In Michigan when a person is accused by a store, detained by loss prevention, or arrested by police, for retail fraud it is not uncommon for that person to receive a letter in the mail asking for civil damages. These are referred to as Civil Demand Letters. The letter is usually from a lawyer or law firm that often is not even from the state of Michigan (for example, for Walmart cases in Michigan involving alleged shoplifting the law offices of Michael Iran Asen, P.C. in Greenvale, New York handles these civil matters). People who receive these letters often have many questions.
Are civil demand letters in Michigan legal? Yes. Michigan Compiled Law 600.2953 allows the merchant to send these letters. This law provides that a merchant who is a victim can seek the following:
- the full price of any unrecovered property;