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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41015
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I was a check cashier and i would like to know what is the

Customer Question

I was a check cashier and i would like to know what is the statue of limitations on return checks.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

bad check is a check that you cannot cash because the person who wrote the check: 1) doesn't have sufficient funds to cover it; or 2) told the bank to stop payment on it without having a valid reason for doing so.

Writing a bad check is a crime if the check writer knew that there were insufficient funds to cover the check and intended to defraud someone. (California Penal Code section 476a.) It is also a crime to forge a check or write a fake check. If you believe you are a victim of criminal conduct, you should report this to the police department, sheriff's office, or district attorney's office of the county where the conduct took place.

Under California Civil Code section 1719, you can sue to recover the amount of a check if someone writes you a bad check without having a valid reason for doing so. You may also recover damages equaling three times the amount of the check, up to a maximum of $1,500, if you meet certain conditions:

  1. You must send a demand letter to the person who wrote the check. Send the letter by certified mail with a return receipt. In the letter, tell the check writer to pay you, within 30 days: 1) the amount of the check; 2) the cost of mailing the demand letter; and 3) any service fee your bank charged you for processing the bad check (up to $25 for the first check and $35 for each subsequent check). You must also tell the check writer about the provisions of California Civil Code section 1719. See below for sample demand letters.
  2. If the check writer does not pay you within 30 days, you can file a lawsuit. If your claim is for $10,000 or less, you can file in small claims court. If it is for more than $10,000, you must file in the civil division of the superior court.
  3. At the court hearing, show the judge a copy of the demand letter and the signed certified mail receipt from the post office that proves you mailed the letter. Also show the judge any other documents related to your case, such as bank statements, letters or emails you exchanged with the check writer, and notes of any conversations you had with the check writer.
  4. You do not have to prove that the check writer intended to defraud you or wrote the bad check on purpose. However, if the check writer put a stop payment on the check to resolve a good faith dispute, you may not be able to recover damages or other costs.

You would take the check to your local District Attorney here and file charges on this, it is a hot check.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

There are two SOLs in this situation, first the civil SOL (which I believe is four years in Cal.) and the criminal SOL which is 5 years.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

If you pass bad checks totaling nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less, and you do not have certain prior convictions on your record, then you are guilty of a misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor conviction subjects you to up to one year in a county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. A felony conviction subjects you to up to three years in the California state prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

And in addition to these criminal penalties, the payee could sue you in civil court to recoup the full amount of the check as well as additional damages that could total up to $1,500.

I would try to prosecute them here first you are way more likely to collect as a crime and restitution here is possible.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

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