A family whose check went to pay for school lunch for their two children bounced found out the hard way that they had to fork over much more.

According to Houston ABC affiliate KTRKDr. Christina Johnson-Conley of Lacey, Washington found out that the families checking account was garnished for nearly $800 for a $30 check for a school lunch payment for their two children. North Thurston Public School District spokesperson Courtney Schrieve told Seattle television station KOMO that the district tried to reach out to the family to take care of the bounced check, but the family refused. She said:

“I can’t account for fairness, but we do due diligence as a public entity to get her to pay and she chose not to. So after that, we’re accountable to the taxpayers and we can’t incur debt for people.”

Schtieve said that the district repeatedly sent out letters to the family over several months, but the letters went unanswered. So, the district district turned over the account to Grimm Collections of Tumwater, Washington, who tried to collect from the family.

But after collection calls went unanswered, the collection agency sued the family and served them papers in person. But Johnson-Conley said that no papers were ever served. David Grimm, the owner of Grimm Collections, told KOMO that the papers were served. He said:

“If they were never served, they have an opportunity to appear in court and dispute the service. Oftentimes, people just ignore those legal papers and it goes maybe right into the garbage can. And the court calendar is ticking away and they fail to appear for court.”

When Johnson-Conley failed to show up to court, the judge signed a court order to garnish the family’s wages. Factoring in attorney fees, court cost, and triple damage fees and filing fees, the $30 dollar bounced school lunch check ballooned to $800. It is not yet known if Johnson-Conley will take legal action.

[Photo Credit: Photopin]