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When exiting some stores, such as Fry's, there's some punk asking to see your sales receipt. I figure once I've paid for it, it's mine and I not showing it to anyone unless I feel like it!.

Most of the time, I don't feel like it!!!

Apparently, this guy also has an attitude... and ended up in jail for it! I may have responded differently, like not waiting around for the cops, but maybe I would have.

What would you do in this situation? Show the receipt like well mannered citizens? Tell them to piss off? Or, what? ... rrest.html

Boing Boing

Papers Please: Arrested at Circuit City for refusing to show ID, receipt

Posted by Xeni Jardin, September 1, 2007 11:01 PM | # | Discuss (239)
Boing Boing reader Michael Amor Righi says,

Today I was arrested by the Brooklyn, Ohio police department. It all started when I refused to show my receipt to the loss prevention employee at Circuit City, and it ended when a police officer arrested me for refusing to provide my driver's license.

There are two interesting stories in one which I thought would be of interest to Boing Boing readers. The first involves the loss prevention employee physically preventing my egress from the property. The second story involves my right as a U.S. citizen to not have to show my papers when asked. (Despite having verbally identified myself, the officer arrested me for failing to provide a driver's license while standing on a sidewalk.)

Here are two blurbs from my blog post which summarize both parts of the story:

"I’ve always taken the stance that retail stores shouldn’t treat their loyal customers as criminals and that customers shouldn’t so willingly give up their rights along with their money."

"I can reluctantly understand having to show a permit to fish, a permit to drive and a permit to carry a weapon. Having to show a permit to exist is a scary idea which I got a strong taste of today."


Update: Some very thoughtful debate about the rights and wrongs in this story in the BB comments forum, including one by a BB reader identified as an attorney: Link, and this one and this one, by Boing Boing community goddess Teresa Nielsen Hayden.


There are many pages of comments. MANY!!! Some are insightful, interesting and well presented. Some are pretty damn stupid! All-in-all, very much like the GCO Forum...

The last comment I have copied here is very interesting as it pertains to carrying weapons.

#4 posted by Anonymous , September 1, 2007 11:54 PM:
According to the Ohio Patriot Act, which was passed in 2005, requires "individuals to show identification or provide personal information in specified situations". Those specific situations are detailed in Sec. 2921.29.

Sec. 2921.29. (A) No person who is in a public place shall refuse to disclose the person's name, address, or date of birth, when requested by a law enforcement officer who reasonably suspects either of the following:

(1) The person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a criminal offense.

(2) The person witnessed any of the following:

(a) An offense of violence that would constitute a felony under the laws of this state;

(b) A felony offense that causes or results in, or creates a substantial risk of, serious physical harm to another person or to property;

(c) Any attempt or conspiracy to commit, or complicity in committing, any offense identified in division (A)(2)(a) or (b) of this section;

(d) Any conduct reasonably indicating that any offense identified in division (A)(2)(a) or (b) of this section or any attempt, conspiracy, or complicity described in division (A)(2)(c) of this section has been, is being, or is about to be committed.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of failure to disclose one's personal information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(C) Nothing in this section requires a person to answer any questions beyond that person's name, address, or date of birth. Nothing in this section authorizes a law enforcement officer to arrest a person for not providing any information beyond that person's name, address, or date of birth or for refusing to describe the offense observed.

(D) It is not a violation of this section to refuse to answer a question that would reveal a person's age or date of birth if age is an element of the crime that the person is suspected of committing.

#18 posted by Anonymous , September 2, 2007 2:00 AM:
Some people don't read up on their rights enough. ...

You *are not required* to show your receipt at public stores.
Q My husband bought two camping chairs from the local Wal-Mart this past weekend.

On his way out the exit, an employee asked to see his receipt.

My husband, who had a chair in each hand, replied, "This is not a privately owned club; it is my understanding you don't have to check receipts here."

The employee said, "Oh yes, we can," and called for a manager. The manager backed the employee and my husband had to put the chairs down, take the receipt out of his wallet and show it to them.

I recall reading in your column that you do not have to show your receipt at publicly owned stores.

Am I incorrect?

A Yes. A merchant can ask for a receipt, but you are not required to show one - except at membership stores such as Costco where it is a condition of membership.

#29 posted by Peter Author Profile Page, September 2, 2007 5:09 AM:
Once you've paid for the item, it's your own property, and you have a right for that to be secure and not have to justify it to anybody that you actually do own it. If they can't get their act together to be able to tell that you purchased something without searching your belongings, they really need a better system.

As to what is lost in complying, well, aside from the basic right of not being treated like a criminal, in some cases, there's a time factor. If it's not just a random check because they may have suspected something, but large numbers of people are having their bags and receipts inspected, you're waiting in a line to leave with your property.

Yes, the store is private property, and the private property is free to set any ground rules they wish - and their recourse if you choose not to obey those rules, like the owner of any private property, is to ask you to leave or, in extreme cases, ask that you not return. They're not a law unto themselves.

#33 posted by emilydickinsonridesabmx Author Profile Page, September 2, 2007 5:59 AM:
Michael, while I agree with your actions in spirit, and actually applaud you for standing up for your rights, I think you may be in a bit of trouble here. Sadly, I've been in retail management for more than 10 years, so I've been through this a million times. Basically, there's something usually referred to as 'Shopkeepers Privilege' which allows the proprietors of a store to take reasonable action to protect their property, employees and well being. Now 'Reasonable Action', can of course be interpreted many ways, but I've never heard of a judge who didn't side with the store owner over searching someone's possessions if they suspected the person of shoplifting. It's sad, absolutely, but that's the way the laws are written. The law is set up to protect people's property at the expense of their rights. The reason places like Circuit City check your bags as you leave is so that if they discover you are taking something with you without paying, they can deal with you in their own way (usually a Polaroid in the back room and being banned for life) because it isn't actually shoplifting until you leave private property. It is much less expensive to deal with shoplifters this way than to send someone to court.
Believe me, I wish we lived in a world where this wasn't the way it is, but there are plenty of selfish folks who will take anything that isn't nailed down. Blame them, don't blame the poor dupes at Circuit City who probably make minimum wage and hate searching your bag as much as you hate having it searched.
I realize you live in Brooklyn, Ohio - I live in Brooklyn New York. Cops ID me all the time, especially since 9/11. The gestapo undertones of 'Papers Please' bother me, but I'm willing to spend a day in jail on principle, so for that I applaud you. Good luck, I really hope this works out in your favor.

#232 posted by Anonymous , September 3, 2007 6:55 PM:

Bottom-line, if you don't know what your rights are then you don't have any. I don't care what the Supreme Court says I have to do to satisfy a police man's request for identification. The Supreme Court does not make law; they do not determine what is a "reasonable expectation" for me; they do not set the standards under which I must suffer at the hands of the state; they do not dictate ANYTHING to me pertaining to my relationship to my supposed "servant" government. I do not have to identify myself to ANYBODY I choose not to.

FYI, you have a right to defend yourself against aggression by police. As in:...........

Your Right of Defense Against Unlawful Arrest

"Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an
arresting officer's life if necessary." Plummer v. State, 136 Ind.
306. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United
States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court
stated: "Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder
which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the
law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the
officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the
officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be
nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show
that no offense had been committed."

"An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without
affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction,
and one who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf
the arresting officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the
killing will be no more than an involuntary manslaughter." Housh v.
People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7
Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43
Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34
Minn. 3621.

"When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a
right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel
by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self
defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified." Runyan v. State,
57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

"These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an
arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by
the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private
individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence." Jones v.
State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75;
Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

"An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted
to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in
defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and
battery." (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

"Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a
case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a
wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self-
defense." (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

"One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as
he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped.
Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of
an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without
resistance." (Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910).

"Story affirmed the right of self-defense by persons held illegally.
In his own writings, he had admitted that 'a situation could arise in
which the checks-and-balances principle ceased to work and the various
branches of government concurred in a gross usurpation.' There would
be no usual remedy by changing the law or passing an amendment to the
Constitution, should the oppressed party be a minority. Story
concluded, 'If there be any remedy at all ... it is a remedy never
provided for by human institutions.' That was the 'ultimate right of
all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression, and to apply
force against ruinous injustice.'" (From Mutiny on the Amistad by
Howard Jones, Oxford University Press, 1987, an account of the reading
of the decision in the case by Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme

As for grounds for arrest: "The carrying of arms in a quiet,
peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is
not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a
breach of the peace." (Wharton's Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th
Ed., Vol.2: Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197)
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