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A Mr Jeff Dawson who lives in Morgan Town West Virginia has

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A Mr Jeff Dawson who lives in Morgan Town West Virginia has written a bad check on Jan 30th 2013 for $4000.00 which bounced . Mr Dawson has said after being contacked that he will send the money. We have found out he has done this many times before to others for large amounts and not paid. Am I better off sending him a certified letter containing a demand for payment and then when he does not pay going to the Attorney Generals office in Mass and have them handle it or have a lawyer in West XXXXX XXXXXdle it. Can I get tripple the bounced check amount by law if he does not pay after he receives the demand letter if it goes to court as a felony?

Hello Kerry,

My name isXXXXX a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.

Sure sorry for the circumstances, truly. My heart goes out to you.

Accordingly, I'm pleased to share the following information with you.

Were I in your shoes, my best move would be to contact Massachusetts local law enforcement. Here's why I say so. While a minority of state jurisdictions do provide for the possibility of recovering treble damages, neither Massachusetts or West Virginia fall into that approach. Also, while of course you're certainly free to go the route of retaining private legal counsel, that can quickly become a costly endeavor. So, my personal preference would be to take the matter to the criminal law authorities. That way you know an investigation can be made, especially given the prior history you relate, by folks who handle bad check cases on a daily basis. Also, by going this route you have the very attractive remedy of not only criminal law sanctions but monetary restitution to you backed by the authority of the Court.

I really do hope things soon look brighter, and please know you deserve to be treated properly.

If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.

I truly hope all works out for you.

Take care,

Ben, J.D.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

when you say mass does not provide for recovery of treble damages does that mean forget the attorney gererals dept and just go to the local police and file charges or the courts?

Hello again Kerry,

Thanks for writing back...great to hear from you!

Yes, I'm saying I would go to local law enforcement (canceled check in hand), and seek prosecution. Were this one of the handful of jurisdictions offering treble damages through civil litigation I would say differently. In this instance, though, I would go directly to law enforcement and waste no time trying to negotiate with the check writer. Unless he makes good immediately, meaning making you whole by paying the full face amount of the check plus your bank fees, it's extremely unlikely you'll see your money back by continuing to contact him, at least in my prior experience. Many local prosecutors have special bad check programs. In Massachusetts this offense is treated like other forms of criminal larceny. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, Section 37. In addition, the law recognizes civil liability and prescribes a standard form demand letter and mailing procedure as follows (please click the following link):

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, Section 40A

So, I don't mean to say you're limited to one or the other. However, I am saying that going to your local prosecutor's office should be your next step to get their guidance. I would do so tomorrow, as each office employs a somewhat different approach in what they prefer.

Best regards,

Ben, J.D.

LawHelpNow and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Hello Kerry,

I enjoyed working with you recently.

How are things going?

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Please just let me know.


Ben, J.D.