received a bad check, what do I do?
allows you to either sue them in civil court where you
might obtain treble damages, or you can present the
check to the Prosecuting Attorney, but you may not do
both! For questions about civil court, you should
contact your attorney. If you intend to prosecute a bad
check, you must first send a demand letter to the
address printed on the check. This letter must be sent
via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. Copies of
the demand letter are available.
What if they
do not pay after I mail the Demand Letter?
You may then
ask the Prosecutor to file charges. You must complete a
Probable Cause Affidavit and a Charging Information for
each check that you wish present. Samples of Probable
Cause Affidavit and Charging Information are available.
out everything prior to bringing these to our office. If
you have more than one bad check from the same person,
we will likely file on just one check and require
restitution on all of the checks as a condition of
if they want to pay off the check after I file it with
DO NOT ACCEPT
ANY PAYMENTS! Direct them to the prosecutor’s office.
Prosecuting someone criminally for a check, which has
been paid off, exposes you to potential civil liability.
We cannot keep track of payments made outside of our
office. If you accept payment after filing with us, we
will likely refuse to prosecute any future checks
written to you.
When do I get
It may be
awhile. Before we file charges we will send via U.S.
Mail a letter that says we have received a bad check and
it must be paid or charges will be filed. This letter
usually results in payment and saves time and money.
If the letter
is not returned, we assume that the person lives at the
address and simply did not respond. We then file charges
and send notice with a Sheriff’s Deputy directing the
person to appear in court.
If the letter
is returned, we assume the person has moved and we
request a warrant for their arrest. Once filed, the
average check deception is resolved in about 3-6 months.
particularly for large sums, may not come until 6-12
months. We will make every effort to obtain restitution,
but we cannot guarantee that we will get your money
back. Sometimes the only option is to have them sit in
For more information contact:
Shelby County Prosecutor’s
407 S. Harrison St.
Shelbyville, IN 46176
(317) 398-8847 FAX