Worthless Checks

The Worthless Check Division of the Office of the District Attorney is to assist the public in receiving restitutions or pursuing legal action against indivuals who issue worthless checks. This involves working with merchants and individuals who have accepted a check for payment of goods and services only to discover that the check was issued on an account that had insufficient funds or was closed. We understand that you or your business can be greatly affected by returned checks and we will work diligently to retrieve all amounts owed to you. If you believe you have received a worthless check, please contact us using the following: 

For Banks/Victims/Merchants

Worthless Checks Digital Brochure and Printable Version


Collin Sims, Chief of Criminal

Email:  DAMontgomery@22DA.org attention Worthless Checks

Washington – (985) 732-9594
St. Tammany – (985) 809-8383

Filing a Complaint

The following information explains how to file a worthless check complaint with our office and also what to expect if you have had a complaint filed against you.


What Qualifies as a worthless check

  • The check(s) must have been received in Washington or St. Tammany Parishes and must have been in exchange for something of value, for example, case, services, merchandise, etc
  • The check(s) must have been processed through a banking system that has indicated the checks(s) was NSF, account closed, no account found, insufficient funds or refer to maker.
  • A check in which there has been a stop payment order cannot be prosecuted as a Worthless Check. Stop payment checks should be submitted to your local Justice of the Peace or be litigated civilly. The following checks will not be accepted for prosecution by our office:

 – Payroll checks.  Contact Federal Office, Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor

 – Checks over 120 days old.  There is a problem of identification.

 – Checks written for “CASH “.  Check must be made payable to the person filing charges

 – Two-Party Checks.  The problem is proving intent to defraud and identification

 – Checks with Stop Payment or “Refer to Maker” stamped on them. This is a civil matter

 – Credit Card checks

 – Pay day or checks made out for a loan

 – Checks where there is no physical address.  We cannot warrant a P.O. box.

– Out of State checks.  We must have bank personnel and witnesses and merchant must write a letter stating that they agree to pay all expenses to transport a bookkeeper of the bank to the appropriate Parish if needed for prosecution.

– Checks without identification.  We must have a Driver’s license number or ID number.

Please note that it is difficult to prosecute if checks in which driver’s license or identification provided by the individual who submitted the check differs from the name of the writer. Checks submitted on corporate or out-of-state accounts present problems that are at times insurmountable obstacles to prosecution. An NSF check above $500 is a felony; below that amount a misdemeanor. A check written on a closed account represents fraud and, as of August 2014, is considered a felony if the check was for $750 and above.


  • Gather the information on the person who wrote the check. In the State of Louisiana the writer is the individual that will be prosecuted for the check, not the company or business (if the account was written on a company check). We need the check writer’s name, address, driver’s license number and date of birth.
  • Send a certified letter to the writer of the check, (please see the sample form below). This is in accordance with the mandate prescribed by LA R.S. 14:71. You must allow the check writer ten (10) days to make the check good after the receipt of the certified letter return receipt. If the writer of the check refuses to accept the certified letter, we will accept the check itself to use in prosecution. If you are contacted by the check writer, and he/she wants to make good the check, please accept only cash, money order or cashier’s check.
  • After 10 days and you’ve not received payment, you will need to complete the Worthless Checks Affidavit (see below) and submit (by mail or in person) the original check and the returned certified letter or the signed green receipt card. We will not be able to accept a photo copy. Once you have filed a complaint with our office, you cannot accept or negotiate payment for the tendered check. When the accused has made restitution through the DA’s office, you will be notified via the U.S. Postal Service with the payment attached. We ask that you please allow at least ninety (90) days before calling concerning the status of your case. If at any time after filing your complaint you accept direct payment from the accused, you will be held responsible for the DA fee that otherwise would have been collected.
  • Once all paperwork has been submitted, the legal proceedings start. The DA’s office sends two letters — one giving 10 days and one giving 5 days. If restitution has not been made, a warrant is issued.
  • If the warrant is issued, call our offices and ask for the warrant number. You will then call your local Sheriff and ask for dispatch. Tell them you are the victim in a check matter and you would like the person to be arrested. Give the dispatch officer the warrant number. The sheriff’s office will then locate the defendant and arrest him/her.

If you have a change of contact information during this process, please contact us with that change.


Affidavit – St. Tammany Please note that this Affidavit will need to be notarized. The D.A.’s Office is available to notarize this document for the Affiant (signer of the Affidavit) if the Affiant appears in our Offices with their Driver’s License. Please make an appointment by calling 985-809-8383.

Affidavit – Washington The D.A.’s Office is available to notarize this document for the Affiant (signer of the Affidavit) if the Affiant appears in our Offices with their Driver’s License. Please make an appointment by calling (985) 732-9594.

Notice of Returned Check 


Tips to Avoid Worthless Checks

  • Check the date of the check. Checks should always be dated for the day they are issued.
  • Check the ID and record it on the check. Make sure the information on the check and their ID matches
  • Make sure the information on the check is clearly written and that the information is consistent on the check, with the written amount and the number mathching
  • The signature should be legible. If there is a signature on their Driver’s License, compare the two to see if they are similar
  • Avoid post-dated checks
  • Avoid checks that are more than a year old
  • Most checks have at least one perforated edge and the magnetic ink at the bottom is usually dull with no reflectivity or shine. Look for these elements when viewing a check.



After I submit my Affidavit and get into the Program, why can’t I take the money if the check writer wants to pay the check off at my store?

Can I get reimbursement for a bank service fee from the Program?

Can I add more than one check to an affidavit form?

Where do I obtain the forms to submit a worthless check to the District Attorney’s Office?

How much do I pay for the District Attorney’s Office to enforce payment of my check?

If I own businesses in other states, can I also submit the returned check passed at those stores?

What can I do about a worthless check that the DA’s Worthless Check Division was unable to prosecute?

What do I do if I think a check was forged?

How and when will I receive the monies your Division recovers?

Why can’t I submit any check that was refused by the bank?

Why can’t I submit a check to your office that I received in another state if the check writer lives in your Parish?

Why do I have to send a certified letter before I can submit the check to your office?

Why does it take so long to prosecute worthless checks that have been submitted to your office?

Is there a dollar limit for checks submitted to the Worthless Check Division?

How do I make a payment on a check that has been referred to your office?