Class action: Shop N Save charged 50 cents extra in check cashing fee

Kelly Holleran Jun. 3, 2009, 8:30am


An Edwardsville woman has filed a class action lawsuit against SuperValu, doing business as Shop N Save, claiming the store charges more than is allowed under Illinois law for check cashing services.

Lead plaintiff Mary Voyles says she was charged a $1.25 check cashing fee last month at the Edwardsville Shop N Save, which by law was 50 cents more than she should have been charged.

According to the complaint filed May 28 in Madison County Circuit Court, under Illinois law, the store is only allowed to charge the greater of $0.50 or 1 percent of the face value of the check.

Voyles says SuperValu charges a uniform, maximum fee of $3 for any check it cashes.

For checks cashed that are less than $300, the SuperValu fee is in excess of the limit set by the law, the complaint says.

Voyles says she was affected by the unlawful fee when she cashed a check for $75.

Thomas G. Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville and Mary F. Kelly and Jeffrey A. J. Millar of Brent, Coon and Associates in St. Louis proposes to represent the class.

"Defendant accepted Plaintiff Voyles' consideration of $1.25 for the check cashing fee in conjunction with Plaintiff Voyles' check, and proceeded to cash Plaintiff Voyles' check and returned to Plaintiff Voyles in cash the face value of the aforementioned check, but did not return the consideration in excess of the greater of fifty cents or one percent of the check, paid as a check cashing fee to Defendant," the suit states.

By charging the fee, SuperValu is acting illegally and offending public policy, the complaint says.

"Defendant has reaped the benefit of substantial monetary profits by improperly converting to its use the excess and illegal fees it retained," the suit states.

In the five-count suit, Voyles and the putative class are seeking a certification of the class, damages of more than $200,000 and an order prohibiting SuperValu from charging a check cashing fee in excess of the limits set by Illinois law, plus attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-542.

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