Can I write on a check that this is a partial payment without compromising my case?

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Can I write on a check that this is a partial payment without compromising my case?

I have a small claims court suit against a business that wrote me a check different from what I was owed. The check is only valid for 60 days from the time it was written. The 60 days are up on the 2nd of next month but my court date is the 18th.

Asked on December 20, 2012 under Business Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If someone owes you, say, $1,000, but sends you a check for $500, you can cash that check and still sue them (or continue with an existing suit), so long as you did not do or say anything showing that you agreed with them that this was payment in full (e.g. did not sign any document settling for this amount). As long as you don't agree to accepting the check as payment in full, what happens is the the check will act as an offset against your judgment (assuming you win). In the example above, you are suing for $1,000 and received a check for $500; if you win, you could receive a further $500.


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