Oregon Dishonored Check Law

Debts and Credit – Bad Checks – Oregon

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.

Civil Provisions

TITLE 3 REMEDIES AND SPECIAL ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS
Chapter 30 ACTIONS AND SUITS IN PARTICULAR CASES
MISCELLANEOUS ACTIONS
ORS 30.701 Actions against maker of dishonored check; statutory damages and attorney fees; handling fee (Oregon Revised Statutes (2015 Edition))

30.701 Actions against maker of dishonored check; statutory damages and attorney fees; handling fee. (1) In any action against a maker of a dishonored check, a payee may recover from the maker statutory damages in an amount equal to $100 or triple the amount for which the check is drawn, whichever is greater. Statutory damages awarded under this subsection are in addition to the amount for which the check was drawn and may not exceed by more than $500 the amount for which the check was drawn. The court shall allow reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal to the prevailing party in an action on a dishonored check and in any action on a check that is not paid because payment has been stopped.

(2) Statutory damages and attorney fees under subsection (1) of this section may be awarded only if the payee made written demand of the maker of the check not less than 30 days before commencing the action and the maker failed to tender to the payee before the commencement of the action an amount of money not less than the amount for which the check was drawn, all interest that has accrued on the check under ORS 82.010 as of the date of demand and any charges imposed under subsection (5) of this section.

(3) Statutory damages under subsection (1) of this section shall not be awarded by the court if after the commencement of the action but before trial the defendant tenders to the plaintiff an amount of money equal to the amount for which the check was drawn, all interest that has accrued on the check under ORS 82.010 as of the date of payment, any charges imposed under subsection (5) of this section, costs and disbursements and the plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees incurred as of the date of the tender.

(4) If the court or jury determines that the failure of the defendant to satisfy the dishonored check at the time demand was made under subsection (2) of this section was due to economic hardship, the court or jury has the discretion to waive all or part of the statutory damages provided for in subsection (1) of this section. If all or part of the statutory damages are waived under this subsection, judgment shall be entered in favor of the plaintiff for the amount of the dishonored check, all interest that has accrued on the check under ORS 82.010, any charges imposed under subsection (5) of this section, the plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees and costs and disbursements.

(5) If a check is dishonored, the payee may collect from the maker a fee not to exceed $35. Any award of statutory damages under subsection (1) of this section must be reduced by the amount of any charges imposed under this subsection that have been paid by the maker or that are entered as part of the judgment.

(6) The provisions of this section apply only to a check that has been dishonored because of a lack of funds or credit to pay the check, because the maker has no account with the drawee or because the maker has stopped payment on the check without good cause. A plaintiff is entitled to the remedies provided by this section without regard to the reasons given by the drawee for dishonoring the check.

(7) For the purposes of this section:

(a) “Check” means a check, draft or order for the payment of money.

(b) “Drawee” has that meaning given in ORS 73.0103.

(c) “Payee” means a payee, holder or assignee of a check. [1997 c.182 §2 (enacted in lieu of 30.700); 1999 c.707 §1; 2011 c.449 §1]

ORS 165.065 Negotiating a bad check (Oregon Revised Statutes (2015 Edition))
165.065 Negotiating a bad check. (1) A person commits the crime of negotiating a bad check if the person makes, draws or utters a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee.

(2) For purposes of this section, unless the check or order is postdated, it is prima facie evidence of knowledge that the check or order would not be honored if:

(a) The drawer has no account with the drawee at the time the check or order is drawn or uttered; or

(b) Payment is refused by the drawee for lack of funds, upon presentation within 30 days after the date of utterance, and the drawer fails to make good within 10 days after receiving notice of refusal.

(3) Negotiating a bad check is:

(a) A Class A misdemeanor, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

(b) Enhanced from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C felony if at the time of sentencing it is established beyond a reasonable doubt that the person has been convicted in this state, within the preceding five years, of the crime of negotiating a bad check or of theft by deception by means of a bad check. [1971 c.743 §161; 1979 c.594 §1]


Inside Oregon Dishonored Check Law