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Old 03-05-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
Potemkin
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Default Banned from Walmart, for life

http://consumerist.com/2010/03/why-w...y-receipt.htmlWhy Was I Banned From Walmart For Not Showing My Receipt?

By Chris Morran on March 5, 2010 2:33 PM 0 views


Consumerist reader Jeremy says he's recently been barred from entering any Walmart store in the country. Why? Because he politely declined to show his receipt to a greeter.
Rather than try to retell the story, here it is straight from Jeremy's letter to the folks at Walmart corporate:

In the late afternoon my wife, infant son, and I went to Walmart and bought groceries and three Bluray discs. After paying for our merchandise, upon exiting the store we set off the RFID alarm. The greeter told me that she needed to check my receipt, and I declined such a check, explaining that I had paid for all my merchandise. We continued to walk to our car, where I unloaded our bags and returned my cart. Upon returning to the car, two Walmart Asset Protection employees verbally identified themselves as such (though they wore nothing to visually identify themselves as employees of Walmart) and asked to see my receipt since I had triggered the RFID alarm. I declined, and they insisted that they had a right to see my receipt. I asked if they were law enforcement officers, and they said "No," so I again stated that I declined to have my receipt checked, but would be willing to allow a law enforcement officer to see my receipt. At that time, two police officers who were already on the premises walked up, and upon the senior officer's request for my receipt, I provided it. He handed it to the asset protection employee, who looked it over to his satisfaction and was apparently satisfied that I had not stolen anything.

If the story ended here, I would have nothing to be disappointed about: my right not to submit to a search by a private party was respected, and Walmart's right to detain suspected shoplifters for a reasonable amount of time while awaiting a law enforcement officer for an investigation (in accordance with the common law concept of Shopkeeper's Privilege) was also respected. No one's rights were violated; I was satisfied that my personal rights had been respected, and Walmart's representatives were satisfied that Walmart's property rights had been respected.

At this point, however, one of the Asset Protection employees stated to the other (in paraphrase; I do not recall the exact words), "I don't think we want people like him here, do you think we should ban him?" to which the first replied (again in paraphrase), "Yes, let's go get the paperwork." My driver's license was taken by the police officer and processed. I was asked to sign a notification of trespass by the Walmart employee, and the officer issued me a trespass warning. And so I was banned for life from all Walmart properties. I was very surprised by this decision, since I have never in my life shoplifted, let alone from Walmart. I was neither rude nor belligerent to Walmart employees, nor did I seek in any way to deprive Walmart of its legal right to detain me for a reasonable time while they called police to investigate the matter. I simply insisted politely that my right to refuse a search by a private party be respected. A small, non-invasive search, but a search nonetheless, and one which I am fully within my rights to decline.

It seems odd to me that Walmart chose to ban me even after the Asset Protection employees had verified to their satisfaction that I had not shoplifted. I can only guess that I somehow unintentionally offended someone; I do recall one of the four people I interacted with (I do not know which exactly of the two officers and the two Walmart employees) saying that I was being a "jerk" by insisting that my right not to be searched be respected. Is it Walmart's policy to ban people who decline to submit to searches they are not legally obligated to submit to?

That letter was sent on Jan. 11 and as of this morning Jeremy had yet to hear back:

I received no response by the end fo February, so I called Customer Relations and asked if they'd received my letter and have now spoken to two employees at my local Walmart where the incident happened. Despite some major confusion over the issue (one employee had no idea I'd even written a letter, and asked me if I was the father of some girl who apparently had been arrested for shoplifting), it was ultimately made clear to me that Walmart had no intention of lifting my ban and apparently does have a policy of banning people who (fully within their legal rights) decline receipt searches.”
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:11 AM   #2
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it was ultimately made clear to me that Walmart had no intention of lifting my ban and apparently does have a policy of banning people who (fully within their legal rights) decline receipt searches.”
This is perfectly in their rights. Private businesses have a right to ban anyone anytime from their businesses, as long as it is not for a Constitutionally sanctioned reason (Race, religion, sex, sexual orientation in some locales, etc.).
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:40 AM   #3
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Agree with Dave here.

What makes all the difference to me is that the RFID alarm went of, so naturally there was a suspicion of something being wrong. Smartass was playing on his right not to be searched, fine, but Walmart also has the right to ban him.

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Old 03-06-2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlerdave
Private businesses have a right to ban anyone anytime from their businesses, as long as it is not for a Constitutionally sanctioned reason (Race, religion, sex, sexual orientation in some locales, etc.).
Private businesses have a right to ban anyone any time, period. The Constitution restricts the behavior of government, not private citizens. If you don't want [fill in the blank] in your business, you perfectly free to keep them out, Constitutionally speaking.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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LOLOLOL Some guys just never learn.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:45 PM   #6
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All right then,
When leaving the W-mart and the alarm goes off do you ?
(assuming you do want to be able come back in the future )

a. drop and cover ?
b. ignore it and keep on keeping on.
c. do your best act of total confusion.

or d. wip out mini-mac-10 and blaze away?

!
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Last edited by Sonny; 03-06-2010 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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S:
Quote:
"All right then, When leaving the W-mart and the alarm goes off do you ?
(assuming you do want to be able come back in the future )

a. drop and cover ?
b. ignore it and keep on keeping on.
c. do your best act of total confusion.

or d. wip out mini-mac-10 and blaze away?"
How about use a little common sense? Clearly too much to ask for some folks, but there it is.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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It sometimes happens, on my rare trips to Walmart that whatever item I bought has one of the chips that sets off the alarm. The cashiers swipe them through but it doesn't always 'take' or sometimes they do it wrong. If the alarm goes - I stop, turn right around into the store & smilingly offer my bag to whatever staff member is closest to the door. I think it's a legit request if you set off the alarm - I'm not about to make their job difficult when an alarm HAS gone.

Once I was 'randomly' stopped & asked to have my bags gone through - after exiting the store. That I refused. No alarm, no valid reason.

I shop with a backpack & when I'm entering a grocery or other bulk item store for the first time, when I'm at the cash, before opening it, I open it wide & show the cashier there's nothing in there before I go through the cash - saves hassles & it's common sense. With a lot of shoplifting out there, I don't blame stores for wanting to be sure their product is paid for. Once a store knows me, it's all good.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #9
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Anti-shoplifting devices are installed to try and keep costs down. If the damn thing goes off, I take the two-three seconds it usually takes to prove it was in error and happily go on my way. I understand loss-prevention and dont find it inconvenient. Unchecked theft that forces higher prices is far more a pain in the ass.

The guy wanted to be a dick, hope he enjoys the fruits of his labor.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:17 PM   #10
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Please can I too be banned from Fail*Mart for life? Pretty please.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:27 PM   #11
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How could he have been legally trespassing when he just purchased items from the store, and he was being detained until law enforcement verified that he wasn't a shoplifter ?

Sorry, but Walmart AND the police department would be looking at a civil suit for that stunt of illegally providing Walmart employees with my state issued driver's license when no crime had been committed, and then issuing a police "warning" for trespass when I was unlawfully detained the SECOND after they verified I wasn't a shoplifter.

I routinely refuse non-club store, non law enforcement searches of my purchases.

I guess wallyworld is too used to dealing with their China stores ??
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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He was not charged with trespassing at all. He was given a trespass warning by police at Walmart's request. That means, 'do not come back -- if you do, you will arrested on the spot for trespassing'. That is perfectly legal.
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* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
He was not charged with trespassing at all. He was given a trespass warning by police at Walmart's request. That means, 'do not come back -- if you do, you will arrested on the spot for trespassing'. That is perfectly legal.
That's not what the article says:
Quote:
I was asked to sign a notification of trespass by the Walmart employee, and the officer issued me a trespass warning
That indicates to me a PRESENT violation. Not a future one. Neither one
I wold have signed, since up to that point, I was lawfully in their parking
lot and at that point was illegally detained.

If they wanted to serve me with legal process, they could follow the law like everybody else is required to do.

At the point it became a civil-law matter, the police were over-reaching their authority.

YMMV
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:30 AM   #14
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You are mistaken. When you are barred from premises, the police can ask you to sign a document acknowledging that you have received a trespass warning. That is what a notice of trespass is. The author was not arrested for, charged with nor cited for trespass.
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* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
You are mistaken. When you are barred from premises, the police can ask you to sign a document acknowledging that you have received a trespass warning. That is what a notice of trespass is. The author was not arrested for, charged with nor cited for trespass.
And I believe you are mistaken in your interpretation of the article, but it's a bit obtuse to really know what happened, or even WHERE it happened.

Must be a Washington thing, because no such written "notice of trespass" exists in the California Penal Code.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:17 PM   #16
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http://www.crimedoctor.com/shopping_...security_1.htm
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* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
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* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:35 PM   #17
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We have it in AZ and I've used it. It comes in handy in domestic issues. If the (usually) female employee is too frightened to get a restraining order, but we have trouble with the (usually) male half, we will "trespass" his ass. It allows the company to remove him from the property and keep him off. It has prevented some nasty issues in the past. I have also used it to bar a person from the property and prevent him from harassing an employees friends when she has finally had enough and gone into hiding.

I have also had to use it on a few ladies who suspected or had knowledge that the bitch her old man is banging works the same shift as him and drives that little blue truck. I feel bad for the wife, but I cant have her torching the gals truck or running her down in the parking lot.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
As I said. NO such "written notice of trespass" is encoded in the CA Penal Code. A verbal warning is sufficient.

Additionally from the article, it states that unlawful detention by the
"mall cops" to issue a Mall-cop "notice of trespass" is unlawful detention (a felony in CA BTW).

Once you are asked to leave you have to comply within a reasonable amount
of time. They cannot legally detain you, having already told you you were trespassing, to have you sign something to advise you that you are banned for life.

That is what civil process and surveillance cameras are for.

As I said. The police seriously over-reached in this case by providing confidential DMV information to the security guards (civilians), once it had been established a crime HAD NOT been committed.

But we all know who pays the most sales tax in town.

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Old 03-07-2010, 11:39 PM   #19
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As I said. NO such "written notice of trespass" is encoded in the CA Penal Code. A verbal warning is sufficient.
But it's a helluva lot easier to prove if you have a written record that you gave a written notice to a particular person on a particular date.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:42 PM   #20
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But it's a helluva lot easier to prove if you have a written record that you gave a written notice to a particular person on a particular date.
Of course it is. That's a store policy for civil liability protection, not the
criminal law.

But you are under NO legal obligation to stick around while they do their policy paperwork, and if they prevent you from leaving after telling you that you are trespassing, ESPECIALLY if the police are there and have verified there has been no crime committed, then they are unlawfully detaining you, which at least in my state, is a serious crime.

While I fully understand Glock's application, that is not what we are talking about in this discussion, vis a vis the posted article.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:49 PM   #21
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No, the main reason they give the written notice is that it eliminates a major problem of proof in a subsequent criminal prosecution for trespassing.

If the person is seen on their premises two years later, then they don't have to rely on someone's memory of what was said.

And no, the patron was under no obligation to wait around while they prepared the notice. He could have just gone home. But that's not what he did.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:50 PM   #22
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BG:
Quote:
"s I said. NO such "written notice of trespass" is encoded in the CA Penal Code. A verbal warning is sufficient."
There is no law against asking a person to sign an acknowledgement that they have been given a trespass warning. Such a written acknowledgement removes any claims in subsequent court actions or trials that the person did not receive, hear or understand the verbal warning. If I were the property owner in that situation, I would certainly keep such a form on hand and ask people given a trespassing warning to sign it.
----------
Quote:
"Additionally from the article, it states that unlawful detention by the "mall cops" to issue a Mall-cop "notice of trespass" is unlawful detention (a felony in CA BTW)."
Read the article again. He was not in any way detained by the mall cops. They did not grab him, demand that he not leave, or hinder his exit from the premises in any way. All they did was come up and talk to him. He could have walked away at any time.
----------
Quote:
"The police seriously over-reached in this case by providing confidential DMV information to the security guards (civilians), once it had been established a crime HAD NOT been committed."
I think that the police are perfectly within their rights to give the name of the person to the owner of the premises when a trespass warning is issued to that person. But if you read the article, there is nothing there that says the Walmart security people were given any information of any kind by police.
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* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:53 PM   #23
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BG:There is no law against asking a person to sign an acknowledgement that they have been given a trespass warning. .
But there is a law against holding a person to sign such an acknowledgement under color of authority.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #24
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BG:
Quote:
"But there is a law against holding a person to sign such an acknowledgement under color of authority."
Since the article does not state that was done, what is your point?
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* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
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* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:58 PM   #25
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----------I think that the police are perfectly within their rights to give the name of the person to the owner of the premises when a trespass warning is issued to that person. .
Perhaps in your state. Not in mine.

It's a misdemeanor for the police officer to give my dmv information to a civilian who is not expressly authorized and has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the state, when no crime has been committed. All we have is what the article stated. That the police determined no crime had been committed.

Trespass doesn't occur until AFTER you are told to leave and either refuse to leave or return after being told to leave.

The police officer "processed" his DL. The mall cops didn't get their information for the 'trespass warning' out of thin air.


We agree to disagree.
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