Attorney’s Fees only Flow to Plaintiff-Payee in Statutory Worthless Check Claim
Florida Statute s. 68.065 is Florida’s worthless check statute – it creates a statutory cause of action against the payor of the worthless check. It further provides a statutory basis for attorney’s fees to the plaintiff-payee that prevails on the worthless check claim. Fla.Stat. s. 68.065(6) (“Other provisions notwithstanding, the maker or drawer is liable to the payee for all attorney fees and collection costs incurred by payee as a result of the payee’s claim.”). Well, what if the payee loses and the defendant-payor prevails on the worthless check claim – does the defendant get attorney’s fees? This was the subject of the case Saad Remodeling & Custom Home Builders, Inc. v. Reyes FC Services Corp., 2023 WL 8792671 (Fla. 4th DCA 2023) and the answer is no. The statute does not provide prevailing party attorney’s fees such that the payor would get fees for defeating the claim. The right to attorney’s fees flows only to the payee, not the payor if the payor prevails on the worthless check claim. “[S]ection 68.065 does not authorize an award of fees to defendant makers or drawers of dishonored checks who ultimately prevail on a statutory claim.” Saad Remodeling, supra.
Please contact David Adelstein at [email protected] or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.