Legal Question in Business Law in New Jersey

My husband owns a small business. 3 yrs ago, when our business was brand new, he had sold a job to a national franchise, received a deposit for the work but before the job began, the project was cancelled. We returned the deposit but due to an accounting mix up, the check bounced. Big oops. My husband immediately met up with the owner and returned the deposit in cash. The relationship ended and we haven't heard from them since. No email, voicemail or written communication of any kind. Until today. My husband got a notice in the mail with a court date from a local municipality. He called for to find out what it was about and was told he was being sued for writing a bad check. He was also informed that there was a warrent out for his arrest for failing to appear at a previous court date. Turns out, they had sent the first notice to an address we lived at 5 yrs ago, and was never associated with the business. Somehow they realized they had. Wrong address on their own but kept the warrent in effect. He now has a court date on Wed, and is baffled beyond belief and scrambling to find a paper receipt from 3 years ago. How could a situation get this far without having any knowledge of there being an issue for more than 3 years! And why would they be going after him personally, when it was a check issued by the business. So confused and not sure what to do. Help!

Asked on 1/30/12, 8:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Randall Brett Law Office of Randall P. Brett

Your husband needs to speak with an attorney immediately. The issues here are too complex to discuss in a public forum.

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Answered on 1/31/12, 8:18 am

Jeffrey Walters Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Walters, LLC

This is what I deduce from your description: It sounds like he was charged with the crime of passing a bad check. This has nothing to do with being sued. What probably happened is that the recipient of the check made a complaint with the police and your husband was charged. Then he paid the cash. In the meantime, this did not change the fact that a criminal summons was generated. When he failed to appear on the court date (they probably issued a summons by mail and as you say they had the address wrong), a warrant was issued. It lingered since then until the present when he finally received the notice. It is not motivated by the person who he gave the check to originally, but rather, the unaddressed municipal court summons. The fact that he immediately made up the bad check with cash is very important. I have a suggestion for him if he wishes to call me. Potentially, he may be able to resolve this easily and if he is unsuccessful, he can then retain an attorney for assistance.

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Answered on 1/31/12, 2:57 pm

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