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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The Vanguard Group cut a $180 check made payable to Michael Hopper, who endorsed the check and cashed it at Time Out Grocery. Vanguard subsequently issued a stop-payment order on the check, so Vanguard’s bank refused payment. Time Out demanded payment form Vanguard, but when Vanguard refused to pay, Time Out sued. Time out asked for the amount owed on the check, pursuant to UCC art. 3; the statutory returned-check fee; and attorneys’ fees under Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code �38.001. The trial court granted summary judgment for Time Out on its first two claims, but it denied Time Out’s request for attorneys’ fees. The trial court granted summary judgment for Vanguard on this point, and Time Out appeals. HOLDING:Affirmed. Attorneys’ fees are generally available only pursuant to a contract or when a statute explicitly provides for them. There is no contract between Vanguard and Time Out, the court rules. Time Out contends, however, that because a check-cashing relationship involves a promise to pay a fixed amount of money, the relationship between it and Vanguard is contractual in nature. Time Out refers to the definition of a check in UCC �3.104. The court finds that Vanguard’s obligation to Time Out arises from a statute, not a contract. The promise and obligation embodied in �3.104 and related �2.414(b) lack the element of mutual promises necessary to create a contract. OPINION:Jim Moseley, J.; Morris, Moseley and FitzGerald, JJ.

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