Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Application of Merchant's Privilege in Battery Claim02/27/2015
In a case of first impression, Deborah Barkley v. McKeever Enterprises Inc. d/b/a/ Price Chopper, SC94253 (February 24, 2015), attorneys for Franke Schultz & Mullen, P.C. successfully argued that the Missouri Merchant’s Privilege, § 537.125 RSMo is an affirmative defense to a claim of battery and that a merchant is privileged to retain a person, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable period, if the merchant has reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe a person is shoplifting. The Missouri Supreme Court found that the privilege does not end once the merchandise is recovered but rather that the merchant is privileged to continue the detention to summon police and instigate criminal proceedings. The case was handled by attorneys John Schultz, Jacqueline Cook, and Niki Long of the firm.