HOUSE BILL No. 2078
An Act concerning civil actions; relating to shoplifting; parents of minors; amending
K.S.A. 60-3331 and repealing the existing section.
Section 1. K.S.A. 60-3331 is hereby amended to read as follows: 60-
3331. (a) Except as otherwise provided, a merchant may file a civil action
to receive recover a civil penalty against any adult or emancipated minor
person who shoplifts from that merchant. If the merchant does not re-
cover the merchandise in merchantable condition, the merchant shall be
entitled to a civil penalty for an amount equal to twice the retail cost of
the merchandise, or $50, whichever is greater, but in no case shall such
civil penalty be more than $500. If the merchant recovers the merchan-
dise in merchantable condition, the merchant shall be entitled to a civil
penalty of $50 or 50% of the retail cost of the merchandise, whichever is
greater, but in no case shall such civil penalty be more than $350.
(b) Except as provided further, if the person who shoplifts is an une-
mancipated minor, the parent of such minor, shall be civilly liable pur-
suant to a civil action filed as authorized in subsection (a) in an amount
of the civil penalty as prescribed in subsection (a). If the merchant recov-
ers the merchandise in merchantable condition, the civil penalty against
the parent, as provided in this subsection, shall be $50.
(c) Unless the action is brought pursuant to the Kansas small claims
act and a final judgment is rendered in small claims court, the prevailing
party in such action brought pursuant to this section shall be entitled to
reasonable attorney fees and costs. If the action is brought in small claims
court and the judgment is appealed to district court pursuant to chapter
60 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated or K.S.A. 61-2709 and amendments
thereto, the prevailing party on appeal shall be entitled to reasonable
attorney fees and costs.
(c) (d) A conviction or a plea of guilty to the offense of theft of the
merchandise the offense of theft which would constitute shoplifting or an
adjudication as a juvenile offender or an adjudication as a child in need
of care for committing an offense while a juvenile which if committed by
an adult would constitute the commission of the offense of theft which
would constitute shoplifting is not a prerequisite to the filing of a civil
action under this section.
(d) (e) Prior to filing a civil action under this section, a merchant
damaged by shoplifting may shall demand that an individual alleged to
be civilly liable under this act reimburse such merchant in an amount of
the civil penalty as prescribed in subsection (a). Such demand, if made,
shall be in writing and may be offered in consideration for the merchant's
agreement not to commence a civil action under this section. Such de-
mand shall not contain a threat of criminal prosecution against such in-
dividual. Any merchant who makes a demand with a threat of criminal
prosecution against such individual shall be precluded from filing a civil
action under this section and pursuing any other remedy at law or equity.
A demand pursuant to this subsection is not shall be a prerequisite to
filing a civil action under this section, but no demand may be made which
does not comply with this subsection.
(e) (f) Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to preclude a
merchant from pursuing any other remedy at law or equity prior to filing
an action under this act.
(f) (g) For purposes of this act, ``shoplift'' means any one or more of
the following acts committed by a person without the consent of the
merchant and with the intent of appropriating merchandise to that per-
son's or another's own use without payment, obtaining merchandise at
less than its stated sales price or otherwise depriving a merchant of all or
any part of the value or use of merchandise:
(1) Removing any merchandise from the premises of the merchant's
(2) concealing any merchandise with intent to leave the premises with
(3) substituting, altering, removing or disfiguring any label or price
(4) transferring any merchandise from a container in which that mer-
chandise is displayed or packaged to any other container; or
(5) disarming any alarm tag attached to any merchandise.
(h) A civil penalty, claim or judgment under the provisions of this
section shall not constitute an obligation or liability against any insurer
or third-party payor.
Sec. 2. K.S.A. 60-3331 is hereby repealed.
Sec. 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
publication in the statute book.
Approved May 17, 2002.
Date Composed: 10/10/2002 Date Modified: 10/10/2002