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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Twinsburg, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Description

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Ohio
    My husband and I were stopped and detained after leaving a Wal-Mart. Someone had attempted to steal some merchandise. A so-called "good samaritan" gave the description of a man wearing a Browns' jacket got into a silver SUV. My husband was forced to sit on the guardrail in the dark for aprox 20 min. waiting for another policeman to bring the Wal-Mart LP associate to identify him. The policman apologized, but when my husband asked to speak to the LP associate he was dismissed without an apology. This ordeal traumatized my husband and he experienced chest pains into the next day. He is still very upset by it. I emailed the manager of the Wal-Mart and received a telephone call apologizing, more like trying to explain why this happened and making excuses. I told him apologizing to me will not make my husband feel better. I posted this story on my Facebook page where a lawyer friend from school, who lives out of state advised me to get a lawyer....my dilemna is.....I have never needed a lawyer before this and am clueless as to what kind of lawyer to employ. Can anyone advise me as to whether I should persue this matter and how can I find someone to help us.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,891

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    Pursue the matter against whom? Nobody has any liability here. The all apparently acted in good faith. An apology is likely to be all you're going to get.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    I would also remove your email address. That is a great way to get spammed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Twinsburg, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    There are certain guidelines that loss-prevention must follow
    http://www.crimedoctor.com/shoplifting3.htm
    According to this web-page...he did everything, you're not supposed to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    Debra, this is Ohio's detention of shoplifters statute.


    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2935.041

    Without reading the case law I would say "probable cause" can be articulated from a witness?

    If you believe they detained you in violation of the statute, consult an attorney. Call the Bar Association for a referal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    Quote Quoting BOR
    View Post
    Debra, this is Ohio's detention of shoplifters statute.


    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2935.041

    Without reading the case law I would say "probable cause" can be articulated from a witness?

    If you believe they detained you in violation of the statute, consult an attorney. Call the Bar Association for a referal.
    Debra's link was with regards to the actions of the loss prevention personnel. However, we really do not know what the LP people did as this only involved LP in an in-field lineup and not in any store detention.

    Debra, the police are not going to concern themselves too much with whether or not the store personnel met the minimum standards to believe a theft occurred - they'll sort that out later. Their immediate concern is the apprehension of a suspected shoplifter. And, based upon the description, it seems there was some reasonable suspicion for the detention.

    If the store cannot give your husband satisfaction in some way (an apology, money, etc.) then he can always pay an attorney to sue them. Though he will have to articulate damages and make a claim to the store for those damages, first.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    What kind of person has chest pains over being detained when they know they've done nothing wrong? If he didn't have any merchandise in his possession that he didn't have a receipt for, there was nothing to be done but to wait for it to be cleared up. Chest pains? I'd suggest he see a cardiologist because he's got other problems than this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Twinsburg, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    My husband is 57 years old and has never had a speeding ticket and was actually scared by what happened. It's called a panic attack...You should not even be on here as you are no help what so ever by pointing out that there must be something wrong with my husband other than physically which you implyed, or are you pretending to be a Doctor too. If you can't help..... I suggest you keep your nasty comments to yourself and let legitimate answers to my query be addressed.

    Thank you for your help and advise.

    Thank you for your comments and advice. The immidiate vacinity in question would be a 1/4 mile down the road and there was no merchandise stolen....only attempted by someone else and left before they exited the store. Just to clarify some important facts...The whole thing made less sense after talking with the manager. I will consider your recomendations.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    does not look like a person who they wish to detain must submit

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Is It Unlawful to Stop and Detain Someone Based on a "Good Samaritan's" Descripti

    Most of what you say makes no difference whatsoever. Most people do not understand what is meaningful legally. This is NOT a civil rights violation in the least. Only the government or its employees can violate your Constitutional rights. Walmart owes you no duty. At best, your husband has a minor case of false imprisonment, which you could neither prove or prove any damages for. You personally have no claim whatsoever.

    Your husband has no actual damages and certainly not enough to be worthwhile for any recovery big enough for any attorney to care.

    Walmart and its insurers can afford the best lawyers and lawyers with experience in this area.

    You can't claim medical damages without medical evidence and expert testimony. Your husband will be put through a grinder that will make the Walmart experience look like a picnic.

    Sure, talk to any attorney. Talk to all the attorneys in your area. Nobody is going to bother with this non-case.

    I have lots of experience in this area of law.
    You are dreaming. No payday for you.

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