During our vacation in Miami 2 weeks ago, we were shopping in a major department store and two security offices went to my brother and told him that he had to go with them because he stole something. They took him too the back of the store, took a picture of him, made a copy of his ID and showed him the surveillance footage where shows that he supposedly stole something. In the tape it was not clear if he grabbed something. After that they asked him to empty his pockets. They didnt find anything and let him go. Note that the cops were not called.
My brother also told them that he was there on vacation and they asked him for his home adress which he gave.
Now yesterday we received a letter from a company in Orlando representing the store asking us to pay USD 200 in order to avoid a civil lawsuit. My mother said she will pay the USD 200 in order to avoid problems but my question is:
Is this normal in the states? I mean even if you are innocent, can they still start a civil lawsuit against you?