2009 New Jersey Code
TITLE 2A - ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
2a:32A
2A:32A-1 - Civil action for bad 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: 

              DEMAND FOR PAYMENT OF DISHONORED CHECK

 

DATE:............................

TO:..............................

 

        NAME OF MAKER                 WARNING: YOU MAY BE SUED IF

                                        YOU DO NOT MAKE PAYMENT OF

                                        THE AMOUNT SHOWN ON THIS

                                        NOTICE WITHIN 35 DAYS AFTER

                                        THE DATE THIS NOTICE WAS

                                        MAILED.

................................

 

...............................

 

...............................

LAST KNOWN RESIDENCE ADDRESS OR

PLACE OF BUSINESS

 

OUR CHECK/DRAFT/ORDER IN THE AMOUNT OF $...............

DATED............., PAYABLE TO THE ORDER OF

................................  HAS BEEN DISHONORED BY THE BANK OR

  OTHER DEPOSITORY UPON WHICH IT HAS BEEN DRAWN BECAUSE:

....THE MAKER HAD NO ACCOUNT WITH SUCH BANK OR DEPOSITORY

....THE MAKER HAD INSUFFICIENT FUNDS ON DEPOSIT WITH SUCH BANK OR

DEPOSITORY

 

IF YOU DO NOT MAKE PAYMENT WITHIN 35 DAYS AFTER THE DATE THIS NOTICE

WAS MAILED, YOU MAY BE SUED TO RECOVER PAYMENT.  IF A JUDGMENT IS

RENDERED AGAINST YOU IN COURT, IT WILL INCLUDE NOT ONLY THE ORIGINAL

FACE AMOUNT OF THE CHECK/DRAFT/ORDER, BUT ALSO ADDITIONAL LIQUIDATED

DAMAGES OF NOT LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100) NOR MORE THAN

THE FACE AMOUNT OF THE CHECK/DRAFT/ORDER PLUS FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS

($500).

 

LEASE MAKE PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $..............TO:

 

                                      ............................

                                        NAME OF PAYEE

 

                                      ............................

 

                                      ............................

 

                                      ............................

                                        ADDRESS TO WHICH PAYMENT

                                        SHOULD BE DELIVERED

 

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. 

L.1993,c.379. 

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