Combating the shoplifter: An examination of civil recovery laws
This exploratory study examines the nature and extent of civil recovery laws in the United States. Civil demand/recovery laws allow merchants to financially punish offenders who shoplift and then recover their losses in the civil courts, if necessary. Through the content analysis of state laws (n = 50) this study found that all states have recovery laws that allow retailers to recoup any losses related to actual damages from adult offenders, and in some states, juveniles. Additionally, some state statutes also allowed for retailers to levy additional fines (n = 12), above and beyond actual damages, while 49 states also allowed merchants to further financially penalize offenders based on a fixed, variable, or multiplier-based penalty structure. The civil recovery process was also found to consist of four elements: (1) apprehension; (2) demand; (3) recovery in civil court; and (4) termination.
Brian R. Johnson and Timothy S. Carter. "Combating the shoplifter: An examination of civil recovery laws" Journal of Applied Security Research 4.4 (2009): 445-461.