My elderly mother loaned a friend $10,000. To pay back the loan, the friend wrote a number of checks to my mother and post dated them for the first day of the month for each month for my mother to cash. The check amounts were $500 each. The first 2 checks came back not sufficient funds. After some of the others were deposited, they all came back "closed account." My mother has a hand written note written by the check writer stating she promises to pay my mother back. The "friend" no longer accepts my mother's phone calls. I took my mother to the local sheriff's department who stated my mother will have to sue the friend in Civil Court. In efforts to write a demand letter, I would like to include the California bad check law, but cannot locate it. Can you help me? Thank you.
Penal Code Section 476 a deals with bad check writing. You should go to your local library and look up the statute. This format does not allow enough space for me to include it. Also look up Penal Code Section 1001.63 dealing with bad checks.
Also, California Civil Code Section 1719 provides the detail and information for the written demand for payment following dishonor of a check. Below is the Notice portion of that statute which deals with demand for payment after a check has been stopped. This is provided to you for educational purposes only. Attorneys cannot threatened criminal prosecution to gain an advantage in a civil proceeding. Therefore, the information is general reference and not a specific recommnedation for you. Additionally, the Notice is for a check that has been stopped by the maker rather than insufficient funds.
You might also consisder making an appointment with the District Attorney to see if that office can help.
(name of drawer)
___________________ is the payee of a check you wrote
(name of payee)
for $ ___________________. The check was not paid because you stopped
payment, and the payee demands payment. You may have a good faith dispute as to whether you owe the full amount. If you do not have a good faith dispute with the payee and fail to pay the payee the full amount of the check in cash, a service charge of an amount not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25) for the first check passed on insufficient funds and an amount not to exceed thirty-five dollars ($35) for each subsequent check passed on insufficient funds, and the costs to mail this notice within 30 days after this notice was mailed, you could be sued and held responsible to pay at least both of the following:
(1) The amount of the check.
(2) Damages of at least one hundred dollars ($100) or, if higher, three times the amount of the check up to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).
If the court determines that you do have a good faith dispute with the payee, you will not have to pay the service charge, treble damages, or mailing cost. If you stopped payment because you have a good faith dispute with the payee, you should try to work out your dispute with the payee. You can contact the payee at:
(name of payee)
You may wish to contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and responsibilities.
(name of sender of notice)