I got a NSF check from a corporation and I've sent the demand to pay letter for 30 days. What's the next step? What are the steps that I have to do to get the money? Anything that I need to prepare in advance?
Thanks & have a great day,
CPMichael, Thank you very much for the info. The amount is much more than $10K. Where/How/What do I file in the "regular" court? The corporation is in the city of Roland Height, (Los Angeles) California. Thanks, CP
Depending on the reply or lack of it, if under $10,000 the next step is small claims court. If you do an internet search, the web site for California Small Claims Court is great. More complex is collecting on a judgment you eventually obtain. The only "hint" to Small Claims Court is to bring one set of copies for the judge, one set of copies for the defendant and one set for you. If you don't give a copy to the defendant, the judge won't let you offer the documents in evidence. If over $10,000 your decision is whether to waive the excess (e.g. if the check was $12,000, just sue for $10,000)(you cannot "split" your claim") but if much over, you may need to file in "regular" court. An attorney would be a big help in the Superior Court.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
You will need to file:
1. Complaint, Summons and Civil Case cover sheet with the Superior Court (2 copies - one for the court and one for you to copy and serve). You would file in the district where the defendant is located.
2. You will then need to serve the Complaint and Summons and any other documents the court provides to you on the defendant within 60 days of filing your claim. Use a good process server in LA for this.
3. If the defendant files an answer, then they are disputing you claim. If they do not file an answer then you can obtain a default judgment against the defendant.
Check the court web site for forms and procedure. They have general information re the above.
It is best to hire an experienced lawyer to do this. You are not a lawyer and do not know what to do or how to proceed.
If you need assistance, I have an office in Laguna Niguel.
You should consult with a litigation attorney. Often times, the client's 30 day demand to pay letter is defective, and may need to be re-done before filing a lawsuit.
California Civil Code section 1719 allows the receiver of a bad check to recover three times the amount of the check, up to $1500, in civil court if sufficient notice is mailed or delivered to the person who wrote the check. The damages are in addition to collecting the value of the check and they could include court and mailing costs.
Assuming the notice is proper, the next step is to file a civil lawsuit to collect on the bad check.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
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