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  • I am one who believes in simple and to the point conversation. I have a question about this procedure. How does one prevent the "customer" from claiming that a credit card and/or cash was missing from the bag when they left the store? I can just see the allegations flying about how the guard must have taken my property. I say do your job as best you can without placing yourself and your company in a position of having to defend yourself in court.
    Murphy was an optomist.

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    • [QUOTE=SecTrainer;71062]
      Originally posted by sgtnewby View Post

      Have you ever read the small print on the back of your ticket when you park in a commercial parking lot? You'll see that this legalese specifically states that parking your car shall NOT be considered creation of a bailment (which is transfer of possession for safekeeping), and specifically states that the parking lot assumes no responsibility for your vehicle or its contents. This is exactly analagous to checking a bag: All that would be necessary is a similar disclaimer on the bag claim ticket given to a customer when they check their bag (plus, perhaps, some appropriate signage), to the effect that there is no bailment being created and that the store assumes no responsibility for bag or contents.

      In the same vein, it used to be common for nightclubs to have "hat-check" or "coat-check" service, and the ticket you got for your property always had a similar denial of responsibility printed on it.

      How can the parking garage/store/nightclub do this? Well, a bailment is essentially a special form of contract that both parties must agree to in order to be created, and all they have to do is to specifically deny that any such agreement will be implied on their part by the fact that you have temporarily placed your property in their custody. In other words, they basically refuse to accept possession, in a legal sense. Absent such a bailment, which if created would have to specifically state exactly what responsibility the possessor is assuming, by the way, there is no transfer of possession for safekeeping...in the legal sense of possession. There is no such thing as a unilateral transfer of possession (where one party forces possession on another), because all it takes is for one party to refuse to accept legal possession.

      Have such terms been challenged? Yes, but such challenges are rarely successful unless there is shown to be some very egregious form of negligence on the part of management.

      Check it out for yourself. Next time you park in a lot, tell the attendant that your digital camera was stolen out of your car and you want the garage to pay for it. (Be sure to wear cotton in your ears so the attendant's laughter doesn't damage your hearing.)
      Ahhh, but the difference here SecTrainer is possibly two fold. First, the store is requiring you to leave your bag with them, as opposed to a parking lot or hat check, which is optional. Second, I doubt and Enforcer did not indicate that they gave out a ticket, and if so, I doubt that it has any statement on it, but we'll see if he tells us. Of course they could put lockers with keys at the front.
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      Rocket Science
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      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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      • [QUOTE=integrator97;71066]
        Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post

        Ahhh, but the difference here SecTrainer is possibly two fold. First, the store is requiring you to leave your bag with them, as opposed to a parking lot or hat check, which is optional. Second, I doubt and Enforcer did not indicate that they gave out a ticket, and if so, I doubt that it has any statement on it, but we'll see if he tells us. Of course they could put lockers with keys at the front.
        It's optional to shop in the store in the first place, right? There's no difference here. It's still completely voluntary. You don't like their policy, or the terms under which you check your bag, you're completely free to walk out. If you do stay and check your bag under the store's policy, you're voluntarily accepting the terms they set forth.

        Also, I was not saying that Enforcer had given out a ticket, merely responding to your assertion that taking possession would necessarily transfer responsibility for the contents, as you suggested because your assertion is not the law. It might make common sense, or even moral sense, that the store would be responsible for the bag but it's not the law of bailment. The store can choose to refute or refuse the assumption of such responsibility.

        There are many situations where people "check" their property, but where there is no transfer of possession per se in a legal sense, and nothing more than a very broad general duty of care is legally owed to the person who owns the property. For instance, airlines owe you a broad responsibility not to lose your baggage (perhaps), but good luck with any other claim against them (damage, breakage of contents, loss of contents, etc.)...

        It's a fairly complex area of law and I'm just giving you the high points here. Basically, transfer of physical possession does not necessarily equate to transfer of legal possession (which would also transfer certain duties).
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-20-2008, 12:43 PM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

        Comment


        • [QUOTE=SecTrainer;71062]
          Originally posted by sgtnewby View Post

          Have you ever read the small print on the back of your ticket when you park in a commercial parking lot? You'll see that this legalese specifically states that parking your car shall NOT be considered creation of a bailment (which is transfer of possession for safekeeping), and specifically states that the parking lot assumes no responsibility for your vehicle or its contents. This is exactly analagous to checking a bag: All that would be necessary is a similar disclaimer on the bag claim ticket given to a customer when they check their bag (plus, perhaps, some appropriate signage), to the effect that there is no bailment being created and that the store assumes no responsibility for bag or contents.

          In the same vein, it used to be common for nightclubs to have "hat-check" or "coat-check" service, and the ticket you got for your property always had a similar denial of responsibility printed on it.

          How can the parking garage/store/nightclub do this? Well, a bailment is essentially a special form of contract that both parties must agree to in order to be created, and all they have to do is to specifically deny that any such agreement will be implied on their part by the fact that you have temporarily placed your property in their custody. In other words, they basically refuse to accept possession, in a legal sense. Absent such a bailment, which if created would have to specifically state exactly what responsibility the possessor is assuming, by the way, there is no transfer of possession for safekeeping...in the legal sense of possession. There is no such thing as a unilateral transfer of possession (where one party forces possession on another), because all it takes is for one party to refuse to accept legal possession.

          Have such terms been challenged? Yes, but such challenges are rarely successful unless there is shown to be some very egregious form of negligence on the part of management.

          Check it out for yourself. Next time you park in a lot, tell the attendant that your digital camera was stolen out of your car and you want the garage to pay for it. (Be sure to wear cotton in your ears so the attendant's laughter doesn't damage your hearing.)
          I hear what you're saying, but I doubt they used tickets, and if they did, I doubt they had a disclaimer on the back. I worked at a night club for a couple years. We had a mandatory coat check during the winter months.

          The tickets we gave (that you had to pay for ), were that same tickets you get at the state fair for rides and such. There was no disclaimer on the back, just a ticket with a number.

          No disclaimer, I would imagine someone would have a case. At the hospital, medical staff take inventory of patients' belongings. The sheet says we are not responsible for lost or stolen items. I can promise you, if something goes missing, the county attorney says we have to reimburse them for it.

          What's worse, is that all reimbursement comes out of the security budget. It doesn't matter that we had nothing to do with the property disappearing, or that we most likely had no contact with the patient whatsoever, we still, per hospital policy, have to pay it. So our budget shrinks, while the department responsible suffers no repercussions for their negligence. But that's a gripe for another thread....
          Apparently a HUGE cop wannabe...

          Comment


          • Quebec law does not accept the "owner is not responsible" signs.
            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

            Comment


            • [QUOTE=sgtnewby;71082]
              Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post

              I hear what you're saying, but I doubt they used tickets, and if they did, I doubt they had a disclaimer on the back. I worked at a night club for a couple years. We had a mandatory coat check during the winter months.

              The tickets we gave (that you had to pay for ), were that same tickets you get at the state fair for rides and such. There was no disclaimer on the back, just a ticket with a number.

              No disclaimer, I would imagine someone would have a case. At the hospital, medical staff take inventory of patients' belongings. The sheet says we are not responsible for lost or stolen items. I can promise you, if something goes missing, the county attorney says we have to reimburse them for it.

              What's worse, is that all reimbursement comes out of the security budget. It doesn't matter that we had nothing to do with the property disappearing, or that we most likely had no contact with the patient whatsoever, we still, per hospital policy, have to pay it. So our budget shrinks, while the department responsible suffers no repercussions for their negligence. But that's a gripe for another thread....

              I'm not making my point clearly, sorry. I am not saying whether the OP did or did not use a ticket/disclaimer (I have no idea). This is not what I'm talking about.

              What I was responding to specifically was your blanket statement that "possession = responsibility" and showing just one way that this would not be true. There are many others as well.

              One factor is the relationship of one party to the other. A hospital patient is in a very unique and different relationship to the hospital on many grounds compared to the relationship of a customer to a store, and there's a totally separate body of case law pertaining to the hospital situation, so you shouldn't draw any straight lines from the hospital situation to the one that we're talking about in this thread.
              Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-22-2008, 12:26 AM.
              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

              Comment


              • Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                Quebec law does not accept the "owner is not responsible" signs.
                I am not familiar with any jurisdiction where a disclaimer sign, per se, would be sufficient to extinguish or limit the owner's responsibility to exercise ordinary care in most cases of bailment. Many things come into play to determine the duty of a bailee to a bailor (the owner of the property).
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Blade Runner View Post
                  ---edited----
                  Well, I guess ASSHOLE is an appropriate word then? Hmmmm, read through a few of the other posts, then come back and tell me what I posted was inappropriate. Oh, BTW.....Whatever happened to the Freedom of Speech? Damn Nazi....
                  Last edited by Blade Runner; 08-21-2008, 11:46 PM.
                  I do security for work; I run into burning buildings for fun

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                    Quebec law does not accept the "owner is not responsible" signs.

                    AFAIK Australia doesn't except that line of defense either, nor do those disclaimers on the back of parking tickets protect the car park facilitators from gross negligence, I often see signs in shops detailing a "no items return policy" this is also invalid due to consumer protection legislation
                    Last edited by Maelstrom; 08-22-2008, 12:15 AM.
                    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Blade Runner View Post
                      Well, I guess ASSHOLE is an appropriate word then? Hmmmm, read through a few of the other posts, then come back and tell me what I posted was inappropriate. Oh, BTW.....Whatever happened to the Freedom of Speech? Damn Nazi....
                      Careful now. I got banned from another board for a lot less than that. Not worth digging a grave over.
                      sigpic
                      Rocket Science
                      Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                      http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                      One Man's Opinion

                      The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Maelstrom View Post
                        AFAIK Australia doesn't except that line of defense either, nor do those disclaimers on the back of parking tickets protect the car park facilitators from gross negligence, I often see signs in shops detailing a "no items return policy" this is also invalid due to consumer protection legislation
                        That's why I specifically said "...other than an ordinary standard of care", and in the case of bailments this ordinary standard of care often does NOT include any responsibility for the contents of your car, your purse, or whatever.

                        Think about it. All anyone would have to do in many of these situations is simply claim that an item was stolen or that something was damaged and the facility would have no defense. If so, we would have NO commercial garages, NO lockers in athletic clubs, NO checked bags on buses, trains, airplanes, etc. Obviously, this would not be a desirable social outcome. So, the law permits such facilities to limit their liability, and rightly so.

                        Nothing much protects anyone in any situation from the consequences of gross negligence, regardless of what we're talking about. Even here, though, there are certain situations where immunity is created by law even for gross negligence. This usually happens when a very hazardous undertaking is felt to be highly desirable for society. For instance, when railroads were blasting their way through the mountains a century ago, they couldn't have paid enough to get insurance for their blasting liability. Therefore, Congress gave them absolute immunity from being sued for any adverse consequences arising from their blasting, even if they were grossly negligent in how they did it. As a result, railroads were built, and a very good thing that was.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-22-2008, 12:37 AM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                          That's why I specifically said "...other than an ordinary standard of care", and in the case of bailments this ordinary standard of care often does NOT include any responsibility for the contents of your car, your purse, or whatever.

                          Think about it. All anyone would have to do in many of these situations is simply claim that an item was stolen or that something was damaged and the facility would have no defense. If so, we would have NO commercial garages, NO lockers in athletic clubs, NO checked bags on buses, trains, airplanes, etc. Obviously, this would not be a desirable social outcome. So, the law permits such facilities to limit their liability, and rightly so.
                          I agree as far as when you use a car park or locker. But someone says "you have to leave your packages up here at the front", without providing lockers, I think they assume liability, especially of they are not denying it in any way.
                          Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                          Nothing much protects anyone in any situation from the consequences of gross negligence, regardless of what we're talking about. Even here, though, there are certain situations where immunity is created by law even for gross negligence. This usually happens when a very hazardous undertaking is felt to be highly desirable for society. For instance, when railroads were blasting their way through the mountains a century ago, they couldn't have paid enough to get insurance for their blasting liability. Therefore, Congress gave them absolute immunity from being sued for any adverse consequences arising from their blasting, even if they were grossly negligent in how they did it. As a result, railroads were built, and a very good thing that was.
                          Yea, tell that to the chinese labor killed in the blasts.
                          sigpic
                          Rocket Science
                          Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                          http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                          One Man's Opinion

                          The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                            That's why I specifically said "...other than an ordinary standard of care", and in the case of bailments this ordinary standard of care often does NOT include any responsibility for the contents of your car, your purse, or whatever.

                            Think about it. All anyone would have to do in many of these situations is simply claim that an item was stolen or that something was damaged and the facility would have no defense. If so, we would have NO commercial garages, NO lockers in athletic clubs, NO checked bags on buses, trains, airplanes, etc. Obviously, this would not be a desirable social outcome. So, the law permits such facilities to limit their liability, and rightly so.
                            Interestingly such facilitators will still TRY and include personal injury protection clauses into their 'use of' terms & conditions

                            An example of such can be seen here @ Wilson Parking Australia
                            "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

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                            • To all who made a mention of it, no ticket is given. Either myself or the cashier take the bags and put them in a safe place or behind the register respectively. 99% of the time, people will willingly surrender any non-purse related item until they leave the store. One time, a lady actually insisted that I take her big purse to the front of the store so that I wouldn't follow her around.
                              Last edited by The Enforcer; 08-24-2008, 10:03 PM.

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                              • Wow..OK. Interesting thread everyone.

                                Enforcer, I am not going to continue to run through the same things everyone else said, rather I want to see if you'll look at your attitude and behavior this way:

                                1. The private security industry gets a lot of gaff and is continuing to promote and establish professionalism and acceptance in the criminal justice world. I don't know if you're planning on this job being the start of a long career in private security or maybe public law enforcement, or any other plans.

                                You must remember that everyone you deal with only really sees the badge and uniform, their experiences with you will reflect on all your peers.

                                2. I don't know if your current situation would allow you to make arrests, but it may in the future. Now (I don't know how old you are, you might not remember) try to remember the cluster that started off with a Defense lawyer asking the simple question, "Have you EVER used the 'N-word'?"

                                Private or public law enforcement you must always remember that what happens today might come back to bite you hard in the future. What happens if tomorrow you end up arresting a possibly gay man with a sorta purse full of merchandise and a pound of coke? All I see is, "He hates gays and planted that stuff on me when he popped me shoplifting" (Then you'll be arrested for violating this guys civil rights and be forced to enjoy the companionship of your fellow man....)

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