BAD CHECK UNIT (BCU)
Section 97-19-55 of the Mississippi Code, commonly known as the “Mississippi Bad Check Law,” authorizes District Attorney’s Offices throughout the state to assist victims of bad check writers in recovering restitution. Our office was one of the first in the state to implement this program, even though no funding was allocated by the legislature to fund the program. The Bad Check Unit is self-sustaining and is funded exclusively by service charges recovered from defendants when payment of restitution is made through our office.
We look forward to working with you as we assist you in obtaining the restitution which you are owed as a result of being victimized by those who write bad checks.
Markeda Brown, Director | Bad Check Unit
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Instructions for Bad Check Complaints
You will need to pick up a Bad Check Complaint Packet from our office. The packets may also be faxed or emailed, upon your request. This contains instructions and the forms that you will need. The check must have been received within the Fourth Circuit Court District which is composed of Washington, Leflore and Sunflower Counties.
All bad checks must be stamped by the bank.
If the check is stamped “NSF” (insufficient funds), then you must send a Statutory Notice by mail. The check writer must be given fifteen (15) days to make the check good. After fifteen (15) days have passed and you have not received restitution, you may then file a complaint with our BCU. If the letter is returned unclaimed or undeliverable, you may file the complaint immediately. The letter must be sent to the address on the check or the address given by the check writer at the time the check was passed. If the check is stamped “Account Closed,” then you do not need to send a letter.
When you turn in a complaint, you must turn in the original or the Legal Copy (stamped by the bank) of the Check. You must also fill out a complaint form for each check that is turned in. Once a bad check complaint is filed with our office, you should not accept any payment toward the check. We do not charge merchants for handling their bad checks, however, if you accept payment on the check after you have turned in to our office, then you will be responsible for withdrawing the check. Mississippi law requires that a business or individual withdrawing a complaint pay a $30 service charge for each check that is withdrawn. The amount of withdraw will increase to $325 if the check has been indicted.
Do NOT File a Complaint If:
You have accepted any partial payment towards the check. This makes the matter civil and must be taken through a lower court. The check is a two-party check. The check is stamped “signature does not match” or “forgery.” These must be taken through the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency. The check is stamped “Stopped Payment.” These checks will also be taken through a lower court.
What Happens After We Receive A Bad Check Complaint?
We receive a very high number of checks. Each check is entered in the order that it is received. A $40 state fee and a $40 victim fee is added on to each check. We do not immediately issue an arrest warrant for the offender. State law requires that we send a series of letters giving them a chance to pay on the check through our office.
What Happens if They Still Fail to Pay On the Check?
If the check writer does not respond to our efforts to collect on the check, then the case is presented to the Grand Jury for an indictment. If the individual is indicted, a felony warrant is issued for their arrest. In order for us to present the case to the Grand Jury for indictment and prosecution, we must have the check writer’s correct Driver’s License Number or Social Security Number. It may take some time for the warrant to be served depending on how quickly the subject can be located, or the ability of law enforcement to serve the warrant.
If you have a check(s) that you would like to turn over to our office for prosecution please see the attached documents below. Please fill out the required documents in a timely manner and return them to the Bad Check Unit at the address listed within the documents.
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