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Stores checking bags

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by Ninja, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Ninja

    Ninja Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    If I enter a store and they tell me I must leave my backpack in the front of the store, and my bag gets stolen, is the store responsible for my bag???
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes.

    Once you leave your bag with the store, at the store's request, a bailment has been created.

    A bailment is defined as:

    The temporary placement of control over, or possession of personal property by one person/entity, the bailor, into the hands of another, the bailee, for a designated purpose upon which the parties have agreed.

    There are three types of bailments:
    (1) for the benefit of the bailor and bailee
    (2) for the sole benefit of the bailor
    (3) for the sole benefit of the bailee.

    You didn't request the bailment to be created.

    Item 3 above applies in the situation you posit.

    The store has an extraordinary duty of care, and would be required to reimburse you for all losses you could prove if the matter went to trial.


    You are the bailor.
    The store became the bailee, because the bailment was created at their request.
    The bailee should inventory your bag.
    If the bailee fails to inventory your bag, the bailor could claim three $5,000 diamond rings were in the bag.
    Of course, the bailor (YOU) should be bale to prove he/she had purchased same.

    The bailee demanded you submit your property to benefit him/her.
    The bailee owes you a very high duty of care to protect your property.
    You, on the other hand, owe the bailee NOTHING.

    Bottom line, make sure you get a receipt indicating the store took possession of your property.

    Better yet, don't patronize places where your property must be surrendered upon demand of the merchant.

    There are millions of stores in the nation.
    One need not submit to demands that demean or disrespect your humanity.

    You can buy whatever it is you wish at hundreds of other, less intrusive, less demeaning merchants.

    Even better, leave your valuables at home, or locked safely in your vehicle.

    More information on bailments:

    Definition of BAILMENT • Law Dictionary • TheLaw.com

    bailment
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  3. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    I am a Retail theft consultant and answer questions like yours daily. Your answer is yes. If the store has a policy to retain bags and a place to store/protect such bags they become responsible for bags. Example most Ross/dd's stores retail bags, back packs etc. The customer is given a ticket with a number the matching number is placed on or with bag or bags. The bag or bags are then placed behind counter or some other storage area. When customer is ready to leave they given associate ticket number is matched to bags and bags given back to owner. During the time bag is held the store is responsible for it as it was their policy it was held under
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes.

    But if it turns up missing you'd better be able to provide documentation for the purchase price of the bag and for any items you say were in the bag.

    You would be wiser to leave your bag locked in your car no matter what store you go into.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear about your bag potentially being stolen. What may also be helpful is determine (take photographs) whether there is a sign at the bag check (common issue for bag check and coat check) determine what other policies and potential limitations might apply, which in some cases, may also be helpful to you.
     
  6. Ninja

    Ninja Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks everyone, in the area I live, it's a bad place, everyone tells you to leave your backpack at the front of the store, so it's not like I have to many options, but most of these stores will tell you to leave your backpack by the front door, where anyone can just grab it and take off, they don't wanna put it some place safe while you shop, so they expect me to leave my backpack by the front door where anyone can just grab it and it's in a bad neighborhood, I don't drive and I walk everywhere, I have my backpack for everyday things ect...
     
  7. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    You have options. Refuse to follow suggestion they may or may not ask you to leave. You can also shop elsewhere or not go into store with a back pack or the like. Stores do what they can to reduce "shrink" (buzzword for loses) Nationally stores lose over 15 BILLION (with a B) to shoplifting alone and thats not even the biggest share of shrink.
     
  8. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a very unusual policy. I've seen many stores that require the bag owner to leave the bag with a person operating a bag check area. I've never seen a policy requiring the bag check to be a mere "bag drop" without giving the bag owner no less than a receipt for the bag owner to present when claiming the bag and serving to identify the owner's property (it can be another object in addition to a bag.) Why don't you ask the store manager what their expectations are? As to whether the store is liable in such an instance... I can't say not seeing and being aware of the other facts which might tell a different story. But if you're stating that these are all the relevant facts, I wouldn't be leaving a bag there since it seems like a virtual guarantee of being minus one bag when you leave and a question of liability open for someone else to decide - such as a small claims court judge. Decide if you want to even entertain a need for such a remedy, right or wrong.
     

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