Consequences for Writing Bad Checks in California

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Latest post 12-05-2007 10:25 AM by ca19lawyer2. 4 replies.
  • 12-05-2007 3:07 AM

    Angry [:@] Consequences for Writing Bad Checks in California

    Hey all....

    Iam planning to meet with a lawyer to discuss my breach of contact case and to sue a person for writing a bad personal check and their bank account has been closed.

    The amount of these personal checks exceed over 8K. So its not small claims court case.

    To all the lawyers and people familar with california law,

    what are the possible consequences for a person for intentionally writing a bad check??

    Jail time? How much fines? And can i get the amount that i was suppose to get or more???

    thanks!

    happy holidays!
  • 12-05-2007 8:40 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Consequences for Writing Bad Checks in California

    Don't confuse criminal with civil remedies.

    If you think that this person wrote these checks in a deliberate attempt to defraud you, you make a police report. The police investigate and forward the findings to the District Attorney. The DA's office makes the decision to prosecute. If DA decides that there is not enough evidence to bring charges that ends any possible criminal case.

    You may, however, be able to sue the person in civil court. Just understand that your law suit will not result in that person being sent to jail or ordered to pay fines or restitution based upon criminal statutes. However, if the civil court rules that this person owes you 8K, you could take that judgment and attempt to levy assets that he has. This later statement assumes that he does not pay the judgment when presented to him. Many states also allow you to add post-judgment interest if the person subject to the judgment does not pay promptly.

    Please note that a civil judgment can be discharged bankruptcy. When considering suing someone civilly you need to make some assessment of the probability of collection if you win.
  • 12-05-2007 9:43 AM In reply to

    re: Consequences for Writing Bad Checks in California

    Here's a summary of CA bad check laws:

    Civil Penalties: Amount due, damages of treble the amount so owing, but in no case less than $100 or more than $500

    Criminal Penalties: Where amount is less than $200 an is first offense, up to one year in country jail. (Probably means more jail and/or big fines for 8k worth.

    CA small claims court limit is 7500. I wonder, since you said checks (plural) if each check could be a separate lawsuit within the small claims limit.

    I also agree about reporting to the authorities. Facing criminal prosecution might put pressure on the guy to pay up.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 12-05-2007 10:21 AM In reply to

    re: Consequences for Writing Bad Checks in California

    It's a crime. I don't know the details of possible punishment, and I'm not really sure why that would matter to you.

    From a civil perspective, take a look at Civil Code Section 1719 (link below). In short, if you give appropriate notice, you can potentially recover 3x the amount of the checks in addition to the face value of the check. I say "potentially" because it may be difficult to collect from someone who's writing bad checks.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1708-1725
  • 12-05-2007 10:25 AM In reply to

    Note [#=#] re: Consequences for Writing Bad Checks in California

    You appear to have some old information, Jack. The treble damages are no less than $100 and no more than $1500 per item. Civil Code Section 1719(a)(2).

    "CA small claims court limit is 7500. I wonder, since you said checks (plural) if each check could be a separate lawsuit within the small claims limit."

    If there is a "transactional relationship" between the checks, then they'd have to be handled in a single suit.
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