Writing a worthless check can be a crime and may be punishable under Wisconsin State Statute 943.24. These cases can be investigated for criminal prosecution or you may wish to consider civil remedies, such as small claims.
The Sheriff’s Office may investigate worthless check complaints if the following apply:
- The check is more than $50.00.
- The check is less than 6 months old from the date the check was issued.
- No partial payments have been made on the check.
- The check isn't a post-dated check or given for past consideration, except payroll checks.
- The check was not drawn on out-of-state financial institutions (for checks less than $2,500).
- The check writer does not live out-of-state (for checks less than $2,500).
- The check is not a two-party or third-party check.
If you received a worthless check in a City, Village, or Township that has its own law enforcement agency please contact that specific police agency to file a complaint.
Requirements of Complainant
A complainant will have to supply the bad check, along with Form A and Form B fully and accurately filled out, and submitted for each person with a bad check referred. If the necessary information is not supplied in the forms, investigation and/or prosecution of the person who issued the bad check may not be possible. After completing the forms and obtaining the supporting documents contact the Sheriff’s Office (262-741-4400) to file a report. The complaint will be reviewed and forwarded for further investigation, if appropriate.
Please review Form A carefully. It is strongly encouraged that individual’s accepting checks use Wisconsin driver’s licenses in identifying check issuers. If a Wisconsin driver's license is used, proper comparisons outlined in Form A must be carried out and the issuer's license number must be compared to the one pre-printed on the check or the driver's license number must be copied onto the check.
If identification is not accomplished through the use of a photo identification card or personal identification and, if #4 of Part One of Form A is checked, investigation and/or prosecution of the worthless check may not be likely.
If the check is returned for insufficient funds, the complainant must attempt to notify the issuer, in writing via regular mail, that there were insufficient funds to cover the check and that the issuer had five (5) days from receipt of the notice to pay off the check. Form C is an example of what that notice could look like.