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I stopped payment on a $500.00 check and I am being asked by

the place that cashed the...
I stopped payment on a $500.00 check and I am being asked by the place that cashed the check in California to pay for the face value of the check, costs and if I don’t pay I will need to pay court costs too.
1. My company is incorporated in Illinois.
2. I sent a corporate check for $500.00 on February 27, 2013, for travel expenses to a prospective employee. He signed a statement to use funds for travel.
3. The next day I discovered that the prospective employee had lied on some information he supplied to me.
4. I then called my bank and stopped payment on the check.
5. I sent an email to the person that I was no longer going to hire stating that I had stopped payment on the check.
6. I have copies of everything that I have stated.
7. Four weeks later the subject took the check to a check cashing service in California.
8. The California check cashing service cashed the check on April 8, 2013, and presumably gave the subject $500.00.
9. On April 12, 2013, I received a certified mail letter from the check cashing company stating that if I did not pay them $550.00 they will sue my corporation.

I have the following questions concerning this matter:
1. What court can they sue my incorporated company in, small claims, circuit or superior?
2. What state will they need to sue my corporation in, California or Illinois?
3. Will they need to serve me with a process server or can they do this by U.S. mail?
4. Since I sent an email to the subject stating that I stopped payment on the check 3 weeks prior to him cashing it and 1 day after issuing the check, my corporation and the check cashing company are victims of fraud. Can the check cashing company collect additional charges over the $500.00 face of the check from me since this was fraud?
5. Where should I file a criminal complaint against the subject for the fraud?
6. Since I was defrauded by the subject and sent him an email telling him that I issued a stop payment can I be held liable by the check cashing company for the $500.00 face amount, as I am a victim in this situation?
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
7/2/2013
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

1. What court can they sue my incorporated company in, small claims, circuit or superior? - It would be small claims. Any other court would not make financial sense.

ScottyMacEsq :

2. What state will they need to sue my corporation in, California or Illinois? - The proper jurisdiction would be Illinois, as that is the domicile of the defendant corporation.

ScottyMacEsq :

3. Will they need to serve me with a process server or can they do this by U.S. mail? - It would probably be a constable or process server, but if they can't effectuate service through that, then the alternative service would probably be through the mail.

ScottyMacEsq :

4. Since I sent an email to the subject stating that I stopped payment on the check 3 weeks prior to him cashing it and 1 day after issuing the check, my corporation and the check cashing company are victims of fraud. Can the check cashing company collect additional charges over the $500.00 face of the check from me since this was fraud? - No. You had no contract with the check cashing company and you legally stopped payment. If you look at any bank agreement for an account it will have some language to the affect that deposits are accepted with conditions and those conditions are that the checks are valid and collectible. If a check is deposited into a bank account and is not paid due to insufficient funds or stopped payment orders then the bank will charge the account of the depositer, not the person who wrote the check. So the check cashing place must collect from their "depositer", the roofer to whom they gave the money. Had they verified the check there would have been no problem. So if they are a holder in due course then they are holding whatever they have which is a check on which payment was stopped. The fact is that they should have checked that the check was valid. If they had run the check, it would have shown that there was a stop payment. This is different than if you had put a stop payment after they paid for it (in which they could go after you). But since you did before, they would lose the "good faith" argument.

ScottyMacEsq :

5. Where should I file a criminal complaint against the subject for the fraud? - You can do that where they live, as arguably that's where the "crime" was committed.

ScottyMacEsq :

6. Since I was defrauded by the subject and sent him an email telling him that I issued a stop payment can I be held liable by the check cashing company for the $500.00 face amount, as I am a victim in this situation? - No, because you stopped payment on the check long before that, and since they did not verify that the check was still good, they would take the risk.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

I was looking for more of a legal answer that will cite case law. I have looked into civil code sec 1719 and California Uniform Commercial code sec 3302 and I believe with these they will prevail. I would like to know how my situation relates to the California code? Can you be of help in that respect?

ScottyMacEsq :

3302 will apply more than 1719. Note in 4 I mentioned "holder in due course".

ScottyMacEsq :

That's really what you would want to argue. 3302 (2) The holder took the instrument (A) for value, (B) in good faith, (C) without notice that the instrument is overdue or has been dishonored or that there is an uncured default with respect to payment of another instrument issued as part of the same series, (D) without notice that the instrument contains an unauthorized signature or has been altered, (E) without notice of any claim to the instrument described in Section 3306, and (F) without notice that any party has a defense or claim in recoupment described in subdivision (a) of Section 3305.

ScottyMacEsq :

The check cashing place would need to verify first that the check was still good. If it did not do so, then "good faith" and "without notice" would be negated.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for case law, while I could research case law, that takes a lot of time and is outside of the scope of the question. Further it takes an investment, because the legal search engines require payments to search (typically about $20 per search). Finally, legal research is representation, which is strictly prohibited by the terms of service of this site, and if I were to do that, I could get kicked off this site. I wish I could help you there, but unfortunately it's something that I cannot do.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

the good faith answer is exactly what I was looking for and the case law was a poor choice of words on my part. thank you for the clarification . I was also happy to hear they would need to take court action in IL. I"M thinking this will just go away , but if not at least I have the argument . thank again

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
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ScottyMacEsq
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Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
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