Macy’s Banned From Detaining And Fining Alleged Shoplifters, Judge Rules

by MR Magazine Staff

A Manhattan court judge ruled in favor of a class action lawsuit against Macy’s on Monday, in a case that looks into New York’s general business and obligations laws. The business law statute states: “A retail establishment for the purpose of investigation or questioning … as to the ownership of any merchandise … shall be in defense to such action that the person is detained in a reasonable manner.” The second statute gives retailers further power: “An adult shall be civilly liable to the operator of the establishment.” Penalties cannot exceed $500, and the retailer can charge five times the amount of the stolen merchandise. The laws are meant to shield retailers. The opinion from Judge Manuel Mendez states: “Macy’s has combined the power it was given under the statutes by using this power as a double-edged sword instead of a shield.” He reasoned further that there is no language in the statures that allows Macy’s to detain an individual once an internal investigation is complete. The actions the class action alleged were seen as a violation of due process. Read more at The Guardian.