Judge Backtracks On Walmart Shoplifter’s Lifetime Ban From All U.S. Stores

Earlier this week a Walmart shoplifter said she likely wouldn’t follow a court order barring her from stepping inside any of the retailer’s thousands of locations. Turns out, that might not have been such a brazen statement after all, as the judge who handed down the lifetime ban clarified that he didn’t really mean to prevent the woman from entering all stores.

NJ.com reports that Mount Olive Municipal Judge Brian Levine revised his ruling, saying that he never intended to include a nationwide ban as part of his sentence for the 64-year-old woman, who admitted to shoplifting $78 worth of vitamins last December.

The original ruling, which included one year of probation, a $268 fine and 15 days of community service, stated that the woman was barred from all Walmart stores in New Jersey or elsewhere.

“In essence what I should have said was that I found as a matter of fact that she did enter into an agreement with Walmart not to go to Walmart in Mount Olive or any other place in New Jersey or the United States,” the judge said. “So to the extent that I sentenced her or ordered her by court order not to go to Walmart in any place … I am vacating that portion of the order.”

A couple of former prosecutors previously shared their doubts on the judge’s ability to actually ban the woman from all Walmart stores in the country, saying the order appeared to be outside the purview of sentencing provisions.

Still, the court order revision doesn’t necessarily mean the woman can step foot in a Walmart again, as she once singed an agreement with the retailer to stay away from stores.

The public defender who represented the woman tells NJ.com that when she signed the agreement with the company she believed it pertained only to one location and not others.

“It’s been explained to [her] that the document is for all Walmart stores, not just for that one,” he said.

Judge: I didn’t mean to ban shoplifter from every Walmart in America [NJ.com]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.