Section 6-5-271

Liability for theft or attempted theft; liability of parents of unemancipated minor; liability for defrauding an eating establishment; liability of foster home.

(a) An adult or emancipated minor who commits or attempts to commit a theft of property consisting of goods for sale on the premises of a merchant in violation of Sections 13A-8-3, 13A-8-4, or 13A-8-5, shall be civilly liable to the merchant in an amount consisting of all of the following:

(1) The full retail value of the merchandise if not recovered in merchantable condition at its full retail price.

(2) Expenses for recovery of the merchandise in the amount of $200.

(3) Reasonable attorney's fees and court costs not to exceed $1000.

(b) Parents or legal guardians of an unemancipated minor under the age of 19 shall be liable in a civil action for the minor who commits or attempts to commit a theft of property consisting of goods for sale on the premises of a merchant in violation of Sections 13A-8-3, 13A-8-4, or 13A-8-5, to the merchant in an amount consisting of all of the following:

(1) The full retail value of the merchandise if not recovered in merchantable condition at its full retail price.

(2) Expenses for recovery of the merchandise in the amount of $200.

(3) Reasonable attorney's fees and court costs not to exceed $1000.

(4) Parents or legal guardians of an unemancipated minor under the age of 19 shall only be liable in a civil action in any calender year for up to three offenses under the provisions of this article with a maximum liability of $750 for each offense.

(c) A customer who orders a meal in a restaurant or other eating establishment, receives at least a portion thereof, and then leaves with the intent to defraud the eating establishment, without paying for the meal is subject to liability under this section, if such meal is received by the customer in a good and merchantable condition.

(d) Persons operating a certified foster home are not liable under this section for the acts of children not related to them by blood or marriage who are under their care, nor shall parents or legal guardians whose child is not living with them or where the juvenile violates Sections 13A-8-3, 13A-8-4 or 13A-8-5, with the intent to make the parent or legal guardian liable, be held liable under this article.

(Acts 1993, No. 93-676, §2.)