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MDLaw
MDLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 5814
Experience:  Experience in business law, contract law and related matters.
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Hello, I am in Nevada, and recently sold some merchandise to

Customer Question

Hello, I am in Nevada, and recently sold some merchandise to a customer from California. The contract clearly stated that the invoice needed to be paid in full before they can pick up the merchandise. The dollar amount was for $15,500. We received their company check in the amount of $15,000 on the morning of the same day that their truck came to pick up the merchandise. However, they placed a stop payment on their check, 2 days before we even received it, and before they even picked up the merchandise. They never told us about the stop payment, because had we knew, then we obviously would not have released the merchandise to them. We only found out a week later, when our bank returned the check. After contacting them, they told us to re-deposit the check a second time. It has now been 2 weeks since their truck picked up the merchandise (which crossed state lines by the way), and we are still out $15,500, and have received nothing. We are hoping that the check will clear the second time. We have also lost many, many hours of aggravation, and stress in dealing with this.

My question is this: Are there any civil or criminal penalties that they can face because of this deception? Not only are we out the $15,500, but even if the check clears later, we are out all kinds of time, bank fees, etc.?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to assisting you.

Yes, you would be able to sue them civilly for the money if the check does not clear the second time. Since you state that they stopped payment before picking up the merchandise, then it appears that they intentionally committed a fraud and thus they can be charged with theft as well as criminal fraud. You can also sue them for fraud as well as breach of contract civilly.

Please let me know if this has answered your question. If it has, please leave me a positive rating so that I may be compensated for my time and expertise. Experts are not compensated by the website. If, however, you need more information, please hit the Reply or Continue button so that we may continue our conversation. Thanks in advance!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hello, and thanks for your answer.


 


If their check does clear the second time, then can I still sue, and how much can I sue for? Even if it clears the second time, we are still out endless hours of aggravation, and stress, calls, emails, etc.


 


In other words, can we charge for sort of percentage penalty, or something on this?


 


Thank you!

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
If their check does clear, then you would not be able to sue since you will have been paid. You are only able to sue if you have suffered a loss. Therefore, unless you can prove another provision of your agreement that has been breached and can show losses attributable to that breach, then you would have no legal basis upon which to sue. If, however, you can, then you would. When suing for breach of contract, you can sue for your damages. Your monetary damages are the amount of money that you lost due to the breach. You can't generally sue for time spent emailing and calling, though.

If your contract with them had a penalty provision, then you would be able to sue for that penalty. Otherwise, no.

Please let me know David if this has answered your question. If it has, please leave me a positive rating so that I may be compensated for my time and expertise. Experts are not compensated by the website. If, however, you need more information, please hit the Reply or Continue button so that we may continue our conversation. Thanks in advance!

MDLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 5814
Experience: Experience in business law, contract law and related matters.
MDLaw and 5 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX answers the question. One last "small point".


 


If their check clears, then we won't sue them for damages, as per your email. However, can we at least ask for damages, or send them a bill for a 10% due to the hassle we incurred?


 


My guess if probably not, but it seems that they should pay something since we have bank fees, and time lost. Although there is no provision for that in the contract.


 


Thanks again, as this is my last follow up on this. I will leave you excellent feedback!

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

You can only sue them if they have breached their contract with you. If your contract with them stated that there would be a 10 percent penalty if the check bounced, then you could charge them with that amount and sue them if they do not pay it. With respect to any bank fees incurred, you can sue them for that or you can invoice them for that. Most contracts state that a customer will be responsible for any bounced check fees and so if your contract states that, then it will be an easy case.

Thank you so much for the feedback and bonus!

Sorry about the late reply but the site didn't send me notification that you had followed up.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your answer again, as that all makes sense. Have a great day!

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome!

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