It turns out my last answer is showing my age. I did some additional checking after your last reply. It turns out that current standard banking practice allows banks to place a date limit on stop payment requests. There is no specific rule on how long a stop payment order is in place. Banks are free to make up their own policies
in this matter.
Most banks now have a 6 month limit on stop payment orders. In order to continue a stop payment order, you now have to renew your stop payment request every six months, paying a substantial fee each time you renew. To me, this seems completely outrageous, but it has apparently become a standard banking practice.
Further, if a check comes in that is dated more than six months old, a bank has the discretion to decide whether it wants to pay the check or bounce it based on the old date. Again, this seems ridiculous to me, but appears to be standard banking practice.
I checked these rules with my own bank. After reading them, I called my banker to ask more questions. They told me their policy was pretty much what I outlined above. After six months, a stop payment order expires. If a check comes in older than six months, they usually don't bother to check the date and process it anyway. If there are insufficient funds, the account owner gets nailed with overdraft fees.
The only way to avoid this is to pay a $30 stop payment order every six months until the check arrives. If it never arrives, you can continue to pay those fees forever. Apparently the only way out is to close your account and open a new one.
It sounds like your bank has a similar policy which you can find in the fine print of the checking account agreement in that multi-page contract
you signed when you opened your account or in the stop payment request form that you filled out.
I apologize for my original answer, which appears to be incorrect. I thought I was on solid ground answering without re-checking my facts. I am as outraged as you at the current state of banking practices in this type of situation. However, this has apparently become standard practice.
Please keep in mind that information in this forum is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and does not constitute creation of an attorney client relationship. Before acting on any such information, you are always advised to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who can take the time to review all the facts and laws relevant to your situation.