52-565a Section text
52-565a Section text
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Sec. 52-565a. Liability of drawer for dishonored check. Service charge on drawer for dishonored check. (a) A drawer negotiating a check who knows or should know that payment of such check will be refused by the drawee bank either because the drawer has no account with such bank or because the drawer has insufficient funds on deposit with such bank shall be liable to the payee for damages, in addition to the face amount of the check, provided the payee has presented such check for payment, the check is dishonored and the drawer fails to pay the face amount of such check within thirty days following the date of mailing by the payee of the written demand for payment as provided in subsection (f) of this section.

(b) In the case of a drawer negotiating a check who knows or should know that payment of such check will be refused by the drawee bank because the drawer has no account with such bank, such damages shall be in an amount to be determined by the court in light of the circumstances, but in no event shall such amount be greater than the face amount of the check or seven hundred fifty dollars, whichever is less.

(c) In the case of a drawer negotiating a check who knows or should know that payment of such check will be refused by the drawee bank because the drawer has insufficient funds on deposit with such bank, such damages shall be in an amount to be determined by the court in light of the circumstances, but in no event shall such amount be greater than the face amount of the check or four hundred dollars, whichever is less.

(d) The drawer shall not be liable to the payee for the damages provided for by this section if: (1) The drawer gave such check as payment for residential service supplied by a gas, electric, steam, telephone or water utility; (2) the drawer gave such check as payment for the rental of residential premises; or (3) the drawer gave such check as repayment of all, or a portion of, a debt secured by collateral which the payee has repossessed.

(e) The damages provided for in this section shall be available only to those persons or entities which post or otherwise give conspicuous notice to the public of the damages which may be imposed pursuant to this section. Such notice shall set forth: (1) The damages that may be imposed if a check is dishonored; (2) the section of the general statutes authorizing imposition of such damages; and (3) that criminal penalties also may apply.

(f) The written demand for payment on the dishonored check shall be in the form prescribed by subsection (g) of this section and shall be sent to the drawer's last-known residence address or last-known place of business (1) by first class mail and certified mail return receipt requested with delivery restricted to the drawer, or (2) by first class mail or regular mail supported by an affidavit of service by mail. Such written demand for payment shall be sent on or after the date the payee received notice that such check had been dishonored. Such affidavit of service by mail shall provide substantially as follows:

STATE OF

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AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE

BY MAIL

COUNTY OF

...., being first duly sworn on oath, deposes and states that he/she is of legal age and that on (date) ...., 20.., he/she served the attached Written Demand for Payment, by placing a true and correct copy thereof securely enclosed in an envelope addressed as follows:

....

....

....

....

and deposited the same, with postage prepaid, in the United States mails at ...., .... .

....

(Signature)

Subscribed and sworn to before me this .... day of ...., 20.. .

....

Notary Public

.... County, ....

(SEAL)

(g) The written demand for payment required by subsection (f) of this section shall be printed in at least ten-point type in both English and Spanish and shall include the following: (1) The name and last-known address of the drawer; (2) the amount and date of the dishonored check; (3) the bank upon which the check was drawn; (4) the name of the payee; (5) the reason the check was dishonored; (6) the address to which payment should be delivered; and (7) an explanation of the damages which may be imposed pursuant to this section in the event the drawer fails to pay the face amount of the dishonored check.

(h) The penalties provided for in this section shall not apply to any check for which payment has been stopped by the drawer or to any check where the drawer has raised a reasonable defense with respect to the validity of the underlying debt.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, in the case of a drawer who negotiates a check which is dishonored, the payee or its assignee may impose on the drawer a service charge of up to twenty dollars, provided, no such service charge may be imposed if (1) the drawer has stopped payment on the check, (2) the check was stolen, or (3) the drawer has raised a reasonable defense with respect to the validity of the underlying debt. The drawer shall not be liable under this subsection for more than one such service charge for each dishonored check.