I rented my trailer to a person in Florida this last winter. The last monthly check they sent me for $994.12 was returned to me from their bank account in Indiana for insufficient funds. I have tried to cash the above mentioned check a number of times (3) but each time the bank tells me there are still insufficient funds in the account to cover it. I have talked to the fraud division of the State of Florida, but they told me that since the trnsaction did not physically take place in their State, they had no jurisdiction in the matter. Evidently, because the check was mailed to my home address in Florence, Massachusetts , this act relieved them of any responsibility in the matter. My question to you is which office in which State ( Massachusetts or Indiana )should I contact to get them to pursue a civil fraud case against the person in question, Cheryl Nix? Any help you can provide in this regard would be greatlyl appreciated. Sincerely, Harly Isgur Isgur
Hi,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.We have recently implemented a new rating and feedback system. Please be aware that you are rating my courtesy and service as a professional, and not necessarily whether you like the information that you are receiving. If you have any questions whatsoever, or there is anything I can clarify for you, please temporarily bypass the rating system by clicking “Continue the Conversation” (It’s a small link to the right of the rating box.) Clicking either “I expected more” or “Helped a little” reflects poorly on me, so please reply to me if there is anything else I can do to help before choosing those options. I appreciate your patience while we work out the kinks.A civil fraud cause is where you sue the person directly for the value of the check, to get your money back. If you're asking the state to bring suit on your behalf, that's a criminal fraud case. The person can be prosecuted for knowingly passing a bad check (which is a crime), but that doesn't automatically mean that you would get the money back. The Indiana Attorney General deals with consumer transactions. Unfortunately, since the crime occurred in Florida, the authorities in Indiana may choose not to get involved. Massachusetts may not have a real interesting the case since the offender lives in Indiana and the problem occurred in Florida. However, if you're a Massachusetts citizen, you may want to look into filing a complaint with your local district attorney's office. They're the ones that look into bounced checks. You're really in a tough position, as far as trying to convince a state to prosecute if Florida has already declined (because Florida was really the best option).The state of Indiana also requires that you send a demand letter via certified mail, informing the person that the check was returned and giving them a chance to pay it, before you can bring criminal charges. You're also allowed to include a service charge of $27.50. This site explains more about what the law says and what needs to be in the letter.http://www.tippecanoe.in.gov/prosecutor/division.asp?fDD=19-115As far as getting the money back, you're well within the small claims limit. Because the trailer is located in Florida, and the transaction occurred there, you can sue in Florida for breach of contract. http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/smallclaims.shtmlYou wouldn't be able to sue in Massachusetts, because the other party doesn't live there, and doesn't really have any connection with the state, other than mailing a check to an address that happens to be there. You can sue in Indiana, but you unfortunately have to go to Indiana for the trial.http://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/small_claims/index.htmlGood luck.
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