Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Is it legal to make a customer to open and display the contents of her purse?

This was done to my ex-daughter-inlaw without provacation and seemingly for

no reason as none was given.

She had taken nothing from this store, but it certainly was embarrassing for her because she shops there frequently.

Just curious, because Ross's did the same thing to my own daughter years ago. However I had given her a telaphone cord she needed and it did set off the door alarm.

Asked on 6/14/13, 1:27 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Phillip D. Wheeler, Esq. Phillip D. Wheeler, Attorney At Law

This is called the storekeepers privilege. If they have reason to believe that they are being the victim of theft, security can sometimes search the person or give them the option to wait for police to arrive.

DISCLAIMER: This is general information only and based upon limited information. Facts that could change the outcome have not been evaluated. This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of a retainer agreement hiring me or my firm.

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Answered on 6/14/13, 8:31 pm
John Laurie Gertz and Laurie

Yes if there was reason to believe that something was being stolen.

This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter hiring me or my firm.

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Answered on 6/15/13, 10:48 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Can they force and "make" you?

No.

The police can when they get you to jail though.

If innocent, open the purse and avoid arrest. If guilty, shut up and hire an attorney.

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Answered on 6/20/13, 3:45 pm


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