Photo Development Not Under Shoplifting Law – State v. Goodmann

In State v. Goodmann, the defendant got involved with a dispute over the cost of developing some film he had taken to a drug store. The defendant refused to pay the disputed price, took all the pictures and left the store without paying. He was later charged and convicted of shoplifting. This conviction was reversed today by the Appellate Division. The Court ruled that the photographs in question were not merchandise within the meaning of the shoplifting statute and the service provided for developing the photos was unrelated to the sale of merchandise.

Please note an important footnote in the case where the Appellate Division criticizes the municipal court for not allowing the defendant to open the record and move an important document into evidence. The document had been previously identified and authenticated but through inadvertence, it was not moved into evidence at the end of the defense case.

Download a copy of State v. Goodmann.

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