State of Tennessee v. Abbie Leann Welch

Joined by Amici Curiae Retail Litigation Center, Inc.


  • Court: Tennessee Supreme Court
  • Issue: Criminal: Serial Shoplifting
  • Status: Decided February 2020
  • Lower Court: Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

Question Presented:
Whether Tennessee’s burglary statute can be used to prosecute a serial shoplifter who had signed a “no trespass” agreement.

RLC’s Position:
Along with the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention and the Tennessee Retail Association, the RLC filed an amicus brief in support of the State of Tennessee. Retailers and consumers are harmed by serial shoplifters, who are often difficult to prevent. The State argues that the use of the burglary statute against repeat shoplifters who violate no-trespass notices is appropriate and in accordance with the construction of the law. The RLC supports this position as a method of enforcement to buttress retailers’ constant work to prevent criminal activity, which harms consumers and the state, as well as retailers.


Please use the DOWNLOAD button below to access the RLC's Brief.


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