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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Hi, I hired "John" to do some landscaping. I gave him a check

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I hired "John" to do some landscaping. I gave him a check up front for some material needed for the job and partial labor payment. Then he seemed to "disappear" for a couple of days. I thought I had been defrauded and stopped payment on the check. He did show up a day later and I explained that I had stopped payment on the check. He said a friend named "Gary" who owns a store had cashed the check for him. John wants me to deal directly with Gary and to reimburse him directly, which leaves me uneasy. I have suggested to John that I write him another check, he cash it and reimburse Gary. For some reason, John is resisting this idea and insists that I deal directly with Gary (which makes paranoid me even more suspicious). Please note that I fully intend to make good on my debt, I just want to do it the proper way. A) does Gary have any direct recourse against me, or is his only recourse against John. B) If I write Gary a check for the full amount, can the original check that I stopped payment on come back to haunt me?


Thank you for your question.

A check is a contract of payment between you and the payee (in this instance, John). When John convinced Gary to cash the check, it does not obligate you to make sure that payment is good as to Gary. That is Gary's problem, as Gary in fact cashed a faulty check on which you stopped payment. You did not violate any law by stopping payment, as John had for all intents and purposes disappeared.

So, you are not in anyway obligated to Gary and Gary does not have any recourse against you. If you go and pay Gary, you are doing so to pay him for John. The stopped check should not come back to haunt you. However, I suggest telling John that you are not going to do this for him and that he can handle paying Gary. Why should you?

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