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Worthless check “double jeopardy”?

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mrmailboxman

Junior Member
STATE is VIRGINIA


I had a person write me a check ( $50.00) I deposited it, and it came back “account closed“, I was charged a $5.00 fee for the returned check. I sent the person a letter (registered mail) and gave them 30 days to send the money. My intentions have been to take this matter to civil court and try to get the money back, plus as I understand, I can get 3 times the amount of the check, by Virginia law (VA codes § 8.01-27.2 and § 8.01-27.1) So, I went to small claims and sued them for $50.00 plus the $5.00 fee plus $150.00, the cost of the letter, and court costs.
The address on the check is where the civil warrant was sent, but the defendant had moved, so we tried to serve it at their work, (in Blacksburg) but, the employer didn’t allow civil service there. The warrant came back to the clerk, un-served. So Ill need to pay a $12.00 re-filling fee to have it served again, that is, if I can find an address where they can be served.
My question is, I have already sent them another certified letter asking them to send the $50.00 within 5 days as described in the criminal code, can I have them charged in criminal court (§ 18.2-181) for the act of actually writing the worthless check, because it was a closed account when they wrote the check. Then, when the defendant comes to Washington County for the arraignment or preliminary hearing, pay the 12.00 re-filling fee that day and have them served in the court room for the civil warrant? I am confused because the way the code reads:

"§ 8.01-27.2. Civil recovery for giving bad check.
In the event a check, draft or order, the payment of which has been refused by the drawee because of lack of funds in or credit with such drawee, is not paid in full within thirty days after receipt by the drawer of written notice by registered, certified, or regular mail with the sender retaining an affidavit of service of mailing or other sufficient proof of mailing, which may be a U.S. Postal Certificate of Mailing, from the payee that the check, draft or order has been returned unpaid, the payee may recover from the drawer in a civil action brought by the filing of a warrant in debt, the lesser of $250 or three times the amount of the check, draft or order. The amount recovered as authorized by this section shall be in addition to the amounts authorized for recovery under § 8.01-27.1. No action may be initiated under this section if any action has been initiated under § 18.2- 181. The drawer shall be obligated to pay the cost of service and the cost of mailing, as applicable"


Is there a certain order this has to be followed? Criminal first, then civil? Or does it matter? I just figured deputies will be more likely to serve the criminal warrant at her work before they will serve a civil warrant. Sorry to bother you I just figured you’d be an expert with this, I’ve called several attorneys and some say I can, and some say I cant, and the clerk said I cant, because its double jeopardy, I didn’t think it was double jeopardy if it was in 2 different courts, Civil and Criminal? The act or writing a worthless check is a criminal offence which is handled in criminal court, but why is there a separate code for civil recovery? As I see it, by the defendant having to pay back the 50.00 check itself in both courts could be double jeopardy I guess, but what if the criminal court orders them to pay “restitution” in the amount of $50.00, then can I try to claim the $150.00 and other cost , in civil court?


Nick Stafford

[email protected]

1- 423-963-9548 or 1888-MR ML BOX
 


JETX

Senior Member
mrmailboxman said:
I have already sent them another certified letter asking them to send the $50.00 within 5 days as described in the criminal code, can I have them charged in criminal court (§ 18.2-181) for the act of actually writing the worthless check, because it was a closed account when they wrote the check. Then, when the defendant comes to Washington County for the arraignment or preliminary hearing, pay the 12.00 re-filling fee that day and have them served in the court room for the civil warrant?
Yep. Contact your local DA about the criminal pursuit. Then, have them served when they show up in court. Simply, contact the bailiff PRIOR to the court date and see if he will 'deliver' the notice to them when their case is called.

Is there a certain order this has to be followed? Criminal first, then civil? Or does it matter?
Doesn't matter.

[qutoe]the clerk said I cant, because its double jeopardy, I didn’t think it was double jeopardy if it was in 2 different courts, Civil and Criminal?[/quote]
The clerk is wrong... and you are correct. Civil and criminal are two separate actions.
Hell, OJ was found not guilty in Criminal and guilty in Civil.
 

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