Suing for Bad Checks in Small Claims

California Small ClaimsIt can be very frustrating when you get a check from someone to pay what they owe you and then have it bounce higher than a rubber ball. After you deposit it in your bank account though you may find out later on that the check was no good. This means you are out the value of that check and it may have caused your balance to drop below what you needed to cover other checks you had written. If you contact that individual or business that bounced the check, and they don’t give you the money for the value of the check plus the additional fees from your bank, you may want to consider suing them in small claims court.

California has laws in place that cover individuals from being the victim of bad check writing. The specifics of it are found in the Civil Code Section 1719. Under this code, anyone who writes a bad check can be liable for much more than just the face value of the check. They can be sued for that face value plus three times that amount. There are also specifics that apply to someone stopping a payment on a check they wrote to you as well.

If you have been burned by someone due to a bad check, you don’t need to just eat that cost. The laws in California are on you side and they can help to ensure you get the money that is owed to you. In fact, they can help you to get much more in the form of punitive damages. If you are considering filing a case due to a bad check you received, check out the information at Here you will find the step by step details of the process but I will quickly summarize the important points below.

The first part of the process is to notify the writer of that check in writing. Make sure you send that letter to them certified mail so you have a record for the court that it was sent. The letter needs to state specifically why they owe you money. Reference the check number and the amount. You can enclose a copy of that check if you choose to do so as well.

You also need to include information stating you expect full payment to be made within 30 days. Make sure you specify the amount they owe and you can include additional charges. Make sure you offer a breakdown of the fees so they can see what you are asking payment for. You also want to tell them where to send the payment and that it needs to be in the form of a cashiers check. They can pay you in cash too but it is best for them not to do so through the mail. Make sure you let them know that you will file a case with the California small claims court if that 30 days passes without payment.

Once that time frame has passed you can legally go file a case. Make sure you specify that amount of money you are suing for. You will need to take a copy of your demand letter as well as the proof it was mailed and received. This way you can show the judge you did attempt to collect the funds on your own as you need to do under the California code 1719.

We know how frustrating dealing with debtors can be but we may be able to help. If you have sued and won in a California Small Claims Court and your money judgment has gone uncollected, please read about our California Small Claims judgment enforcement process and then submit your case to Paladin Legal Support to see if we can turn that piece of paper into cash.