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.

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.

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.

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.


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!


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.

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.

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…