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RGMacEsq
RGMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 15743
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Hi, I have a contract to provide services to a company.

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Hi,

I have a contract to provide services to a company. It was a 5 year contract. I unfortunately got sent to prison camp for 9 months in the middle of my contract. I thought I would still have this work when I got out. They said before I left that I could resume when I got back. But, now that I'm back, the client said that they "voided" or "cancelled" the contract. Can they do that?

Thank you,

Anthony

RGMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

Customer:

Thank you

RGMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Under the terms of the contract, were you supposed to be working during the time that you were sent to the prison camp? Or was the contract constructed in such a way that there would be no interference between the prison camp and your obligations under the contract?

Customer:

I can look. But, when I entered the contract, I wasn't expecting the 9 month vacation

RGMacEsq :

No doubt about it... The reason I ask is that a contract is a mutual exchange of promises (that you will do something in exchange for the other party to the contract doing something). If you were unable to do what you had promised to do, then you would actually be in breach of that contract (even if it was outside of your control) and that would allow the other party to "exit" the contract.

Customer:

It doesn't say that I can be absent. Nor, does it say that the contract can be voided if I am absent for a period of time.

RGMacEsq :

What services were you to provide, and on what basis?

Customer:

Don't they have to follow some type of notice or procedure to properly/legally exit a contract? They actually said that I could resume when I returned

Customer:

The services were general business and marketing services

Customer:

  1. Services. Orlando shall, during the Term as defined below, provide to MNK, consulting services focused on executive coaching and management, strategic planning, financial planning and reporting, product procurement, and any other business functions at such times as MNK may reasonably request.

RGMacEsq :

So only if the contract was something that there would not be a breach in (such as something that you would only do once a year, and the 9 month prison did not stop that) would there not be a breach on your part. But if it came up that you were to provide a service and you were unable to because you were in prison, that would be a breach on your part (again, a breach only meaning that you had a contractual obligation to do something, and that it was not done, regardless of the reason or your intentional or knowing culpability in the matter). If there was a breach, then that would relieve the non-breaching party's obligations pursuant to the contract. Only if the contract itself requires a notice of "exiting" upon breach, etc... would you be able to argue that they should give you notice, and even then, that might not be enforceable (since IF you breach, their obligations are relieved, and so if the contract says that they will give you notice, that's such a contractual obligation that would be relieved if one party breaches).

RGMacEsq :

Often in a litigation, the question is which party breached first.

RGMacEsq :

The reason is that a breach relieves the other party's obligations. But if one party thinks the other party breached, and stops its obligations upon that belief, but ultimately it's determined that there was not a breach by that other party, there is still a breach on the first party's party.

RGMacEsq :

I hope that makes sense...

Customer:

So, if the services were still continued in some way, then there was no breach. But, because services stopped, then there was a breach and they can exit.

RGMacEsq :

That is, one party breached, which relieved the other party from obligation, but the question could be which party breaches first.

RGMacEsq :

Yes, essentially. Again, it would depend on the contract and the nature of the services offered. But if you had a contractual obligation to do X, and were unable to do X when it came time to do X, that would be a breach.

Customer:

alright... well, thanks for your help.

RGMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer:

Definitely a 5. Thank you.

RGMacEsq :

You're welcome, and again, good luck to you!

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