Maine Revised Statutes

§8302. Civil recovery

1. Liability.  Any person who unlawfully takes or attempts to take merchandise from a merchant is liable to the merchant in accordance with provisions of this chapter.
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
2. No limitation.  The provisions of this chapter may not be construed to prohibit or limit any other cause of action that a merchant may have against a person who unlawfully takes merchandise from the merchant.
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
3. Civil recovery.  Any person who unlawfully takes or attempts to take merchandise from a merchant is civilly liable to the merchant in an amount consisting of:
A. Damages equal to the retail price of the merchandise if the item is not returned in a merchantable condition; and [1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW).]
B. A civil penalty equal to 3 times the retail price of the merchandise, but not less than $50 or more than $500. [1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW).]
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
4. Written demand.  The fact that an action may be brought against an individual as provided in this chapter does not limit the right of a merchant to make a written demand that a person who is liable for damages and penalties under this chapter remit the damages and penalties prior to the commencement of any legal action.
A. If a person to whom demand is made complies with the demand, that person incurs no further civil liability for that specific act of retail theft. [1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW).]
B. Any demand under this section must be accompanied by a copy of this chapter. [1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW).]
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
5. Criminal prosecution.  A criminal prosecution under Title 17-A, chapter 15 is not a prerequisite to an action under this chapter and such a criminal prosecution does not bar civil action. An action under this chapter does not bar a criminal prosecution under Title 17-A, chapter 15.
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
6. Failure to prosecute.  If a merchant files suit to recover damages and penalties pursuant to this chapter, and the merchant fails to appear at a hearing in such proceedings without excuse from the court, the court shall dismiss the suit without prejudice and award costs to the defendant.
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
7. Fraudulent prosecution.  Any person who knowingly uses provisions of this chapter to demand or extract money from a person who is not legally obligated to pay a penalty may be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or by both.
[ 1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 288, §4 (NEW).