If a bank bounced a legit check written out to me and the incident caused me to lose over $2800, can I take them to small claims?

I deposited a check and the ATM I used created an error that caused the check to bounce after it was processed and cleared. I spent the money on purchasing materials for the project that the check was written out for. When the check bounced it left me hundreds of dollars negative in my account and this resulted in a number of unfinished products and orders that my company and I could not honor. The bank did write me an apology letter admitting to the error but I need to be reimbursed, the damage done has put me in a dire situation.

Asked on July 25, 2012 under General Practice, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the bank caused you losses do to its negligent, or careless, actions and will not voluntarily compensate you for those losses, you may be able to sue the bank to recover compensation. You would need to prove in court, by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e. that it's "more likely than not") that 1) the bank was negligent or careless--for example, there was something wrong with its ATM or its processes/procedures; 2) that negligent act caused your loss; 3) the extent of the loss--e.g. fees or penalties you had to pay, orders provably canceled due to the problem, etc.

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