Process For Filing a Worthless Check Complaint
PROCESS FOR FILING A WORTHLESS CHECK COMPLAINT
In order to file a worthless check complaint with the Worthless Check Unit, the following steps must be taken:
1. If the worthless check is stamped INSUFFICIENT FUNDS*, Alabama Law requires you to send a Statutory Notice (printable version available below) to the person who signed the check. The letter must be mailed to the address printed or handwritten on the check at the time of issuance. THE LETTER MUST BE SENT VIA CERTIFIED MAIL (RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED) VIA THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE.
*If the check in question is stamped CLOSED ACCOUNT, you are NOT required to send a statutory notice, although you may do so if you wish.
2. You MUST give the check writer ten (10) full business days from the date they receive the letter (as indicated on the return receipt/green card) to make the check good. If the check writer has failed to clear the matter after that period, you may file a complaint with this office. Note that in the event the statutory notice is returned to you by the Post Office for any reason (i.e. “unclaimed,” “attempted not known”, or “moved and left no forwarding order”), you may immediately refer the check to the Worthless Check Unit.
3. Once you are prepared to file a worthless check complaint with our office, you will need to bring the following item(s) to the Worthless Check Unit:
A) The original check or certified copy of check as returned to you by your bank.
B) The Certified Mail Return Receipt (“green card”) OR The undelivered Statutory Notice.* Note that if you are turning over a Closed Account check, ONLY the the check is required.
When you arrive at the Worthless Check Unit, you will be required to fill out two forms. The first of these forms is the Intake Inventory Form (printable version available below). The second form is the WCU Intake Document/Referral Form (printable version available below). You may choose to have the forms filled out prior to your visit to our office to expedite the process.
Once you have completed the paperwork, you will then be directed to the Warrant Magistrate on the 6th Floor of the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse where a misdemeanor arrest warrant will be sworn out for subject who is alleged to have passed/negotiated the check(s) in question. From that point on, the Worthless Check Unit will handle the matter and no further action is required of you unless your testimony is needed in court.
Please note that under Alabama State Law, if payment of any kind (full or partial) is accepted by the victim/complainant after a complaint is filed with the WCU, or it is found that payment was accepted prior to the filing of the complaint, the complaint MUST be withdrawn and a $30.00 service fee paid to the Worthless Check Unit by the victim/merchant.