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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 30184
Experience:  Attorney
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A former roommate cashed an old check which he had earlier

Customer Question

A former roommate cashed an old check which he had earlier claimed was lost. I remember the check was for my share of rent and I had paid him later. The amount was $1500.
I have multiple phone texts from him saying that he will return the money but he hasn't now for months. Now he is refusing to take my calls or return my money. I plan to sue him in small claims court. I gave him the check in April 2012 and he cashed it in July 2015. What evidence do I need in the small claims court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened. Gather all the checks you gave your roommate during the time you lived together so you can show that you did not owe any rent money. Get a copy of this particular check too - if it specifically says that it's for rent, and you can show that you didn't owe rent, that will help. You're also allowed to use any texts or emails from your friend where he admits that he doesn't have a right to the money. Bring all of those with you. It would help if you could get official business records from the phone company (this is largely for your own protection in case something happens to your phone between now and the trial). Once a case is filed, you can get a blank subpoena from the clerk of the court and serve it on the cell phone company to get a certified print out of the text messages between the two of you. Or if you have any witnesses who can testify that he admitted cashing the check even though you didn't owe the money OR any witness who was there when he said he lost the check, that would help. Texts from when the check was supposedly lost can also help establish that he knows he wasn't entitled to this money. If you're asking for any overdraft fees you incurred because he cashed the check when he shouldn't have, you'll need your bank statements to show when the account went overdrawn.