On Jan 6, 2009, kevin Said:
My daughter was picked up from zellers in Aug 08, and was only an accessory, she had nothing on her, but the girls that were with her did. She went through a restorative justice program and when we asked about this letter we were told not to pay. I have not seen anything else from patrick k. martin.
On Jan 6, 2009, James Said:
I would like to know as well. I knew of some people paying those fees.

But how about those who don\'t pay? Does the fee increase? Do they file charges or send people after you?
On Jan 6, 2009, James Said:
I would like to know as well. I knew of some people paying those fees.

But how about those who don\'t pay? Does the fee increase? Do they file charges or send people after you?
On Jan 5, 2009, Monty Loree Said:
I wonder how many people actually pay these legal fees.

So far, nobody has admitted to paying.
On Dec 5, 2008, Wheres the humanity Said:
Patrick K Martin is a coward, anybody have a picture of this guy so we can all know who is trying to screw us over.
On Dec 5, 2008, The Father of a teenage kid Said:
I got one from him too, my 14 yr old son took halloween candy out of it's package and ate $3.80 worth, now this Patrick Martin guy wants $509.00 out of court and $900.00 in court expenses, and of course due Dec 21 or else. I'm not going to pay this and in fact if he pursues me further I will have my civil Lawyer brother nail his ass to the wall. What kind of human takes these kind of child mistakes and turns it into a profit ? this Martin guy has no soul and I hope he gets what is coming to him, but of course he would never show himself, I know I wouldn't, I would be so ashamed on how I make a living that only a gun in my mouth would satisfy my conscience, wanna borrow my FAC buddy.
On Dec 1, 2008, Torkman Said:
I got the same letter. I'm 17, the security approached me IN THE PARKING LOT and brought me in, the gloves (which were a dollar) were on the ground by the front door, not even on me, and I was accussed of stealing. The mall security laughed and insted of banning me from the mall for their minimum of a year, made it 6 months. The police officer laughed, played some scare tactics and actually drove me back to my car in the parking lot. The letter says 500$ or else basically. I've decided not to pay this. If this has gone any further with anyone I would like to know, i.e. if they didnt pay and it has gotten heated with HBC and our friend Patrick Martin. Thanks
On Nov 28, 2008, NeedHelp Said:
Does anyone know if you have to pay if you are over 18? I am a student and it is hard to come up with $600 within one month. I dont know if I should pay or not? If I dont pay what will happen? Please help me. PPLLLEEEAAASSSEEEEE!!!!
On Nov 10, 2008, TinaJonas Said:
Can Zellers actually ban you from their store for 99 years?
On Oct 20, 2008, Christine Said:
No Stella you dont have to pay...I received the same letter in Feb.08 .8 months later I have not heard from Patrick Martin again.I did not pay a dime. dont lose sleep over this.
On Oct 20, 2008, L Said:
I agree this is crazy. I received a similar letter giving us 2 weeks to pay 400.00 for a pair of pyjama shorts that retailed for 10.00. These are difficult economic times and coming up with this will be a strain for us.
On Oct 20, 2008, stella Said:
If someone get recovery leter from zelers for 500$ n if he dont apy it then is there is any legal action for it and it goes on ur crome recird or not?????as i m international student so i m confused??????plz help me in this
On Sep 15, 2008, Concerned Mom Said:
Hi,

I\'m in the same predicament as other parents with a teenager that has made that one stupid mistake...
I was wondering if not paying the \"settlement amount\" of the civil recovery would damage your credit? I am planning on applying for a credit card in the next few months. I also might apply for loan for a car eventually...

On Sep 13, 2008, BH Said:
I also recently got a letter from this Patrick Martin, and based on the comments posted below, I will NOT pay up the $500. If the company HMV decides to pursue legal action, I will update you guys. I made the stupid mistake of stealing items that were about $30, and now I\'m supposed to pay up $500, possibly $900? What ever happened to \"an eye for an eye?

I would like to thank previous posters for their useful links and advice. I\'m a university student who already has enough stress economically with rising tuition fees, rent, travel, and books. I don\'t need to feel threatened by large corporations and \"lawyers\" who feel it necessary to blackmail people who already feel humiliated and who are usually minors.
On Sep 10, 2008, Anita Said:
You can get more information from this pdf link:
http://www.jfcy.org/PDFs/Civil-Recovery-Apr06.pdf


Also take a look at this link:
http://consumer-rights.suite101.com/article.cfm/civil_recovery
On Sep 9, 2008, secguy Said:
Interesting story, for some reason this story rubbed me the wrong way. Possibly due to the vast speculation on your part, which leads me to speculate, ask questions and draw conclusions on my end.

At paragraph four, you state that Sears’s loss prevention and Police let her drive, even though she was heavily medicated, you then cast scorn on them for not stopping her from driving. I assume that you new her meds had been increased and yet you did nothing to prevent her from driving?

Sears would have no power to stop her from getting behind the wheel. Only the Police could have done that. You also state in paragraph four that “Ryan” spoke cruelly to her. How do you know this? Were you there? Did you hear or see this? Or is this the information provided by your heavily medicated sister who wasn’t thinking straight and gets very confused?

Further to paragraph four you seem to belittle “Ryan” as just a worker, This “just a worker” is authorized by law and department policy to arrest for criminal activity, which is what he did. I’m not sure if you are belittling the person or the job. Canada lost a little under 4 billion dollars last year in terms of retail theft. You then continue to berate “Ryan” as an idiot who should be charged with abuse. Again I ask were you there? Did you see or hear “Ryan” abuse or belittle your sister.

While I do not agree with these civil demand letters or poor customer relations, I don’t think that Sears should send your sister an apology.

On Sep 8, 2008, Corrie Palmer Said:
My sister was caught in July 2008, changing tags on merchandise at Sears. She went through hell with the loss prevention workers. In essence it was fraud but also theft I guess.

She was going through a very rough period in her life and thank God she is in the process of a great recovery because she was just not herself. She went through alot of trauma and drama in life, then she had a serious back operation and was placed on narcotic medications and antidepressants by her doctor because of severe pain. These medications made her very different than what everyone knew her to be, she was withdrawn, in a world of her own at times, very confused, spending money foolishly on things she did not need (when she got things she would give them away to people who needed them, always thinking about everyone else but herself and is now in debt recovery with credit card spending). Basically, it became a mental health issue.

My sister normally is very smart and educated with College diploma\'s and University courses, a hard worker holding a supervisory/management position, and always there to listen or assist someone in need. She has no criminal record and assisted juveniles in court in one of her previous jobs.

In early July, her medication was increased and she drove (yes she drove to the local Sears store and Sears loss prevention and the police let her leave and drive home, imagine such concerned people they are). She was wandering in the store, glossy eyed and started changing tags on merchandise, then went and purchased them. WELL, one loss prevention guy Ryan grabbed her at the door, bruised her arms, talked very cruelly to her and pulled her into some small claustrophic room to have her charged with fraud. They recovered her whole bag of merchandise, creditted her credit card and the loss prevention manager told her it would appear as though the transaction never happened. Of course during this time, she was in massive tears and distress, sick to her stomach but also knew something was wrong and she was not herself. She was told she can call a lawyer and wait for the police to arrive. She apologized profusely and tried to explain. The loss prevention manager was a great guy, very understanding, sympathetic and even got her a garbage can so she can be sick if needed. The police man was also great and understanding, he did not charge her, talked to her and advised all present he was not proceeding with charges but did tell her that was criminally, the Sears store may pursue it civilly. The other loss prevention worker (yes just a worker) was a complete idiot--shame on Sears for hiring such poor example employee\'s and he should have been charged for abuse and ignorance.

Well this all leads to the letter we have now received 2 months later from Patrick K. Martin for recovery. Oh and how wonderful of Sears, they gave her a letter not to go to any Sears store indefinitely but they still allowed her to keep her Sears credit card. The idiot worker told her she will have to call them in loss prevention after a few years and speak to him and ask nicely if she can shop at Sears again, no guarantee---WHATEVERr, she spent lots of legitimate funds at Sears and so did I and her friends but no more and we will be damned if we have to call and kiss butt to some ignorant, abusive red head employee with no heart and not a people person. Oh and the mall also gave her a letter than she cannot shop at the mall for ONE year which was separte to the INDEFINTELY cannot shop at Sears anywhere.

Now we got a letter asking for $500 for recovery. 2 Months after the fact, she has to live through the ordeal again when she is just getting back to normal and learning to deal with the bad luck she has had in life. Can they honestly do this to people? They got all their merchandise back even what had a correct price tag, even said it will look like the transaction never happened. And $500 is alot of money for someone trying to feed 2 kids and making a mental comeback, not to mention physical due to back surgery and things she has to learn she can\'t do anymore.

She has an excellent credit record and does not want it to affect her credit or reputation so she is going to pay it of course. Where exactly does this money go now, will it go back to Sears so they can pay such poorly behaved employees such as Ryan or does it go to a mass fund, or better yet will this Ryan run around and say he did such a great job and have a party-Cheers to you idiot, you are pathetic in nature.

Moral is, Nobody is perfect, Yes she did wrong at a bad point in her life, she agree\'s and has seeked help and assistance and is coming along well. Obviously by the letter received, if her torment of that specific day was not enough, she will keep PAYING for her mistake. Sears makes more than enough money, they are over priced, and cheap to their employee\'s (rates of pay are ridiculous) and they still want MORE and MORE. Could they not have given her a break, just once, and let her get on with her life. They should send her a letter, stating she is free to shop in Sears again and apologize for the mistreatment by their employee.

What is your opinion of this situation? Is this a legitimate law firm that sends out photocopied letters? Can this be paid by credit card or does it have to be a cheque or money order?

On Sep 3, 2008, Cristina Remo Said:
I can not understand how they can this law stating "The Parental Responsibility Act, 2000.

As a parent who is trying to work 8 or more hours a day to support the family how am I suppose to watch and guard my kids against doing such things. I have constantly told them what is good and bad and have been trying to provide them all I can afford.

I have just received a letter from this law firm and is penalysing me for $1000.00 for what my kids have done. My kids did not take anything and were apprehended. The police even thought it is enough to warn them as they are good kids and they have promised their witts that they will not do it.
Now as I have to pay this - how will I buy my groceries to feed them and cloth them for school. $1000. is not a joke. I understand theft is not either, but punishing parents in this matter is absolutely unimaginable.
Where will I get this money now - between food and rent and expenses to send them to school so they will not think of such bad things.
On Aug 31, 2008, alexsmom Said:
Wow, I\'m glad I found this site. I\'ve been worrying about the letter that I got because my son got caught trying to take Microsoft Points from Zellers. I was supposed to pay the $500 by yesterday and I was thinking this would end up killing my credit rating again because I really don\'t have the money to spare. I was beginning to think that to provide proper supervision I was going to have to handcuff myself to my son and take him everywhere with me. I\'m not going to worry about it now. If I do get another letter from him I\'ll let him do his worst.
On Aug 12, 2008, bystander Said:
To those parents who received the extortion letter and don't know what to do:

Just think - who on Earth would start a legal process over a stolen (and recovered!) merchandise worth of 5-10-30 or even 60 bucks? The application fee for small claims court itself is $75. And what kind of judge will rule in favour of the plaintiff who is asking $500 for some recovered item worth of $5?! Also, along with his application, plaintiff must prove that he indeed incurred loss. From your postings it's clear that all items were returned to the store undamaged.
Those letters are just piece of ..paper.
Relax, folks.
On Aug 8, 2008, Izabela Primeau Said:
I also just received a letter from Patrick.K Martin on August 8th, 2008. My daughter is 16 and was cut stealing at Zellers and now they want me to pay 500.00 dollars or they threaten to take me to court.When I went to pick up my daughter at Zellers I offered to pay the 68.00 dollars for the merchandise that my daughter tried to steal instead I was told by the store manager not to worry about it, because they can re-sell it and now I am being sued. Do I have to pay this?
On Aug 5, 2008, Kevin Said:
Further to my last post, below, I see this is a larger issue than I thought. I see that it has indeed reached the media, any it looks like there are some legal groupys lobbying against it.

so do I pay or wait to be sued?

I'll wait. :)
On Aug 5, 2008, Kevin Said:
Regarding Patrick K Martin and his photcopy letters looking for civil recovery money, I am just wondering if anyone has brought this to the attention of the media? I see there was a post from a writer for the Ottawa Gazette, I did leave my name and number with him, but am also considering calling my local news team.
This is dead wrong the way they handle it, if I am forced to pay money for something my child did wrong, so be it, but be damned if I am just going to stick $500 in an envelope and mail it to some Quack that does not even sign a \"legal\" letter in ink.
On Aug 3, 2008, secguy Said:
The notice issued against you was likely a trespass notice. Trespass (unless at night, see criminal code for details) is not a criminal offence, it is a Provinical one thus it wont go on your record. The backgound check will not show that you have a record since you stated thatyou were not charged with the offence. You are on police computer however and if you any future dealings with police they will know that you have been in trouble before
On Jul 31, 2008, Jason Said:
Hello,

My name is Jason and I just came from a job interview with Wal-Mart. They told me they're gonna do a criminal check but I have two questions. (I am 15 years old)

1. I got caught stealing but they didn't charge me but they gave me some kind of notice that I cannot enter Sears for one full year and issued me some kind of little sheet that says that. Does this go on my criminal record?

2. I also received a civil recovery letter which I paid successfully. Will this also go on m record?

Thanks!
On Jul 30, 2008, Po'ed Said:
i assume the same goes for the hudson bay companies claims right? im sure it is because i got the same "patrick. k. martin" letter, but im just making sure..
On Jul 24, 2008, Chris Said:
For those parents who have received a letter, as we have, being blackmailed by Zellers, I quickly direct you to the link that can be found further below in this large blog:

http://www.jfcy.org/PDFs/Civil-Recovery-Apr06.pdf

It answered all my questions. In essence, NO you are not responsible for paying damages for your child\'s mistakes.
On Jul 23, 2008, Unique Said:
Well my daughter accompanied her friend to Zellers and was instigated to pick up a gew things, and out of that they only found a pair of earring on my daughter and the rest of the stuff which could have amounted to probably 500 to 600 dollars, and here I get a letter from Mr. Martin that 500 has to paid from us as well as from that girl. This is freakin' insane. My daughter is a good kid and got influenced very badly.
But 500 for a pair of earrings??
This is too much!!
On Jul 11, 2008, Say NO to Extortion !!! Said:
For those of you that have recieved a letter from Patrick Martin here is something very interesting!!!!!
His business address listed with the Law Society of Upper Canada is:

300-1370 Don Mills Rd
Toronto Ontario
M3B 3N7

Copy and paste the above address and Google it- there are at least a dozen companies, few of which seem to be related to the practice of law, which use this address. My guess is it is a mail drop for shell companies which would indicate the type of "lawyer" you are dealing with. Nobody seems to have recieved a letter by registered mail. A few posts down there is a reporter looking to expose this white collar extortion ring. I suggest we all contact him and bring national attention to this despicable practice
On Jul 10, 2008, April Said:
I received a letter pretty much just like yours seeking settlement for shoplifting for my son (who is 14). He got a "warning" by police when he shoplifted a pack of gum from Dollarama. That's right a PACK OF GUM. My son has never been in troble before, he is actually a very good kid...he just used poor judgement. So I take it I shouldn't respond to the letter??
Any direction would be much apprecitated :)
On Jul 10, 2008, Varun Said:
same letter was sent to me from a law firm representing HUDSON BAY.
It was through regular mail. They stopped sending it for a while and then again last month sent final notice.
The name that appears on the letter doesn't even live at that address.
I was wondering if I should consult some lawyer or just simply ignore. I don't know whats the best thing to do
On Jul 9, 2008, Christine Said:
Amy if the letter wasnt sent by registered mail then no one can prove that you actually got it.I believe this to be a scare tactic before they close the book on your file.
On Jul 8, 2008, Amy Said:
I received a civil demand notice from Miller Thompson a year ago and didn't pay it....today I received another one that says "final notice" for a larger amount ($600). I'm 24 (not a juvenile) and I'm not sure what I should do! Will they proceed with court charges? Or is it a scare tactic? I would rather not pay the money, especially since it seems ridiculous to me. The letter appears to be fairly impersonal and it is not even really signed in ink. Any comments?
On Jul 2, 2008, Glen McGregor Said:
I\'m a reporter with the Ottawa Citizen. I\'m hoping to speak to parents who received these kinds of letters seeking settlement of shoplifting claims against their children.

I can be reached at gmcgregor@thecitizen.canwest.com or by phone at 613.235.6685.

Thanks,

Glen McGregor
On Jun 18, 2008, Craig Said:
Hello all, this website is a lifesaver

my situation is as follows, im 26 and had a gift card to Winners, long story short i went to purchase my item then went to leave and was stopped and accused of changing a tag, they said i was under citizens arrest and it was all on tape?? my friend was with me and was nabbed because she helped me carry my bags, she was a nursing mother and had to rush home to feed her 4 week old baby but the security guard did not let her go. He said that he already put us under citizens arrest and he did not have the right to let us free until the cops showed up.
My friend started complaining of engorged breasts and the fact that 3 hours had passed since her baby was last fed
And still she was not let free, she was crying for almost two and a half hours in pain.(emotional and physical) Finally, 3 hours after the initial \"arrest\", a cop came and let us go.

Do i have a criminal record? when the police finally came two and a half hours later the security guard gave her some papers to file what was that about?

i didnt steal i wasnt even accused of that in the store, i was only accuesed of changing a tag, they called it fraud, is this the same as stealing?

They told me that i must contact the lawyer when i get the letter or i would be in even bigger trouble?

i dont want this to come up again, so i am tempted to call the lawyer and work out a deal, is this recommended?

Should i seek legal counsel? any free counsel?

Thank you in advance.

On Jun 12, 2008, Christine Said:
you didnt do anything wrong..my 14 year old daughter also took makeup from Zellers with her friend.She is an academic student that made a poor impulsive decision at the time.Do not blame yourself!Girls at this age are the highest offenders of shoplifting.I too recived the letter in Feb. I have not given one cent and never will.This is just a scare tactic and Zellers and P. Martin split up any of the money that they receive.They dont have the time or money to chase after people that wont pay.you can email me at femininegirl@yahoo.com
On Jun 11, 2008, tracey Said:
yes i too the mother of a 14 year old shoplifter recieved the letter from Patrick martin asking me for $500.
whilst i am totally ashamed of my daughter for taking the items (mascara and lip gloss)and have punnished her in a way that will effect her and only her. I now take issue with me as the parent being punnished for a crime I DID NOT COMMIT. Whilst i do agree that as a parent i am responsible for the upbringing and \"supervision\" of my child which i thought i had done pretty well untill this incident. But how can i be responsible for her actions when i am not with her. is it law i should be with her to supervise her at all times? if so how do we get past the issue of her schooling, soccer games, practises, band trips, birthday parties etc etc. Oh and heaven knows how i will ever manage if i cant go to my place of work (they dont allow you to bring your kids.....oh except on bring your kids to work day usually november time) I guess my point is this...Parents no matter how hard they try can not physically be there to surpervise their children at all times. So how can the lawyers claim damages from me for failing to provide supervison of my 14 year old child. (now if she had been 6 ...maybe). I have to admit i am concerned about this letter and the implications of it and if anyone has any advice /experience thay can help me with i would be extremely grateful for it.
I will say at this point there is only one person to blame in my story and that is my 14 year old daughter who is ashamed of herself, discusted with herself and thinks she is a total idiot...which of course she is. She has never done anything like this before and i can guarantee she never will again. the punnishment i gave her will see to that.(yes she still has limbs)but knowing her she would have traded them for the grounding, no pocket money, no concerts, no parties or friends over and no beloved soccer for a year. This punnishment is severe for her but she totally accepts it and knows why she has been given it. she also regrets the minute she put that stupid mascara into her purse. If she had $500 in her bank account i would make her pay it (although after reading all the remarks i would prefer it go to a chrity than this dubious lawyer)but alas she doesnt and neither do i for that matter, and even if i did why should i have to pay for something i didnt do except give birth do a normaly, well behaved well balanced kid who on this occasion made a very bad decision and is paying for it.
BUT TELL ME WHAT DID I DO WRONG ?
On Jun 10, 2008, donna Said:
I have just received this same letter for gum that they have when they caught my 13 year old, under 10.00 worth. I think if they got their product back that should be the end of it.
On Jun 9, 2008, gramlaw Said:
has anyone recieved a "final notice" from Civil Recovery subsequent to the Patrick Martin letter. If so, was there any action to follow?
On Jun 6, 2008, Michelle Said:
I to receive a letter from P. Martin. Mine referred to an incident that took place in Shoppers Drug Mart over 1 mth ago. The first thing that I thought when I saw it was "SUE ME" and "GOOD LUCK PROVING YOUR CASE". Some of the earlier comment below pointed out the fact that the demand letters were missing the "without prejudice". My version has it as well as the correct spelling of "Solicitor". Perhaps Martin is reading these blogs as well (you know brushing up on his Act). Speaking of "Act", I found some an updated copy of the Parental Responsibility Act which he referenced in his letter. I invite you to have a read of it for your own edification and comfort (http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/P/01045_01.htm). For those who would rather have the summary version check out this link (http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/recoveringlosses.pdf).

Having worked for several large corporates in their in-house legal departments, I cannot understand why companies like HBC would want to pursue such fruitless claims. I am sure that they have in-house lawyer (much cheaper than outside-counsel)who would advise against such types of claims (meaning claims they obviously could not successfully win.). I personally will be IGNORING THIS DEMAND LETTER and challenge Mr. Martin to commence legal proceedings. Especially since this would be a small claims matter for which I could defend myself. Mr. Martin, my know how to use MailMerge but I know the law...SO BRING IT ON MARTIN. For his sake, I hope that Shoppers Drug Mart instructed him to serve me with this demand letter. If they didn't I'm really going to have fun defending this.
On Jun 5, 2008, Tammy Andersen Said:
I just recently received one of these letters. My son was with a friedn at Zellers and they were caught removing a game from the store. The other boy was charged with the offence and my son was brought home with a warning from the RCMP. I was extremely concerned with the letter and am glad to have located this site so that I know I am not alone in regard to this extortion effort
On Jun 5, 2008, MIchael Workhorse Paralegal Said:
Today I sent to the Law Society of Upper Canada a fax outlining the Extotional letter that a Lawyer of the Sosiety has and directed it to the complaints dept.
Warren is a bud of mine and have know him since he was 8 years old. He asked me the course of action that should be taken and I told him and his wife the proceedure.
On Jun 4, 2008, LindsaY Said:
Hi. I am 18 years old. I too just received a letter from Patrick Martin. I was with my friend at Sears when she got caught stealing a pair of 12$ headphones. I had NO idea she was doing it. the security guards called me a liar so to speak and said i was an accomplaice because i stopped to talk to an employee of the store. Apparently that is called "a distraction". The lawyer and Sears company are wanting (forcing, black mailing..what ever.) me to pay $400 for a pair of head i didn't even know my friend stole. What do i do?
On Jun 4, 2008, Warren Said:
Am I ever glad I found this blog. Its my understanding that an item is not considered stolen until it actually leaves the store ( Maybe you put something in your pocket to free up your hands for more shopping and planned to pay for it at the till)My wifes 13 yr old daughter was busted by Zellers security inside the store and was treated to the same Gestapo tactics described here. I spoke with a paralegal friend after receiving the blackmail letter from Patrick K Martin who looked him up and found that he/she is actually a real estate lawyer.No brainer here, we are not paying I will be contacting all of my email contacts, facebook etc for an all out boycott of zellers and any HBC companies. I will also be following any links or emails found here to add my name and comments to there lists.We have also conntacted Peter Silverman and advise others to do the same
On Jun 3, 2008, bill Said:
Ignore the attempt at extorsion. NOBODY, but NOBODY is going to pay a lawyer $500 dollars and up, per hour to recover basically $500...IT JUST WON"T HAPPEN! If you are one of the many people who give into this demand, I can only hope that you carry a piece of paper in your wallet that identifies you as legally stoopid!
On May 21, 2008, JC Said:
Oh, and my letter is from Miller Thomson LLP. The rest of the letter seems to almost identical to what most of you got. "If this amount is not paid, we will take specific instructions to arrange for a law firm in your jurisdiction to commence legal proceedings against you before a civil court..." So, if I don't pay. They will take me to court FOR CERTAIN??? Is this part of the scare tactic..?
On May 21, 2008, JC Said:
Hello, it's so relieving to have read all of your comments. I got a letter from Zellers charging me $500... A police was involved in my case, but he only had me sign these forms and took a picture of me. They said no legal charges. I'm 18 and I'm not planning on paying the money, but I'm still a little scared. Its alright for me to not pay... right?
On May 6, 2008, Biff Loman Said:
NO
On May 4, 2008, Dick Burns Said:
Great comments....thank you all for sharing them. So let's cut to the chase. Do you pay YES or NO
On Apr 30, 2008, Mary Said:
I also received one of these letters. My daughter was decided to take eyeliner with her friend and of course her friend did not take anything however she was caught red handed, I was called at home and had to pick her up. The security guard felt she did not learn from this and was hard on her with the attitude she had I understood and I thought she needed a wake up call. The police were called and of course she was walked through the store with the police officers put in the back of the van. They were extremely nice about it and were also thinking that this may be a wake up call she's only 14. Well I had signed papers that the security guard said to and that I would receive a letter to pay for the cost of the package that was opened. To my dismay I got a letter requesting $500. from Patrick K. Martin and aphrehension in paying could result me paying $900. I'm calling Zellers first thing tomorrow morning especially after I was informed it would possibly be the cost of the eyeliner. Zellers is one of the stores I shop at most of the time and to get something like this is ludicrus and these people should not get away with this. What I am wondering is will I have to go to court for this well learned lesson costing me 500?? Unbelievable!
On Apr 29, 2008, karen recchia Said:
DO NOT PAY THEM ANYTHING
THEY HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHT TO DEMAND ANY MONEY AND YOU HAVE NOT LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PAY
On Apr 17, 2008, HCow Said:
Hi - i\'m in Toronto. Retail Recovery Services is trying to make me pay $350 dollars \"as a result of my theft of $35 in merchandise.\" I was not arrested or charged by police.
Am I required to pay this or is it a scare tactic/money grab?
On Mar 28, 2008, Bigin Said:
Hi I am in Canada. My son (15yrs)was caught by zellers security gaurd shoplifting a headphone set. Zellers made me sign a letter of "intended legal action' to claim money for blah blah blah. Is this legal? It seems like extortion. They recovered the item and my son is going to pay for his mistake in whatever manner the police and his parents decide for him. He is truly sorry and is a good kid otherwise.
On Mar 27, 2008, marie Said:
hi my friend made a big mistake she stole merchandise from seller and the value was $84 they took her to a room and they ask her name the police never arrive and they told them she was lucky she has not to talk with the police or judge but she will recive a letter asking for money ( a penalty)... do u know how much money she will have to pay?
On Mar 21, 2008, JC Said:
My daughter just received one of these wonderful letters as well; but, like a previous post, it was one of her friends that was caught shoptlifting at the Bay(and found with the merchandise in her purse), but my daughter and her girlfriend were detained and forced to sign a document by store security as well. They were not charged and were let go (all girls were 18); the girl with the merchandise was left at the store to deal with them further.
Now she gets this letter, from Patrick Greco (formerly Patrick Martin???0 on behalf of Miller Thomson LLP, asking for $500, when she didn\'t do anything! She said they told her and her other innocent girlfriend that because they were all admiring the shirts that the other girl stole, they must have been guilty (for the record, they didn\'t even know she took them), and, therefore, they had to sign. Talk about intimidation!
So, based on the comments read in the forum, we are also going to ignore the letter unless anyone thinks otherwise?
On Mar 20, 2008, john qbublik Said:
Wow-I'm so glad to have found this blog-the power of the internet has let us all find each other!
I too have recieved an extortion letter from Patrick Martin on behalf of Zellers seeking $500 damages for a $15 pair of headphones my 14yr old son stole. He was not charged and the item was recovered.
My inital reaction was to ignore the letter not becaused i realized that this was an illegal demand (which i'll discuss later), but because it was not sent registered mail.
There is no proof that it was even sent to me (poor legal procedure on the part of Patrick Martin-perhaps registered mail costs would reduce his net profit). It is a general rule of law that parents can only be held responsible for the torts of their children if they were negligent- ie. Zellers will have to prove in court that you were negligent in order to claim damages against you-that is why they will not pursue the claim against you. (and this is an important fact with respect to the impeachable conduct of Patrick Martin). Civil recovery against adults has been upheld by HBC v. White ,however parental immunity in the abscence of negligence was upheld by B (DC) V. ARKIN. The rule of law established by B (DC) V. ARKIN is that forbearance to sue (delaying or withdrawing Zellers\'claim against you) is good consideration unless the party that is forebearing knows the claim is invalid. Patrick Martin knows that his claim against you is invalid unless he can prove that you were negligent by virtue of the precedent established by B v Arkin. This is what makes the sending of the letter to you professional misconduct. The Law Society of Upper Canada, has many definitions of what constitutes professional misconduct. There are a few of which i believe he has grossly ignored
Rule 6.01
A lawyer shall conduct himself or herself in such a way as to maintain the integrity of the profession.
Public confidence in the administration of justice and in the legal profession may be eroded by a lawyer’s irresponsible conduct. Accordingly, a lawyer\'s conduct should reflect credit on the legal profession, inspire the confidence, respect and trust of clients and the community, and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Rule 6.03(5)Communications
(5) A lawyer shall not in the course of professional practice send correspondence or otherwise communicate to a client, another licensee, or any other person in a manner that is abusive, offensive, or otherwise inconsistent with the proper tone of a professional communication from a lawyer. And I think this next rule is maybee the most important (remember that he knows quite well that his claim against you is invalid) Rule 6.03
Undertakings
(10) A lawyer shall not give an undertaking that cannot be fulfilled and shall fulfill every undertaking given.
I think that if Mr. Martin had to face a discipline committe he would at least be reprimanded if not disbarred for his reprehensible conduct of trying to extort money on behalf of Zellers citing an invalid legal claim! I think the Law Society would also be interested in how few claims are pursued and the manner in which he recieves compensation (which i'm sure is a percentage of the amount unwitting victims of his "civil recovery" shakedown pay.
Since the internet brought us together here lets co-ordinate a mass filing of formal complaint with the Law Society of Upper Canada in order to give extra weight to the severity of this disgusting practice which is the epitomy of corporate and lawyer greed, and the zenith of the abuse of power and process.
If interested email me at disbarrpatrickmartin@hotmai.com
On Mar 19, 2008, amadparent Said:
I just received one of these letters. My son was tacked by 3 security guards, then handed over to the police. Hi case has not yet been dealt with in court.

I have a number of problems with this.

1) How does this civil case affect the privacy of my son? I understand that as a youth (17) he has some rights to keeping his name out of public record. There are good legal reasons for the young offenders act. Does the civil case subvert this?

2) Is this sum of money representative of a loss or special circumstance in my son\'s case? They got the merchandise back. I don\'t see that they were required to do more than any retailer would find to be prudent and necessary? What is the justification for $500?

3) The statement that shoplifting amounts to an annual expense exceeding 4.0 billion is misleading. It doesn\'t state whether this is what is goods lost due to theft, but likely includes all sorts of costs including security and accounting compared to a perfect world where no one steals and no one has to check or verify this. No retailer operates in that environment.

The truth of that statement is that the retailer is angry and feels justified 4.0 billion times over in punishing the offender and the offender\'s family for the fact the world is not as perfect as the retailer believes it should be.

3) The justice system is set up in part to provide appropriate punishment and deter crime. One of its purposes to to take responsibility for justice away from angry vigilantes. It seems that this letter is an effort to augment our justice system to increase punishment.

4) It really bothers me that this money might be used to pay for the rough and unkind treatment afforded my son. I\'m being asked to pay for their effort to brand my son a criminal and sell him and everyone who know\'s him on that label. As a parent my struggle is to get him to put this behind him and choose a healthier self image and life practice.

5) To top it all off, I\'m being asked to pay because I failed to provide reasonable supervision of my son. I do admit I prefer he not enter the Hudson\'s Bay or Zeller\'s and I also resolve never to shop there again myself. However, where are the warning signs in the store?

Warning! \"Parents, you may be sued if your children enter here unsupervised and succumb to unwise impulses to acquire these overpriced and over-hyped goods\".

Why am I not surprised to learn that Hudson\'s Bay was bought a few years ago by an American billionaire? Perhaps he contributes to \"The War on Illiteracy\" by suing parents whose children cannot read?

What do you bet that Zucker will die broke and alone?
On Mar 18, 2008, Sed8ed Said:
for anyone who wants to know
that is the email for the address and it belongs to RED SEAL NOTARY
http://www.redsealnotary.com
Toronto Location #15
Don Mills Road
Closest Major Intersection: Don Mills Rd. & Lawrence Ave.
Toronto
Ontario
M3B 3N7

Email: toronto-east@redsealnotary.com
On Mar 11, 2008, Christine Said:
I have contacted fifth estate and encourage all to do the same. I am hoping they will do a story on this
On Mar 4, 2008, miss_x Said:
To Alana:
Relax, my dear. I am also over 18. Read my post somewhere below and do not worry about the letter. Yes, they will send it to you. Don't panic. Don't reply. And most important - don't steal anymore.
I am absolutely convinced that so-called Civil Recovery letters are means of income, not justise.
Find online the story of a Zellers employee in Quebec who took a box of expired chocolates from the garbage bin in the store and what they did to him. It was several years ago.
On Mar 4, 2008, Monty Loree Said:
Hey Alexander,
Thanks for your post.

I'm not sure that Hudson's Bay or Zellers is "trying to make a buck" from these actions. I think that they're trying to send a message and cover their costs.
On Mar 3, 2008, Alexander Said:
Hello all.

I am a former Hudson's Bay Company employee, and recently several of the people I worked with were fired for retail theft. While they all confessed guilt and repaid the monetary value of the merchandise – food (they worked in the cafeteria), they too have recieved these letters in the mail.

I have the unique opportunity to work my college's newspaper, as I am pursuing a career in journalism. I feel that this story – what basically boils down to the oldest retailer in the world seemingly extorting people as a form of income – could shape up to be a great national story in the mainstream press. I don't know if a lot of people in the general population know about the activities of these large corporation, and just how far they will go to make a buck.

So far, numerous law offices, free legal consul, and even the municipal police departments say that the restitution demanded by this Patrick Martin are absurd. Most of the letters seem to claim the restitution as repayment for "internal investigation," when in reality, all theft investigation is done by the store's own loss prevention officers (security guards), with a special team brought in for internal investigations against store associates. It seems that there should be no cost for investigations, as these security concerns are already on the company payroll.

The law offices I spoke to said that while the practice of claiming restitution is not illegal, it is dubious at best. Most suggested that failure to comply with these threats would not result in further action.

Whether or not the action is legal is one point. The focus of the story I am pursuing (in my opinion) is wether or not HBC is morally right in threatening children and former employees, most of whom are first time offenders and already suffering the stigma and alienation of being caught shoplifting. While shoplifting is a serious crime, and one worth attempting to eliminate, an examination needs to made as to whether using scared, embarrased people who made mistakes as a cash cow should be allowed.

If any of you have received letters from Patrick K. Martin, or any other solicitor or company seeking restitution for a previous infraction, I would love to talk with you further in confidence to see if I can't get a news story into the media regarding this matter. My e-mail is xander-xone@hotmail.com.

Thank you for your time.
On Feb 28, 2008, secman Said:
I’m in the private security business, so perhaps I can assist in answering some questions as to how the security industry works when it comes to theft, arrest etc.

John, to answer some of your questions.

1. Yes you as the parent should have been called as a courtesy more than a requirement. The YCJA (youth criminal justice act) requires that a parent or guardian be contacted when a youth is arrested, however at 17 he’s at that border line age.

2. No one is under any obligation to provide to you any reports, any evidence or anything else. The matter, in a legal sense is between the courts and your son. The arrest of your son was made under section 494 of the CC he was arrested for the criminal offence of theft section 322.1 of the CC.

In accordance with the CC (criminal code) your son was handed over to the police. The police in these situations generally ask the arresting individual if they witnessed the selection of the item, the concealment of the item and then watched them leave the premises with it, thus completing the theft.

Was your son issued a notice to appear? Or was he released unconditionally

Hope this helps, any questions let me know.

FYI I do not condone the practices exhibited by some retailers.

I do however fully support their rights to protect themselves against theft

.

On Feb 27, 2008, John Said:
By The way i will be contacting zellers head office in the morning, i found alot of usefull information here. Looking at all the posts it seems like my 1300.00 is the highest. I also called the police and they thought that 4 Chocolate bars being 1300.00 was astronomical. I to will be pursuing this with HBC and will post updates when i get info from them. I say lets go to WALMART
On Feb 27, 2008, John Said:
Hi Everyone
My son was caught stealing at a Zellers he was doing a co-op course there. So technically not even an employee. I got a letter from a mister K.Martin saying that i needed to pay 1300.00 by the end March 26 2008 or i can be sued. My son is 17 and he stole some chocolate bars. Of course i was disappointed with my son but 1300.00??? I spoke with the Manager and at first he answered some questions. I myself am a retail manager i asked since he my son was a minor should he have not had an adult present, his reply was no. I asked if i can see the file he said no and became upset. Do i as a parent not have a right to see by the store to see any evidence?????
I hope someone can educate me better on this.
On Feb 25, 2008, Mary Said:
I was also sent a letter from Patrick k. Martin after I was caught stealing a 12$ shirt from H&M. The letter threatens that if I do not pay the amount of 500$ in the next month they may or may not take me to civil court. I've read the comments from others about stealing from Zellers and not paying the amount asked for. Does anyone have an opinon if the poccedure of often not follow throughing would be the same if it was H&M?
On Feb 24, 2008, Monty Loree Said:
Hey Alana,
It all comes down to enforcability..
Since you're the age of majority, HBC/Zellers may take you to court.

I don't know if we've had anybody else here who was over 18.

My first impression is: get some money ready in case HBC / Zellers does take you to court.
On Feb 24, 2008, Alana Said:
I have a similar story to all of you.
I am a 19 year old female college student.
The life of a college student isnt easy financially
and on a terrible whim I tried to shoplift about $60 worth
of high end fashion earrings.
I realize it was wrong and suffered through the embarassment
as well as having a 1 year ban from ANY HBC store and a 1 year ban from the mall that it was in.
I am a first time offender, in all aspects.
I was searched, and the signed the papers and the whole bit.
They got back their earrings, not damaged.
I feel as if i was harassed in the office though.
I realized I was wrong, but they left the door open for any employees glaring eyes to look.
Other minor things that just bothered me about the whole situation.

I will probably be receiving one of these letters of extortion soon enough.

The amount will probably be for punishment only seeing how the received their product back, and everyone who was in the room was on the clock and being paid including the officer.

They told me in the office i will be receiving a fine for their loss, payment for the people involved, and for its affect on customers...
At the time I just nodded in agreement. I was scared.. and ashamed.

Since I am legally an adult I dont know if i SHOULD pay the fine when it comes in or not
(not like I have the money, seeing how thats why I took the earrings in the first place)

This whole thing seems blown out of proportion it was just a couple of earrings...
and they got them back
as well as I plan on writing a letter of apology.

Should I just pay it?
Ignore it?
Get a lawyer?

I just need a cheaper way out of this...
I really dont have money.
On Feb 11, 2008, I.Sin Said:
I think the letter is missing something;

the line:

"Without Prejudice"

Should read:

"Without Prejudice and Spelling"

since last time I checked, the esteemed professionals were known as:

BARRISTER AND SOLICIToR.

It seems that Li'l Kim is not big on detail such as how to spell her professional title.
On Feb 3, 2008, RA Said:
It is important to defend the Claim otherwise a judgment can be issued and be served on you as a creditor claim. It seems that small people are being legally harrased to derive a settlement out of court. Again, you can lie donw or walk away but you are better off to arrange to meet one lawyer to discuss the common class of claims against you folks. One of you should take the lead and get a lawyer interested through the law referral program that permits one-half hour free advice. I am not a litigant or have a vested interest in this matter. My issue is with the lawyer that is pursuing this matter on behalf of the plaintiffs. The claims appear to be vexacious and without merit. This is a bold attempt to use high-handed litigation to force a settlement from people that have admitted a wrong and have paid the price of embarrassment and prior disharmony with their families and friends. A member of the class of defendants should take the lead and arrange a lawyer that would be interested in dismissing these speculative actions.
On Feb 3, 2008, RA Said:
The REE online legal caselaw search can be found at:

http://www.canlii.org/en/index.html

All defendants should meet to find one lawyer to represent the group of claims issued in Small Claims Court. That way you can share a much smaller fee based on caselaw that supports your defence to dismiss the Claim WITH COSTS.
On Jan 28, 2008, Stig Nasty Said:
If anyone has access to "HBC v. White" I would be interested in reading it.
On Jan 28, 2008, pcb Said:
I have read the all the comments. Thank you very much for all the info.
I have received a similar letter. I felt that I have received an extortion letter.
Here is what I like to share with everyone.
1) My paralegal friend asked her friend (paralegal or lawyer) who had been dealing with small theft. The advice was: Ignore my letter. Do not response in writing or send money. The Small Theft Paralegal/lawyer have never seen any one being taken to court for small issues like mine. If I response, they think I am scared and more letters will follow.
2) My friend who works at the police department told me to ignore the letter too. I wanted to report to the police but she said don¡¦t bother.
3) My lawyer actually told me to write a letter back telling him that this was impeachable conduct. I can file a complaint to the Law Society of Upper Canada.
4) I called the Law Society of Upper Canada. The lawyer who issued my letter was licensed to practice. The address file with the Law Society is the same as the address on the letter (Don Mills Rd).
5) If any of you feel that it is necessary to file a complaint at the Law Society, here is the web site: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/public/a/complaints/
On Jan 28, 2008, courtney Said:
i just received the same letter from patrick k. martin for just under $1800 .
It was addressed to my father because i am only 16 im not sure what to do .
On Jan 28, 2008, Phil Said:
I agree that the best thing to do is to ignore these letters. Whether or not there is merit to any specific claim would depend upon the facts of that case. But the simple fact is that it is not cost-effective for the companies to pursue these claims in court. In the extremely unlikely case that you do get a statement of claim - get legal advice then.

Here is the citation for the Manitoba court dicision:

B. v. Arkin et al.
138 D.L.R. (4th) 309
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench
Court File No. CI 96-06-00055 St. Boniface

Zellers appealed it to the court of appeal and lost. The court of appeal decision is this:

Bond v. Zellers Inc.
[1996] M.J. No. 499
Manitoba Court of Appeal

Sorry, I know of no free on-line sources for this. You should be able to find it at any law library (at a courthouse or law school). If you have any lawyer friends ask them to download it from Quicklaw.
On Jan 25, 2008, Lynn Said:
from what I have found this is legal in the states, But here it is just something they do, Presedent has not yet been set in a court of law. I have not yet found one that was taken to court, just people that get scared and pay it.
On Jan 25, 2008, Lynn Said:
www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2005-06-09/news_story.php

here's another story.
On Jan 25, 2008, Lynn Said:
it's in this site. www.johnhoward.ab.ca/PUB/C11.htm
if you scroll tot he bottom it mentions Zellers ordered to repay money it charged mom for son's crime (1996, July 18 the Edmonton Journal).. In the document itself it mentions the story. Plus other information. My daughter was not charged. I am not paying this. I don't believe there will be a problem. I did consult MANY lawyers. I just thought I would gather some information. In the case that for some reason I do get a summons to civil court, then I will be prepared to argue my point. I'm not going to worry about this anymore.
On Jan 25, 2008, Monty Loree Said:
Lynn:
Do you have a link or information regarding this civil court case against Zellers?!!

I'm sure thousands of people would love to know about this type success on behalf of the parents.
On Jan 25, 2008, Lynn Said:
A parent took zellers to civil court and got their money back. I talked to a lawyer today and was told to ignore it. Or send them a letter stating I\'m not responsible. I will not be paying this
On Jan 25, 2008, J Coe Said:
This a completely reprehensible act by HBC and Zellers and such in my opinion. I have been a loyal Hudsons Bay Company, Home Outfitters and Zellers customer for years in my desire to suport Canadian compnaies, especially those who support Canadian olympic athletes. I am however, going to be seriously reviewing my options to determine which store I feel more comfortable shopping in. I can not morally or ethically support a corporation who uses threats to generate income.

I hope HBC reads this and understands that word of mout will have more power to decrease your shopper base than you will ever recover in your share of the "cut".

How terrible HBC - the oldest company int he world having to resort to this. Think about it. Consumers are becoming more aware and basing their shopping decisions on corporate ethics. If I was still planning to get married I would have revoked my wedding registry.

Shame on you
On Jan 21, 2008, RA Said:
SEND A COMPLAINT TO THE LAW SOCIETY - ITS FREE - http://www.lsuc.on.ca/media/helpform.pdf

IF ENOUGH PEOPLE COMPLAIN AND DO NOT GET A FAIR REPLY FROM THE LAW SOCIETY, PLEASE POST YOUR RESULTS. THESE CLAIMS MAY BE SPECULATIVE LITIGATION THAT COULD BE SUBJECT TO A CLASS ACTION AGAINST THE PLAINTIFF AND THEIR LAWYER.
On Jan 19, 2008, E, Richards Said:
Here's a interesting idea...HBC and their "friends" take all their shoplifting files, turn over the information to a shopfront lawyer with a box office and a two-bit law degree, makes him a deal; "60/40 on what you collect" and turns him loose. He has no real work to do, just a list of intimidating letters to send. So he creates the most threatening letter he can concoct, sends it off, collects what he can, gives HBC their cut and keeps the rest. As long as he is making money and HBC is making money, they are happy. They have no desire to actively pursue anyone--this is just easy money for them. And it has to be called extortion. But it is legal. Morally reprehensible definitely. I would not worry for one second about it. This "lawyer" has got a good meal ticket going and all he has to do is lick envelopes. And "Patrick Martin" is such a nice name, too. I have not spent a dollar at Zellers since we received the letter in the fall.
On Jan 15, 2008, MissX Said:
Hi all,

I read the whole thread and I have to say something.
At the beginning of last year I received so-called Civil recovery letter with the standard demand of $475, despite my sincere letter with apologies sent to the store director. The cost of taken and voluntarily returned undamaged merchandise was $7. I called a lawyer who specialized on small theft, and this is what she said:
First and most important - IGNORE THE LETTER. For the past 8 years that she has been practicing in Toronto, she claimed, NOBODY WAS TAKEN TO COURT regarding civil recovery on such miserable amounts of merchandise. These \"civil recovery\" letters are no more than intimidating tools. The stores hope that scared to death by this letter you will pay the demanded amount. The amount is standard and has nothing to do with real damage or cost of merchandise or whatever.
I ignored the letter which offered me to pay $475 by March 2007. In November, I received another letter asking to pay $575 by Dec26 or the store MAY take me to court. They wanted a Christmas gift from me :) Looks like they did annual cleaning in their papers, found my case and decided on one more attempt :) I ignore this letter too. I am sure, nothing will happen.
On Jan 13, 2008, margaret Said:
Hi Bill, Thanks for the response. I won't be sending any post dated cheques and I will wait to see what happens. I will post anything I receive from Patrick Martin's office on the blog. I am not excusing my son's actions in any way, shape or form but wanting 475.00 for an attempt to take less than 5.00 worth of candy (which was recovered in tact) amounts to extortion in my opinion. Especially since he has no previous record. What ever happend to "let the punishment fit the crime!" Marg
On Jan 9, 2008, Biff Loman Said:
Monty, that's the ultimate silver-lining on this. The flip side is that families are being put through emotional turmoil not knowing what to do with threats from huge corporations and the lawyers that represent them.
On Jan 9, 2008, Monty Loree Said:
Biff Loman,

If nothing else, it's a good scare tactic for the kids. It's a good tool to use to help discuss the issue with our kids.
On Jan 8, 2008, Biff Loman Said:
Marg,
The comments through the thread have made it pretty clear that the legal action is nothing more than an extortion attempt on the part of The Bay, Zellers, Claire's and others.

As far as I have seen, no one who has received one of these letters has actually been taken to court. They're hoping for a quick panic reaction of the family paying up.
On Jan 7, 2008, Marg Said:
we got a letter from Patrick Martin after my 16 yr. old son was caught trying to steal some candy (value less than $5.00) from Zellers in the beginning of Nov, 2007. The letter demanded $475.00 or face legal action. We sent a letter of appology written by my son, as well as a letter that we wrote indicating that our son will be councelled, has made a substantial contribution of toys to the toy drive and also sent Civil Recovery a cheque for $50.00 to appologize and pay costs. We just got a letter back saying that they will accept $100.00 post dated cheques payable at the end of each month beginning Jan 31, 08 until the amount is paid in full. I feel this is a rediculous amount to pay for $5.00 worth of candy. PLEASE ADVISE if anyone has any info.
On Jan 1, 2008, preet Said:
at the end of november i made the biggest mistake of my life. i shoplifted at zellers. 50 buck-ish worth of stuff. me and my friend both stole jewellery and make up. first time for both of us. we're both 14 years old, and were crying our eyes out when we got caught. We both made a HORRIBLE choice, and we really regret it.

Anyway,
now, 5 weeks later theres no letter in the mail asking for money or anything. but i'm still very scared.
how long after did you guys get the letter?
plz reply asap
On Dec 14, 2007, shelley Said:
Monty, just spoke with my son who said no paper work was done. My son said he asked to use the phone to call me but was denied access to the phone. I have yet to get a call from security either.Something is fishy about this whole thing.
On Dec 14, 2007, shelley Said:
I called Zellers and spoke to the manager 2 days ago and said I wanted more details. She said security would be calling me...of course no phone call. I will be asking my son about the "details"
On Dec 14, 2007, monty loree Said:
shelley,
Did zellers have your son sign off on the "official documents"?

On Dec 14, 2007, shelley Said:
thanks to you all this has been very informative. I have just contacted the fifth estate about this and I urge you all to do the same.
On Dec 14, 2007, shelley Said:
My son went into Zeller end of Oct to by some clothes with a debit card I gave him. while there he tried on a belt and forgot he had it on when he went to pay for the rest of the purchase. He was halled in by a security officer and explained what had happened. He paid for the belt and was told that "your clean this time." Now I get this letter in the mail demanding 475.00... We need to do something about this this is bogus....and its addressed to "Mr" which is ironic as I am a widow.
On Dec 14, 2007, kathleen Said:
thanks alot! i think i might just see what happens.
Im apprehensive about the situaion because she is not under 18.
On Dec 13, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
I'm not sure about paying for a lawsuit with your credit card. I"m sure no judge would force you to pay a judgement with your credit card!!

I don't think too many people have ever heard back from Patrick Martin's Law office.
On Dec 13, 2007, kathleen Said:
hi im in a similar situation: but in my case my daughter is 23 so i really dont know how to handle this. she feels really guilty and embarrassed. she received a letter from \"Patrick Martin\" threatening to sue and if she doesnt pay $500 they will take legal action. Another difference is that she stole from Winners.
She doesnt have $500 and neither do i really, i understand this is a serious situation, but im not sure about paying it. another thing is that they ask for a cheque or money order but \"civil recovery\" can take your credit card details. if do end up paying this i would pay credit card do you think this would matter??
On Dec 13, 2007, Britt Said:
E. Richards,
how has your situation unfolded since your last input? has the HBC taken any legal action? and at the age of 18 (a legal adult, is the situation the same? do they fail to follow through?)
thanks.
On Dec 13, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
At some point the teenager hits the agent of consent, or age of majority which is based on your province.

Good question.

On Dec 13, 2007, Britt Said:
also, thank you for that information karen, it is very interesting and helpful. are you 100% sure that we can ignore these rediculous demands?
thanks
On Dec 13, 2007, Britt Said:
hey everyone,
what about teenagers at the age of 18? as legal adults does this factor change zellers not pursuing with legal action?
On Nov 30, 2007, Karen Said:
I just received the letter from Patricia the lawyer asking for $475 ? $495. I just scanned it. It is very unusual for the her to be asking for the money to be sent to a post office box in Streetsville. Actually I think I am going to see where this box is. Is it in a "Hasty Market". I think that if HBC truly believed they were legally entitiled to this money then they would have an upfront office ie Head Office to collect the money.. and it would be followed up immediately upon non - payment ... just like their credit cards.

I don't think that anyone should "make waves" to anyone. Just quietly ignore it and it will go away. Personally, I have enough on my plate without having to fight with HBC.
On Nov 6, 2007, E. Richards Said:
|It's been more than three months since we chose to pass by our "pay by or else" date and there has been no follow up. (Surprise). I hope we all remember how ticked off we are at Zellers and HBC during the upcoming spending season...I know I will. Maybe we should e-mail HBC and let them know that their tactics are turning away a lot of customers.
On Oct 31, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
Hey Karen,
That is a GOOD piece of information.. THANKS!!
On Oct 31, 2007, karen Said:
I was at my lawyers today regarding another matter. He said retail stores have no legal right to demand this money and we have no legal obligation to pay it. He said to just ignore it.
On Oct 30, 2007, Karen Said:
Sounds good to me. But I still need to know more about this. Has anyone spoken to a lawyer who is willing to take it on? Is this truly bogus and a cash grab? Where can we find the case law "HBC v. White"? The letter from "Patrick Martin" indicates that HBC was entitled to punitive damages in some cases. However, punitive damages are court ordered. So what does that have to do with this cash grab?????
On Oct 30, 2007, Shelley Said:
I still say "CLASS ACTION!!"
On Oct 30, 2007, Karen Said:
Thanks for the answer.

My daughter was caught along with 3 of her friends. She won't tell me who they are but I think she will now!

I will spread the word.

On Oct 30, 2007, kenneth m Said:
the letter does not come registered....8 weeks past my payment due date and nothing.
DO NOT PAY...who's stealing from who?
On Oct 30, 2007, Karen Said:
I was surprised to find this blog.

My daughter was caught shoplifting eyeliner and nail polish...both recovered and still intact for sale.

We were told we would get a fine in the mail from HBC and as parents of a minor, we must pay it or face small claims court. We were told they did not know how much the fine would be but it would be for covering the costs of the investigation.

I Googled "HBC shoplifting fines" and found this blog.

I printed the pages from the website listed below from "Justice for Children and Youth".

If this information is correct, HBC CAN GO TO HELL.

Also, I wanted to know if this letter was sent by registered mail? If so, I will instruct my family not to sign for it. Just say "that person is not here and I am not comfortable signing for it because I can't be sure they will receive it and I don't want to be responsible"

I am going to look into this further. I am going to make it my personal project.

Let me know if it is a registered letter. I figure it must be because they would want proof it was received.

This law firm sounds bogus, but who knows. Lawyers will send out letters saying anything their clients want, as long as they get paid. I am going to check the Law Society for this name.
On Oct 15, 2007, kenneth m Said:
It's been 6 weeks past the "payment" due date and i've heard nothing from them. From what i understand now zellers will not try to prosecute anyone who doesn't pay because they risk the judgement going against them.

I've been keeping track of how much i spend at wal-mart now and although what my son did was wrong HBC is the big loser here.
On Oct 15, 2007, kate Said:
I\'m so glad I found this website. Your stories are exactly the same as mine:16 yr old daughter caught shoplifting at Zellers. The letter I recieved from \"Patrick Martin\" was exactly the same as the letter posted on May 25 in this blog. I did send a cheque but it bounced because they waited 6 weeks to cash it. I\'m now going to put a stop payment on the cheque. I\'m so relieved. Thank you all for sharing your stories. You\'ve eliminated my biggest stressor.
On Oct 6, 2007, Shelley Said:
Thanks Monty - that was great!!
I am still so pe'od at zellers, in fact even my parents refuse to shop there anymore!!
On Sep 15, 2007, Biff Loman Said:
Nice find Monty. That's pretty much what I assumed after reading about this practice.

"It is unlikely that a court would find parents negligent for allowing their teenager to go shopping with friends at the mall."

Exactly.

These companies are demonstrating that they're worse than teenagers who showed poor judgment. That is, unless you don't think extorting money from innocent parents is worse than shoplifting small items (or in our case, being with someone who was).
On Sep 15, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
I found this website and pdf document that explains what parents rights are..
It's 5 pages of good information about what you can do if you receive a demand letter from a company such as Zellers, Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart etc.

http://www.jfcy.org/PDFs/Civil-Recovery-Apr06.pdf
On Sep 15, 2007, andrea Said:
hehe ooops.. sunoco.. large gas company in canada
On Sep 14, 2007, Shelley Said:
Hi Andrea,

Who is Sunico?

Thanks
On Sep 14, 2007, andrea Said:
wow.. I think it sounds a bit "scammy" lol I have to call siunoco and get an update from them on monday :
On Sep 13, 2007, Shelley Said:
Well, surprise surprise, a rep from Zeller's did not show up, nor did the police who charged my son for stealing candy, for which they recovered unscathed... I was wondering if the "lawyer" might show up as well?? What a farce!! Zellers will be out my shopping money this xmas!!
On Sep 13, 2007, Shelley Said:
Andrea,

Zellers does endorse this lawyer, and zellers is behind it (zellers in our case)
It is not mail fraud per se (but it definitly is black mail at the hands of zellers) I am actually going to a meeting tonight with my son with zellers and the criminal justice society, it will be intersting if the topic comes up :)
On Sep 13, 2007, andrea Said:
Just called sunoco.. they said it was definitely mail fraud.. my advice is for anyone having hbc /zellers problems... calle dcustomer service and fax them your letter and they will investigate it :)
On Sep 13, 2007, andrea Said:
Hmm... interesting thoughts,... i just got one from same patrick martin and starting freakin out.. it was in my husbands name.. apparently went to this gas station last year and "prcured" 308 woroth of merchandise.. hmm we only ever buy gas at a gas station and it was two weeks after my husbands dad passed.. i doubt he robbed the place and left with gas.. said he left a promisary note? complete bs i think...
email me if anyone else has had the same thing please!!!
On Sep 6, 2007, kenneth m Said:
Well the due date on my letter has passed (sept 2)...i'll keep you informed if "patrick martin" sends anymore extortion letters =)
On Sep 5, 2007, Rachel Said:
I can't believe how many parents are being blackmail by this company.. Ya your right lawsuit...
On Sep 5, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
Shelley...

Interesting.. to say the least!!
Good work!
On Sep 5, 2007, Shelley Said:
Mike,
I have actually called the "lawyer" Patrick Martin. This is a woman. As soon as I said that I have proof that I as a parent was not negligent in supervising my son, she backed off. I also mentioned lawsuit? humph... I wonder why?
On Sep 3, 2007, Mike Said:
We find ourselves in the same situation as others here with regards to Zeller's.
To answer some other people's comments about the lawyer. Althougth, I didn't actually go up to his office, he is in fact
located at the address shown on his letter head. It appears that suite 300 is shared with many other tenants. It looks like he's legit.
I'm still not sure that I want to be blackmailed by an arrogant company that's calling into question my abilities as a parent.
On Aug 31, 2007, patrick Said:
I received this letter also, but although my
address was on it, it was to another name that I don't know, and since we are the original owners of the house, it was not someone who lived there before.

This letter I am sure is total B.S.

1.First you are asked to send a payment to a P.O. Box which I don't think Zellers would ask you to do.

2. I could not find any lawyer by that name listed in Toronto and to that adress, and that phone number was not listed on 411.

3. Zellers would contact you by phone at least before taking the time to get a lawyer involved. And since in all your situations
the kid stealing was caught and the merchandise returned, why would they send you this after, they would have done something at the time of the incident if they were going to do something.

I am reporting this letter to the police department. I believe this letter is sent by scammers and they are collecting their money from their P.O. Box.

Pat
On Aug 29, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
Hey Nancy,
Thanks for sharing...

No.. the stores never lost the items that were taken.. however they are saying that they want to be compensated for their time...

Much of that time is for the lawyer who is going to "sue you"...
On Aug 29, 2007, Nancy Said:
I have just received a letter from Patrick K. Martin. We also have been told the retailer \"Zellers Inc.\" is prepared to settle its claim for damages in return for a payment of $480.47. That seems to be a hefty penalty for an article that never even made it\'s way out of the store. The article was still in it\'s package and in my 15 year olds hand when the store security officer stopped my daughter inside the store by the mall exit,escorted her to a room to conduct an investigation. My daughter was put through alot while she was being investigated the security officer told her to empty her pockets and to take out her money and I.D. and put it out on to the table, which she did (this was against her rights as there was no police officer present during this time) my daughter was told by the security officer that she was very co-operative and honest and that she would not be convicted of shop lifting. He told my daughter that the article she had intended to take was still in the package and unharmed and it would be put back on the shelf for sale and this was verified by an employee who briefly entered the room during the time my daughter was being questioned. She had to sign a police statement and was told she is banned from the department store for 2 years and was threatened by the city police officer that he could report this incident to her present employer and she could ultimately lose her job. (scare tactic?) Unfortunately I wasn\'t even aware that my child was being detained by store security or was being questioned by a city police officer. I was told by my child what actually happened over the telephone, after her friend\'s parents dropped her off at home. I was at work at the time. I was out raged to hear what she did but also upset as to not being contacted. She was and is still being punished for her actions. And now, 10 days after the incident, I get this letter, with an enclosed pamphlet \"The Parental Responsibility Act\" RECOVERING LOSSES IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT...making it easier for victims of property crime committed by youth...Yes, Zellers was the victim of potential crime...my daughters intention was wrong but, nothing was lost. This letter is an insult to me as a parent. If the store had contacted me this letter would not be as upsetting. It seems that the Head Office takes things more seriously than the stores themselves.
As I was reading other stories it doesn\'t seem that the stores lost the merchandise from your children either.
And the rich get richer!
On Aug 25, 2007, E. Richards Said:
My daughter and I did a bit of research and in the end, I decided not to pay the $475 to Zellers as I am sure they won't come after me. I let her decide if she wanted to pay it in case they chase her, and she said no. So we have decided not to bow to the blackmail of HBC. I can certainly understand why a lot of people here do not want to set foot in Zellers/Hudson's Bay/Home Outfitters, etc. again. Good luck, everyone!
On Aug 17, 2007, Shelley Said:
Can you say "class action"?
On Aug 17, 2007, Shelley Said:
Piel & Chase Capital Corporation
1370 Don Mills Rd., Ste. 300,
North York, ON., M3B 3N7

Tel: 416-444-9120
Fax: 416-444-6041

This is what I found for that address on the letter. Something fishy?
On Aug 17, 2007, Rachel Said:

I am being Blackmail by Zeller/Hbc. I do understand what my 12 years old daughter did was wrong and she understands what she did is wrong.. But this letter I got in the mail today is blackmail... I have looked on the internet and there in no law in Canada that's says a mom or dad have to pay $475.00 to a Civil recovery fund what is that.. or if I don't pay it the 475.00 by sept 9 2007 it will be $900.00.. I don't understand I have never heard of a company doing this to a parent.. This is sick, she took $2.00 pair of earring that I tried to go back to the store and pay for after the police brought her home in tears.. And they would not take the money they told me it was OK that got them back.. And now a month and a half later. This blackmail letter.. I will never step foot on a hbc/zellers/home outfitters/designer depot ever again and I am also going to make sure all of my friends and family don't ether.. I am not paying this!!! It is Blackmail... If any body can help me with this please email me
rachel-ann-75@hotmail.com
On Aug 17, 2007, Biff Loman Said:
The extortion note reads, "The Hudson?s Bay v. White supports the position that shoplifters, in certain cases, are liable for punitive damages."

I googled but couldn't find anything about the case. It would be interesting to see what that judgement actually says.
On Aug 17, 2007, Blackmail Letter Said:
PATRICK K. MARTIN, B.A.,LL.B.,B.C.L.
BARRISTER AND SOLICITER

1370 DON MILLS ROAD, SUITE 300
TORONTO, ONTARIO, M3B 3N7
TEL (416) 847-3359 FAX (416) 847-3358

WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Dear Mr. Parent

Re: Zellers Inc. and Parent of Child
Recovery of Civil Damages/Our Case Number ZZZZ ? XXXXXX

I am external legal counsel for Zellers Inc. (the ?Retailer?) with respect to civil recovery matters. It is alleged that on March XX, 2007, a young person under your care and custody, (namely The Child) took unlawful possession of merchandise from the Retailer?s premises located at Zellers Inc, 489 Albert Street N. , Regina, SK. The retailer takes the position that it has right to claim damages from the said your person and/or you as a result of such action based on theft, damages and conversion. The Retailer?s right of civil recovery and payments made to the Retailer are separate and distinct from any criminal proceedings which may be instituted by the police.

The retailer also takes the position that it has the right to claim damages from you as a parent or guardian of the young person for failing to provide reasonable supervision of the young person. You have a right to be represented by a lawyer with respect to this claim.

The Retailer is prepared to settle its claim for damages in return for a payment of $475.00 (the ?Settlement Amount?), received on or before June XX, 2007. If this amount is not paid, I may receive specific instruction, whether or not to arrange for a law firm in your jurisdiction to commence legal proceedings before a civil court for all damages, plus interest, legal expenses, and other administrative costs incurred by the Retailer in connection with this matter. These latter amounts may increase if payment is not made by the noted date. This settlement amount is based on the costs associated with the detection, apprehension, recovery of goods and damages associated with shoplifting, hereafter referred to as Recovery Costs. Retailers have calculated the average Recovery Costs to be approximately $900.00. The settlement amount is significantly lower than the Recovery Costs, however, should the retailer be compelled to prove costs in Court, they would rely on the higher or actual amount of Recovery Costs in any civil claim field.

Should you choose to settle the Retailer?s payment of the Settlement Amount, payment should be made by cheque or money order, made payable to ?CIVIL RECOVERY? on behalf of the Retailer, with your name and the above case number noted thereon. The payment should be sent in the enclosed postage paid envelope or to the following address: P.O. Box 193, Streetsville, Ontario L5M 2B8.

I have been advised that Canadian retailers estimate shoplifting amounts to an annual expense exceeding $4.0 billion. Experience indicates that pursuing shoplifters for such losses reduces the number of shoplifting incidents, resulting in savings which can then be passed on to the consumers. The Hudson?s Bay v. White supports the position that shoplifters, in certain cases, are liable for punitive damages.

Any questions in regard to this matter are to be made in writing, and addressed to the undersigned.

Yours truly,

Patrick Martin , B.A.,LL.B.,B.C.L.

On Aug 17, 2007, Rachel Knight Said:
I am being Blackmail by Zeller/Hbc. I do understand what my 12 years old daughter did was wrong and she understands what she did is wrong.. But this letter I got in the mail today is blackmail... I have looked on the internet and there in no law in Canada that's says a mom or dad have to pay $475.00 to a Civil recovery fund what is that.. or if I don't pay it the 475.00 by sept 9 2007 it will be $900.00.. I don't understand I have never heard of a company doing this to a parent.. This is sick, she took $2.00 pair of earring that I tried to go back to the store and pay for after the police brought her home in tears.. And they would not take the money they told me it was OK that got them back.. And now a month and a half later. This blackmail letter.. I will never step foot on a hbc/zellers/home outfitters/designer depot ever again and I am also going to make sure all of my friends and family don't ether.. I am not paying this!!! It is Blackmail... If any body can help me with this please email me
rachel-ann-75@hotmail.com...
On Aug 17, 2007, Elm Said:
Recently I received the same letter for theft of a candybar. I too beleive this is blackmail. Should a person be accountable for thier actions I agree 100%. If anyone has involved a lawyer I would like to know the details. I will be contacting my lawyer regarding this issue today. We as parents should be responsible for actions however I do not understand how the amount of $475.00 is calculated. As far as the hudson bay/zellers corporation is concerned, if they beleive this is a productive process in solving this issue that is fine with me but on the other hand I will never set foot in or support this corporation again. I will post results from my experience as they happen. One small fish in a huge pond. I am definely not finished here.
On Aug 16, 2007, daniel Said:
k i was in zellers and my and my friend were walking around he decided to take something that wasnt his and he stole it i was just wit him we got caught and brought to the office he stole a bandanna the cost maybe 2$ i offred to pay for it and they said no it is not a matter of just paying for it so they gave me and him a letter to sing and since i didnt steal anything and was just there now there suing me for 475$ and he just had to wright an appoligie letter i dont steal casue for 1 it against my religion 2nd i payed for this wit mastercard and now they sent me back a letter saying that it got declined when last week i took out 5 bills so i kno there is nothing wrong wit it and now ther asking for 510$ and adminastrator fees wat do i do should i pay them or leave it please help me??
On Aug 16, 2007, daniel Said:
um i got a message in my inbox from monty loree that you comented on my coment well i dont see it so please tell me wat i can do wit the on i posted up
On Aug 16, 2007, kenneth m Said:
Shelley from the searching i have done i don't think that HBC would pursue legal action if they don't recieve payment. Quoted in the letter is the case of hudson's bay v. white, since that ruling (in hbc's favour) i can't find a case they have taken to court for default of payment...and think about it why would they risk losing out on thier cash cow because a few people don't bow to the intimidating scare tactics used. If you have a lawyer willing to accept the challenge i think a new precedent would be set...just my 2 cents=)
On Aug 16, 2007, Shelley Said:
I have been reading these comments, I had posted one earlier. The more I think of this, it is pure Blackmail what Zeller's is doing. I am actually thinking of going to a Lawyer (a friend) and pursuing it.
On Aug 15, 2007, kenneth m Said:
I've gotten the exact same letter from the same lawyer asking for 475 dollars after my 13 year old took a pair of sunglasses (which the store recovered undamaged). He was neither convicted or charged for that matter. I for one am not paying...see ya in court=)
On Aug 14, 2007, daniel Said:
k i was in zellers and my and my friend were walking around he decided to take something that wasnt his and he stole it i was just wit him we got caught and brought to the office he stole a bandanna the cost maybe 2$ i offred to pay for it and they said no it is not a matter of just paying for it so they gave me and him a letter to sing and since i didnt steal anything and was just there now there suing me for 475$ and he just had to wright an appoligie letter i dont steal casue for 1 it against my religion 2nd i payed for this wit mastercard and now they sent me back a letter saying that it got declined when last week i took out 5 bills so i kno there is nothing wrong wit it and now ther asking for 510$ and adminastrator fees wat do i do should i pay them or leave it please help me??
On Aug 6, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
BiffLoman,
That's an important point that I didn't know... Parent's AREN'T responsible for their childrens actions, financially.

I would still like to see acts or regulations to confirm this point, but it makes perfect sense. A child could bankrupt a parent by breaking a few windows, stealing a car etc.
On Aug 6, 2007, BiffLoman Said:
From the link (http://www.johnhoward.ab.ca/PUB/C11.htm#11) in the post by ThickenMyWallet below:

"However, a parent in Winnipeg paid the damages and later took Zellers to court to reclaim the payment; the court ordered Zellers to repay the money on the grounds that the letter was threatening and intimidating and "there is no general rule that parents are liable for the torts (wrong-doings) of their children by virtue of their status as parents" (Zellers ordered to repay..."
On Aug 6, 2007, E. Richards Said:
We did a little more research and found that in eight or so Canadian cities, no lawyer from legal aid (who had been contacted by parents receiving the letter) could recall a time when Zellers actually followed through with the threat. I think they are counting on fear to collect what they can and have worded the letter in such a manner as to intimidate. Another blog pointed out how it was virtually impossible for Zellers to prove the parent was not supervising the child.
On Aug 6, 2007, Biff Loman Said:
They aren't /actually/ suing people though, are they? They're /threatening/ lawsuits unless you cough up several hundred dollars. If they were actually suing I don't think I would have a problem like I do with what E. Richards called blackmail. I doubt any of these will ever progress any further - these letters are only phishing for intimidated families to send them money.
On Aug 6, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
Hey E Richards,
I agree that it is extreme.. I'm sure Zellers is trying to make a point. By going to those lengths, they are making a statement about theft. The best part about what they are doing is getting people like ourselves talking about it and creating awareness about it.

Prior to this situation, I had no idea that Zellers was suing families for their kids shoplifting.


On Aug 5, 2007, E. Richards Said:
My daughter and I also received a the same letter from Zellers. I am calling it blackmail, and if I do decide that we are going to pay it, I will certainly let Zellers and the Hudson Bay Company know that is the last red cent they will ever get from me. I understand that shoplifting is a problem, but these are kids and first time offences. Zellers is being a little too vengeful, I believe
On Jul 26, 2007, Shelley White Said:
I too have received such letter from this same lawyer. My son had stolen 99 cents worth candy. My son was dead wrong in his actions, but he does not have the money to repay it (they gave us less than a month to pay) nor do I. I am not going to pay it, as this letter states that I was not making sure my son did not get into trouble. He is 16!! He has more rights than I do for goodness sake when it comes to the legal system.
On Jun 4, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
Hey Biff Loman,
That's an interesting point and question...

We should talk about this in the forums...
If a person accompanies another person who steals something, should they be liable for any charges.??
On Jun 1, 2007, Biff Loman Said:
My daughter got one of these letters (postmarked in Florida) from Claire's Accessories. The only problem was that she didn't steal anything, she was accompanying another girl that did.

Isn't this assuming guilt? Isn't that the opposite of how it's supposed to work?

I will fight this to the end of the world if they take it any further.
On May 29, 2007, ThickenMyWallet Said:
Legally, no. Zellers has lost when challenged before:

http://www.johnhoward.ab.ca/PUB/C11.htm#11

Morally, I agree with Monty Loree - if its the first time then kids will be kids and they'll be stupid sometimes. But if it is a repeat offender than perhaps the parents should be taught a lesson as well.

I feel like I am in university ethics class again!

On May 26, 2007, Monty Loree Said:
I'm more concerned about the parents. These are good people with a stable background...
They've been married for 20 years, own their home, have good jobs. They treat their kids well.

Where as you try to bring up your children properly, sometimes they're going to go out and do stupid things.

You just hope you don't get 10 of these lawyers letters asking for $5000 in legal fees.

It's a good way to teach the kids the lesson, but it's pretty stressful on the parents.
On May 25, 2007, Riscario Insider Said:
Why not let the courts decide? Going to court should leave a stronger impression on the child.

Given that a retailer's involved, I'm surprised they aren't using advertising techniques: Only $475, Reg $900. Save $425. While supplies last

:)