What You Need to Know About Civil Recovery


What Is Civil Recovery?

Under tort law, civil recovery refers to the legal practice of recovering damages in money caused by an offense. When theft at retail occurs, civil recovery begins with sending offenders a demand notice with regards to reimbursement of their actions; should they fail to respond, letters demanding further compensation may be sent as well as filing legal actions with courts. Kangs Solicitors is an established and civil recovery law firm with offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Our expertise in civil law covers commercial litigation, insolvency and civil fraud proceedings as well as asset recovery/civil rehabilitation/freezing orders in property cryptocurrency disputes/ Intellectual property disputes cases.

What Types of Cases Exist?

Civil Demand

With Civil Demand, retailers issue letters demanding payment for expenses related to an incident. If buyers fail to respond within the specified timelines, subsequent letters could demand additional money as payment is demanded from them.


Restitution refers to monetary compensation provided to victims for losses they experienced as a result of shoplifting. Shoplifters suspected of being responsible may agree to pay certain sum as part of a plea bargain agreement; by striking a fair restitution deal with them early, negotiations could help bring cases faster to an end and demonstrate your honesty and ethics.

Court-Ordered Restitution

If parties cannot agree, a judge may order restitution to compensate victims of financial loss.

What Kind of Businesses Can Benefit From Civil Recovery?

Every business that falls victim to theft would benefit from creating and implementing an effective civil recovery program. While shoplifting may be one of the more widely known types of theft from retail stores, coupons returns theft of employees as well as vendor theft are other forms of loss.

The following industries typically qualify:

  • Retail
  • Food Service
  • Hospitality
  • Themed/Amusement/Animal Parks
  • Theaters

What should you consider before pursing Civil Recovery?

State Statutes

Civil recovery is governed by state statutes that outlines requirements, limits on recovery and much more. Retailers looking to take legal action should understand both their rights under civil law as well as obligations to ensure compliance.


While retailers might be able to recover losses and contribute towards measures preventing further losses through civil recovery, their success depends on state laws. Before beginning this process retailers should carefully assess potential gains and losses; without an in-house legal team or living in an area which does not allow the recovery of attorney costs seeking civil court for shoplifting cases could prove more expensive than its benefits.

Moral & Societal Obligations

Civil recovery may not be the right financial strategy for your company; however, adopting a zero-tolerance policy on shoplifting could still serve as a moral obligation and encourage shoplifters to follow an appropriate path that could benefit retail overall.

Criminal Charges

Some states mandate criminal charges be filed before businesses may pursue civil recoveries; however, most treat both options separately. It depends on the seriousness of the offense as well as what type of penalties businesses wish shoplifters to face for their acts. Whether or not your business pursues either option depends upon a number of factors including severity and your business goals for suspect shoplifters who stole from them.

Why Is Civil Recovery an Excellent Investment Opportunity?

Reduce Recidivism

Civil recovery could reduce the chances of repeat shoplifters. Not only is it an effective means of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions, but it’s also an excellent financial deterrent; for example if someone stole one candy bar for $1 and paid $100 as penalties – repeating such mistakes might seem riskier than taking the financial hit and making the same mistakes again.

Recoup Losses

Civil recovery laws generally allow retailers to recover the proceeds of any illegal acts committed against their store as well as penalties and attorney’s costs associated with such criminal acts, along with value stolen property which is taken. Businesses may thus recoup value stolen property while helping fund loss prevention programs for future cases.

Support Your Industry

Retail is facing significant losses. While it is tempting to consider these losses a cost of doing business, this approach may encourage shoplifters to continue stealing from both you and your competitors. Civil recovery could not only help your company thrive financially but can be an excellent way to support industry development as a whole.