Insufficient fund checks are being purged

Charges concerning insufficient fund checks are being purged of the Union County State’s Attorney’s Office. The oldest charge in the files was 50 years old.

Over 700 insufficient fund check charges in the third degree, $100 or less, have been dismissed over the course of 2020, one dating back to 1970.

Union County State’s Attorney Jerry Miller explained the process and why these cases were never charged.

“All the new stuff, we were resolving,” Miller said.

“These charges were predominately class two misdemeanors, maybe some class one,” Miller explained. “We don’t extradite out of the state of South Dakota for that. Other than Sioux City, we’ll go into Sioux City and get them, but otherwise they have to come back into the state in order for us to get them. For years, I would have interns grab a bunch of check files and do internet searches, Facebook searches so we could maybe match some of these people up. If we found them, we’d call them and tell them there was a warrant for their arrest in South Dakota.”

Besides some of the check writers being from out-of-state, other reasons include the memories of the clerk who took the check, finding the clerk who took the check and changes in business ownership.

Miller stated that they tried an insufficient fund check case from 20 years ago and the person was found guilty. When it came time to track down the owner, the business had switched hands two to three times.

In other cases, they would look at a check and see that it was signed by clerk KC. When the owner was asked who KC was and the dates of their employment, sometimes management couldn’t answer that question.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times and Leader-Courier.