Evanston, IL asked in Banking, Business Law and Civil Litigation for California

Q: Can a retail bank, whose negligence enabled a fraudulent withdrawal from my account, be sued in small claims court?

An identity thief impersonating me was able to withdraw 8K from my account at a Chase Bank branch. The thief could pull off the ruse because he had my ATM card and he knew both my password and, equally important, the provision of Chase policy that caps 8K as the maximum sum withdrawable without ID. For some mysterious reason, this fraudulent withdrawal was labelled in Chase's system as an electronic transfer rather than as an in-person transaction, never mind that no money was, in fact, transferred. Whether this mislabeling was by mistake or by design I cannot establish. I suspect, though, that it was intentional because the ostensibly "electronic" character of the theft is the very reason Chase refuses to reimburse me. In any case, how would you suggest I go about recovering the stolen funds? Do you think arbitration would be successful? If not, could I bring an action against Chase in small claims court? Your help would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

1 Lawyer Answer
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • San Bernardino, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: More information is needed. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

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