The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-23-2008, 06:32 PM
dauerbach dauerbach is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Stop payment on check to cover services provided

My ex-employer, after about nine months, issued me a check for half of what he owed me and then promply stopped payment on it. I am hoping that this is a criminal offense and that I can contact the DA's office about it. Does anyone know? I live in Maryland and the check was for just under $9,000. I also have a civil suit in the works but am hoping that I can take criminal action now as well.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-23-2008, 06:39 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Was this the check from a week ago that was to get you to drop charges?

I'm pretty sure it's the same as just writing a check that you didn't have the money to cover. It gets you into more legal trouble than just not paying.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 08-23-2008 at 06:41 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-23-2008, 10:06 PM
dauerbach dauerbach is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Yes, it was the very same check. At first his story was there was a hold on the deposit. What he really did was flat out cancel the check.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:01 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
I knew it. This pisses me off and I don't have anything coming. Next time cash only. I knew you couldn't trust this bastard, and he did exactly what I expected. I won't add to this thread anymore, since I can't give you the help you want.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:56 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Hi

total law layperson here...

my limited understanding as well is that it is a BIG NO NO to write a check then stop payment on it.

Much, much worse than bouncing a check, probably even worse than refusing to pay for services rendered.

Bouncing a check can be explained away with an honest error or poor math skills, inattenion, late deposits and so on. As long as you pay the fees and make good on the bounced check, its all relatively good so to speak.

If you refuse to pay for services, but have some kind of reason, like the painter painted the room red and you say you told him blue, you might be okay and its off to civil court you both go.

In my understanding, writing a check with NO intention of being able to back it up is on the same level as theft generally. And that high dollar amount on that check probably ramps up the possible charge "level" as well.

Off the top of my head there are two exceptions to allow stop payment on check. One, you wrote it because you feared for safety and just wanted the guy leave. Second, you realize it was a scam/fraud, like for expample you paid for a bigfoot corpse and you quickly realize its just a rubber suit in a freezer.

If this guy has really done you wrong, I'd say you may well now have him by the short and curlies.

Good luck!

Blll
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-24-2008, 11:14 AM
KRSOradio KRSOradio is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
The act is not illegal, all the guy will do is say the checkbook was stolen so he put a stop payment on all the checks. Or the guy writing the checks for the company was involved in some scam, for instance, they could say they had no intention of paying you until the civil suit was resolved but some account took it on his own behalf to write you a check. Or the check was written without authorization, for example all checks over $1,000 must be approved by the controller.

It's OK to stop a check if it is for a valid reason, you need to document WHY it was stopped before you get into criminal issues. The flip side is the guy will think of 100 legitimate reasons to stop payment.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-24-2008, 11:37 AM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Was this a check for employee wages? If so, then you may have a good case for violation of labor law, with penalties and attorney fees. Check your state law.

If it was just a check for something else, then you should read California Civil Code 1719 and find out if your jurisdiction has a similar law.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-24-2008, 11:42 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRSOradio
It's OK to stop a check if it is for a valid reason, you need to document WHY it was stopped before you get into criminal issues. The flip side is the guy will think of 100 legitimate reasons to stop payment.

My layman understanding is there BETTER be a valid and reasonable reason...and you (the guy writing the check) better have some documentation/proof FOR that reason.

Otherwise its pretty much the equivalent of handing out counterfeit currency...and if you think about it, its understandable why it would be considered so...

And it sounds to me like this guy (the check writer) is more of a waving the hands in the air kinda guy

just my 2 drakmas...

Blll
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.