Debts and Credit – Bad Checks – New Jersey
Related New Jersey Legal Forms
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive summary of the law of bad checks, but does contain basic and other provisions.
TITLE 2A ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SUBTITLE 6 SPECIFIC CIVIL ACTIONS
CHAPTER 32A. CIVIL ACTIONS FOR DISHONORED CHECKS.
2A:32A-1. Civil action for bad checks
1. a. Notwithstanding N.J.S.2C:21-5, or any other criminal sanction which may apply, any person who makes any check, draft, or order of withdrawal for the payment of money which is subsequently dishonored for lack of funds or credit to pay, or because the maker does not have an account with the drawee, and who then fails to pay the face amount in cash or by cashier’s or certified check within 35 days after the date a demand for payment of dishonored check notice was mailed by or on behalf of a payee by certified mail to the maker’s last known address, shall be liable to the payee, in addition to the amount owing upon the check, draft or order, for attorneys’ fees, court costs and the costs of mailing the written demand for payment and for damages in an amount equal to $100 or triple the amount for which the check, draft or order is drawn or made, whichever is greater. However, damages recovered under this section shall not exceed by more than $500 the amount of the check, draft or order.
For purposes of this section, “date” means the date indicated on the form registering the demand notice as certified mail.
b. A cause of action under this section may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction. Prior to the hearing of any action under this section, the defendant may tender to the plaintiff and the plaintiff shall accept as satisfaction of the claim, an amount of money equal to the sum of the face amount of the check, draft, or order and the incurred attorneys’ fees, court costs and costs of mailing the written demand for payment.
c. The written demand for payment required by this section shall be in the following form and shall be printed in both the English and Spanish languages:
… [ see, USLF form NJ-401N ] …
d. If the court or jury determines that the failure of the defendant to satisfy the dishonored check was due to economic hardship, the court or jury may waive all or part of the statutory damages. However, if the court or jury waives all or part of the statutory damages, the court shall render judgment against the defendant in the amount of the dishonored check plus incurred attorneys’ fees, court costs and costs of mailing the written demand for payment.