My minor son was detained for shoplifting, can this be considered kidnapping? 2 Answers as of March 02, 2015

On this past Valentine's day, my 15 year old son was held in a clothing store's holding cell for 5 hours for trying to steal a pair of $20 socks. When I got the call from the store's security I went right away. I was that when I arrive I had to pay for the socks and my son would be released. Then when I got there the story changed. I was then told that they called the police and decided to prosecute. They said he was with his friend who stole over $200 in merchandise stating that my son was the lookout. While I was there they did not let me see nor speak to my 15 year old son. Then a couple of hours later, they bring my son to me saying they changed their minds and decided to let him go. I asked for a copy of their report and they hand me a $100 summons. Upon leaving, my son told me that the police came and placed him in handcuffs behind his back while questioning him. Meanwhile I was right outside the door and was not informed of this. This falls under kidnapping (infancy) and unlawful imprisonment. What should my next step be?

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Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
This is not kidnapping. He shoplifted. You have no claim. No offense but it is silly to think this might be kidnapping.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/2/2015
Rothstein Law PLLC
Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
New York has a statute - General Business Law section 218 - that allows a store to detain someone in a reasonable manner but for not more than a reasonable time to permit investigation or questioning by a peace officer, police officer or by the owner of the retail mercantile establishment, where shoplifting is suspected. Therefore, you son was not kidnapped. However, being held for 5 hours in the store may not be reasonable. A lawyer would need to hear the whole story before deciding whether you and your son have an illegal detention case. I'm not sure there is a case because he could have been arrested and held for 24 hours before seeing a Judge.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/2/2015
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