Q: Does anyone have an ordinance on bounced checks? I am typing an ordinance for insufficient funds checks and would like some examples to look at.
Pine Haven ~ A service charge of at least $15.00 shall be imposed upon any customer who, in full or partial payment of a town utility bill, tenders a check, which is thereafter returned to the town as a result of insufficient funds in the customer's checking account. The town council may establish by annual resolution a service charge or fee which varies from the above-listed amount.
Dubois ~ Charges for the use of Town Utilities and all other fees shall be due and payable on or before the last day of the month. A late charge of an amount equal to ten (10) percent of the charge for services shall be added to the regular monthly charge if not paid on or before the 10th day of the month following billing. All persons who tender checks to the Town that are returned to the Town for insufficient funds or for stop payment shall be charged a fee equal to the fee charged the Town by financial institutions for the returned check.
Alpine ~ A service fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00) will be charged for all returned checks. This fee will be added to the user’s account or as determined by the Treasurer. Should a customer have three checks returned during one calendar year, that customer shall, for the next six month period following notice of such requirement, pay all water bills in cash, a cashier’s check, or a money order. After such six month period, the customer may begin paying water bills with personal checks again, subject to the limitations above.
As used in this chapter:
“Check” means a written unconditional order to pay a sum certain in money drawn on a bank payable on demand and signed by the drawer.
“Drawee” means the bank or purported bank upon which a check is drawn.
“Drawer” means a person either real or fictitious whose name appears on a check as the primary obligor whether the actual signature is that of him or herself or of a person authorized to draw the check in his or her behalf.
“Insufficient funds” means when the drawer issues a check from the drawee and has no checking account with the drawee or has funds or credit in a checking account with the drawee in an amount less than the amount of the check plus the amount of all other checks outstanding at the time of issuance. A check dishonored for “no account,” “account closed” or “nonsufficient funds” shall also be deemed to be dishonored for “insufficient funds.”
“Issue” means make, draw, deliver or pass a check.
“Knowingly issues” means issuing a check to obtain property or to pay a debt with intent to defraud or deceive any other person. (Ord. 782 § 1, 2010)
9.39.020 Fraud by check—Penalties.
A. Any person who knowingly issues a check which is not paid because the drawer has insufficient funds or credit with the drawee has issued a fraudulent check and commits fraud by check.
B. Fraud by check is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars, or both, if the fraudulent check was for a sum of less than one thousand dollars. (Ord. 782 § 2, 2010)
9.39.030 Prima facie evidence of intent that check not to be paid—Evidence of knowledge of account balance.
A. Any of the following is prima facie evidence that the person at the time he or she issued the check or other order for the payment of money intended that it should not be paid:
1. Proof that at the time of issuance he or she did not have an account with the drawee;
2. Proof that at the time of issuance he or she did not have sufficient funds with the drawee and that he or she failed to pay the check or other order within five days after receiving notice of nonpayment or dishonor, personally given or sent to the address shown on the check or other order; or
3. Proof that when presentment was made in a reasonable time the issuer did not have sufficient funds with the drawee and he or she failed to pay the check or other order within five days after receiving notice of nonpayment or dishonor, personally given or sent to the address shown on the check or other order.
B. Proof the drawer opened an account with the drawee on a certain date shall be considered evidence of the drawer’s knowledge of the account balance on that date. (Ord. 782 § 3, 2010)
9.39.040 Acquirer of right to check with insufficient funds may file complaint—Deferred prosecution or probation and restitution on checks.
A. Any person, having acquired rights with respect to a check which is not paid because the drawer has insufficient funds, may file a complaint under this act whether or not he or she is the payee, holder or bearer of the check.
B. If deferred prosecution or probation is ordered, the court as a condition of supervision shall require the defendant to make restitution in an amount not to exceed twice the amount of the dishonored check on all checks issued by the defendant which are unpaid as of the date of commencement of the supervision in addition to other terms and conditions appropriate for the treatment or rehabilitation of the defendant. (Ord. 782 § 4, 2010)
Rolling Hills ~ Our NSF language is two-fold. In our water ordinance, we have the following language:
Any Consumer checks returned by a financial institution due to non-sufficient funds shall constitute an NSF fee to be applied to Consumer’s account. Said NSF fee shall be established by Resolution.
We set all our variable amounts via resolution so that we don’t have to keep amending the ordinance.
A Resolution Setting Forth the Penalty for Monies Debited from the Water Fund
Due to Non Sufficient Funds on the Part of a Consumer
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE TOWN OF ROLLING HILLS, WYOMING, THAT:
WHEREAS, it is necessary for the Governing Body to take appropriate action when monies are debited from the Water Fund of the Town of Rolling Hills due to non sufficient funds on the part of a Consumer; and,
WHEREAS, Consumers should be held liable and penalized for issuing non sufficient funds to the Town of Rolling Hills.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE FOLLOWING IS HEREBY RESOLVEDBY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE TOWN OF ROLLING HILLS, WYOMING, by a motion passed, unanimously, on June 16, 2009:
a. A Twenty Dollar ($20.00) charge will be credited to the water account of a Consumer who issues a check to the Town of Rolling Hills for payment of water services, and in which said check is debited from the Town of Rolling Hills by a financial institution due to non sufficient funds.
b. The balance of Consumer’s water account shall be billed in the normal proceedings as set forth in Ordinance 2009-105.