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When asked to "initial here" on a document, can I use a check mark? Please cite the...

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denisestump | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2008 at 4:33 AM via web

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When asked to "initial here" on a document, can I use a check mark? Please cite the source for your answer. Thanks!

In order to use EZ Pay billing for my daughter's school snare drum rental, I had to initial a box on the rent-to-own agreement. By accident, I put a check mark instead of my initials. I found information regarding a signature (this could be a mark, symbol, etc) but nothing on initials. By law should the company honor the check mark as being my initials?

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urthona | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted October 3, 2008 at 11:18 PM (Answer #1)

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Whether your check mark in the “initial here” area is a valid acceptance will depend on your state's laws and case law (court interpretations).

In general, a party to a contract can sign in any manner –- full name, mark, or sign -- as long as it’s intended to accept the terms of the contract. Courts usually look for the intent to contract by the acceptor. It’s difficult to imagine a court ruling that your check mark did not indicate your acceptance of the EZ PAY offer.

Is the EZ Pay agreement part of a larger rental contract that you signed? Have they transferred possession of the drum to you and accepted a payment?

Is the company actually refusing to honor their EZ Pay offer? Or are you worried that they may refuse to honor the agreement in the future? If the latter, there is probably little risk that the company will not honor the EZ Pay agreement. They want your money. For peace of mind, however, you may want to call to confirm that your payments are being applied according to the EZ Pay terms (make notes, including the confirmer's name). Or you could ask to initial the agreement to avoid any future misunderstanding.

Disclaimer: This post contains general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. Each reader should consult a lawyer if you want a qualified professional’s assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

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