Robber sues store he robbed


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A guy robbed a store in Clinton Township, Michigan and now he's suing the owners because one of the clerks shot him.

With all the talk about Castle Doctrine making you immune to lawsuits and when you are allowed to pull the trigger etc. you need to read about this. Makes you want to throw up and whup someones rear end.

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Police say Scott Zeilinski held a knife to the throats of several clerks during the November 2007 robbery.

After stealing money and cigarettes, Zeilinski tried to flee.

That's when a clerk shot him in the back and arm.

Zeilinski's lawyer says his client is asking for at least $125,000 for pain and suffering and emotional distress.

"What about the stress brought onto the 17-year-old involved? what about the stress to the family? what about the fear for their life that they were put in by this guy?"

Since the robbery, the store owner has spent thousands of dollars on security so the employees can feel safe.

They say they hope nothing like this ever happens again.

Depends on the state, in Florida if its a legal shooting, and the above probably would be, you can't be sued by the criminal or his representatives. If you hit an innocent bystander that is another matter. If the shooting is found to be justified you can't be prosecuted or sued.
Depends on the state, in Florida if its a legal shooting, and the above probably would be, you can't be sued by the criminal or his representatives. If you hit an innocent bystander that is another matter. If the shooting is found to be justified you can't be prosecuted or sued.

Here in the state of Missouri, we too are covered both criminally and civilly.
Castle Doctrine laws protect you against criminal charges being filed against you. Unfortunately, they offer no protection from civil actions.


Not true everywhere. In Ohio, Castle doctrine protects you from criminal charges AND from civil lawsuits from the bad guy OR his family.
The Self Defense Act

General Provisions of the Act

A person may use deadly force with no duty to retreat if:

  1. They are not engaged in a crime
  2. They are in a place they have a legal right to be
  3. They honestly and reasonably believe deadly force is necessary
  4. The deadly force is used to prevent imminent death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault of the person or another

MCL 600.2922b

An individual who uses deadly force or force other than deadly force in self-defense or in defense of another individual in compliance with section 2 of the self-defense act is immune from civil liability for damages caused to either of the following by the use of that deadly force or force other than deadly force:

(a) The individual against whom the use of deadly force or force other than deadly force is authorized.

(b) Any individual claiming damages arising out of injury to or the death of the individual described in subdivision (a), based upon his or her relationship to that individual.

According to Michigan Law, he can't be sued if he believed deadly force was necessary and the force was used to prevent imminent harm to another person.

The article states the bad guy was trying to flee, so I'm betting his scumbag lawyer is arguing that he was no longer a threat and deadly force wasn't necessary. Thus, he doesn't have blanket coverage under the Self Defense Act.

Obviously the guy doesn't deserve a penny, and let's hope he doesn't get anything.
Castle Doctrine may mean that the likelihood of the BG winning a law suit is very low but that does not mean that he will not attempt it. You can be sued for anything regardless of whether there is much chance of winning or not.
In AZ - no civil case if cleared of criminal liability (& no bystanders harmed)... I'm surprised that case sustained life in the system - should be tossed and the robber shot again. :to_pick_ones_nose:

Then shoot the ambulance-chasing lawyer who perpetuated such a ridiculous claim.
The one problem I have with the story is that the BG was allegedly shot in the back. That indicates that the BG was "running away" when he was shot. Many will disagree, but IMHO, shooting a BG in the back while he's running away does not justify SD. The shooter may be cleared of criminal charges, should be held responsibly to some degree for shooting someone in the back.

We'll see how this plays out in the SC judicial system.


....Then shoot the ambulance-chasing lawyer who perpetuated such a ridiculous claim.
location location location!

Sounds to me like the threat was over if the D-bag was trying to flee. If there was no one between him and the door/exit, and he was actually "fleeing", then deadly force would not be authorized. The clerks were justified in using deadly force while their lives were in danger, but if he was headed for the door and shot in the back.... not good for the clerk.

I'm a MI resident and am under the impression that we ARE covered both criminally and civilly. The difference in this case is that, the way it's written, the threat was already over. This sounds more like a retalliation shooting. "My life's not in danger NOW but was a minute ago, and for that, I'm going to shoot you". As much as our emotions may justify that, the law doesn't. I wish, for the clerk's sake, that he could have shot the robber WHILE actively threatening someone.

Then again, maybe there was another innocent between the BG and the door. If it was believed that the BG would do harm to the person between him and the exit, then there's a chance in it being considered justified. Otherwise, unfortunately, this doesn't look good for the clerk.
Don't know about SC but in Texas you can shoot a fleeing felon. Back, front, it makes no difference
Castle Doctrine laws protect you against criminal charges being filed against you. Unfortunately, they offer no protection from civil actions.

I have read in Ayoob's columns many times that if you shoot somebody, no matter how justified, you WILL be sued. Our CC instructor (40 years as a LEO) said the same thing.

Your best bet is to kill the BG, and hope he has no living relatives or dependents.


TN's Castle Doctrine bill (Passed Apr. 2007) included a provision that disallowed ANY civil suit if found legally justified in using deadly force.
I hope that his suit gets tossed and that the judge laughs him out of court. Seriously, more robbers ought to run into resistance like this just so they can see that their occupation is not a safe one to be practicing.
Well, I'm pleased to learn that the Castle Doctrine in at least some states does protect the GG from civil action. Thanks to the several members that posted info about the specifics of those states.

That is what I love about Florida,

Florida "Castle Doctrine" Protects the Innocent

Puts Judiciary on the side of crime victims
News media gets it completely wrong

On March 23, 2005, The Florida Senate passed SB-436, the "Castle Doctrine" unanimously, by a vote of 39 YEAS to zero NAYS. They know something about this bill.

On April 5, The Florida House passed SB-436, "Castle Doctrine" by a vote of 94 YEAS to 20 NAYS, a margin of better than four to one.

On April 26, Governor Jeb Bush SIGNED SB-436, the "Castle Doctrine" into law (Chapter No. 2005-27) It takes effect on October 1, 2005.

The news media nationwide started in immediately with its “Gunshine State,” blood in the streets, Dirty Harry, vigilante, irrational mass murder nonsense, mythologies, lies and blatant unethical behavior.

A great deal of erroneous information has been written, published and spoken about Florida's new "Castle Doctrine" law.

Claims that the new law will turn Florida into the Wild West are not only an insult to intelligent people but give a patently false portrait of what the bill actually does.

The Florida "Castle Doctrine" law basically does three things:

One: It establishes, in law, the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, therefore a person may use any manner of force, including deadly force, against that person.

Two: It removes the "duty to retreat" if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be. You no longer have to turn your back on a criminal and try to run when attacked. Instead, you may stand your ground and fight back, meeting force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others. [This is an American right repeatedly recognized in Supreme Court gun cases.]

Three: It provides that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force.

It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them.

In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors who are prone to coddling criminals to instead focus on protecting victims.

SO -- is this the impression you got from the news? Why not? Aren’t media people impartial purveyors of objective facts, with no bias or spin, faithfully and accurately reporting the news? Everyone who believes that’s an accurate description of the news media please raise your hand. See? No hands go up. Despite their protests otherwise, the news media has, in general, and especially with respect to gun issues, become an outrageous purveyor of agenda-driven nonsense on the dark side of the force.
what a crock of garbage, i wish they would just throw it of court.i am so tired of hearing about cases like this.very san indeed
Hey y'all: gotta agree with Glock Fan--you cannot shoot the perp in the back; as much as all of us would like to and I could not agree more, the threat is over and the use of a weapon is not called for anymore. As most have said, many states eliminate civil liability as a possibility in their CCW laws--in this case you get into the issue of whether the store owner had any business shooting and if he should not have the CCW/no civil liability goes out the window. Another example of how very very careful we all must be in examining our responsibilities, as set forth in the law, when having a gun in our possession.
I have to ask how is he paying the attorney fees? He must have little to no money otherwise he would have never been robbing the store in the first place.

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