ASSIGNMENT: Sam Kant has requested that our office represent him in his defense against shoplifting charges. Please review the following facts of the case and the legal authority that I have provided to determine the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Kant’s case. In preparing your memorandum, please consult the sample Legal Memorandums in PCD and Statsky. Discuss whether or not you think Mr. Kant could be convicted of shoplifting pursuant to the law provided.
Please note, this is a closed memo. Therefore, it is important that you do not conduct any outside research or apply any outside law in your analysis/conclusions. Apply the law as provided.
FACTS: Our client, Sam Kant, was arrested for shoplifting at Bilmart, a national department store. At his wife’s request, Mr. Kant went to Bilmart on Wednesday, ______, 20___, and purchased a case of six 4 oz. cans of Hoover’s Baked Beans with Bacon. Upon returning home, his wife chastised him for once again failing to purchase what she had requested. Apparently, Mrs. Kant can’t stand the taste of Hoover’s Beans, but is very fond of the Handell’s brand, and was planning to serve them to her book club when she hosted them for lunch the following afternoon. Mrs. Kant ordered her husband to return to Bilmart to exchange the Hoover’s beans for Handell’s beans.
Upon arrival at the store early the next morning, Mr. Kant found that the line for customer service was extremely long due to Bilmart’s annual sponsorship of a major community food drive. In an effort to save time, and thinking the line might be shorter upon his return, Mr. Kant placed the case of Hoover’s beans into a shopping cart, made his way through the store to the bean shelf, and then added the case of Handell’s beans to the cart. However, upon his return, the line had not diminished and it was obvious that Sam would be waiting a considerable amount of time to formalize the exchange. Fearing the wrath of his wife should he not return in time for lunch, Sam placed the case of Hoover’s beans inside a cart filled with what appeared to be merchandise returns in need of re-stocking. With the desired case of Handell’s beans remaining in the shopping cart, Mr. Kant then proceeded to the store’s exit. As he neared the doors, Mr. Kant was approached and detained by store security, who witnessed Sam’s actions, and police were called to the store. Apparently, the cart into which Sam had placed the Hoover’s Beans did not contain returned items to be shelved, but rather, donations to the Bilmart Community Food Drive. Officers Kopp and Slickman questioned Mr. Kant and then cited him for Shoplifting.
Criminal Statute § 142.33 Shoplifting
A person is guilty of shoplifting when he takes away, moves, or removes merchandise, in a manner that causes the merchant to be permanently deprived of that merchandise.
Shoplifting is a class A misdemeanor.
In People v. Stealer (2001) the defendant was charged with shoplifting when she placed several pairs of socks into her coat pocket, conducted a formal exchange between 2 pairs of earrings, paying the difference in cost between the originally purchased earrings and the earrings subsequently desired, and then approached the exit of the store while the socks remained in the pocket without being purchased. The trial court held that: (1) a “taking” cannot occur until the suspect has left the store, and (2) until the suspected shoplifter has left the premises, mere possession of the merchandise fails to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
ASSIGNMENT: Review the facts of the Sam Kant case from Memo One. For this assignment, Mr. Kant stands charged with petit larceny rather than shoplifting. Please thoroughly apply the law provided below, based on your lessons and reading material regarding legal analysis and writing. In preparing your memorandum, please consult the sample Legal Memorandums from PCD and Statsky. Discuss whether or not you think Mr. Kant could be convicted of petit larceny pursuant to the law provided. Please note, this is a closed memo and no outside research should be conducted. Apply only the law as provided below.
For the purposes of this assignment, Sam Kant stands charged with Petit Larceny under Criminal Statute §143.03(a) which provides the following:
A person is guilty of petit larceny when he deprives the owner of property.
Petit larceny is a class “A” misdemeanor
Criminal Statute § 143.00 Larceny; Defined
(1) A person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property, or to appropriate the same to himself, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof.
In State v. Gross (2001) the defendant moved for dismissal of petit larceny charges because he had not yet left the store with the merchandise in his possession. Defendant, Gross, removed 2 rib eye steaks from the plastic wrapping in which they were encased, placing them below his shirt and under each armpit, and was apprehended after having passed the last point of purchase, but prior to reaching the exit doors. The court held that: (1) a defendant demonstrates the requisite intent to deprive an owner when he acts in a manner that is contrary to those which would be undertaken by an ordinary person, under ordinary circumstances for the situation involved, and (2) actions that are inconsistent with and are ultimately adverse to the owner’s interest may be enough to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and (3) the nature of these acts may be enough to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt despite the defendant not having left the premises.
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