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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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If someone signs a applcation for a country club membership

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If someone signs a applcation for a country club membership but never signed a member contract or a member agreement are they considered a member? Additioinally, Club By Laws state that application must be signed by two proposers (was not) and stock certificate issued (was not). Initiation fees and monthly dues were paid for five years until resignation when I discovered that in reality I was a dues paying guest. In CA am I liable for any past dues or surrender fees?

You can argue that your application was never formally accepted and you agreed only to a limited participation in the club. You cannot be held liable for what is in the member agreement that you didn't sign.

I hope this Answer is helpful and that you will give it a positive rating. If you have any follow up questions please send back a Reply. You should consult a local attorney to verify that this information is accurate for your state. Thank you for using Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business.

Irwin Law and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does the fact that I did pay initiation fee and dues imply a contract? If so, what is my best defense as they have filed suit for past dues plus surrender fee. Also, despite suspending me for failure to pay back dues they billed me for six additional months. This was after I resigned in writing and did not use the club at all. Are they estopped from post resignation dues or all past due dues since stock cert never received and propsers never signed the app? I have discovered all of this just in the past couple of months. What case law can I quote?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What specific law or ruling can I use in my argument? Any case law on this topic that distinguishes a application vs a signed contract? Thank you!

In other words you want me to turn you into a seasoned contracts lawyer so you can win the case on your own. Of course I would also have to teach you all the procedural pleading moves, plus the use of discovery rules. Your defense is that you didn't sign the document that contains the clauses that the club is trying to enforce against you. It's contracts 101 and you don't need cases to support your position. The fact of your participation will give them an argument. As I said, you can't learn enough law here on how to counter that. If there's enough money at stake I hope you will obtain an attorney. I hope this Answer is helpful and that you will give it a positive rating. If you have any follow up questions please send back a Reply. You should consult a local attorney to verify that this information is accurate for your state. Thank you for using Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Certainly don't expect to become remotely close to an expert...just trying to make the strongest argument and thought there may possibly be a code or case I could quote. I am in the midst of discovery and hoping to pick up a strong argument and procedural move or two. Any additional suggestions?? The money involved is about $6k--so not sure expense of lawyer at this point is wise though after discovery I may have one handle trial. I have gotten some legal guidance with discovery. Thank you.

 

People who ask for a cases to support them in court simply don't understand what is involved in researching case law, nor do they understand the complexities of the cases that they try to cite. They almost always end up looking foolish because they miss the subtle nuances of the cases which aren't always easy to understand and interpret. They miss the things that lawyers learn about in law school. I cannot spend the hours in the library on on the computer reading cases in order to sort through the hundred or so which might have an application to your situation. The issue of an unsigned but partially performed contract is not an easy one and that is why unless there's pocket change involved I suggest use of an attorney.

I hope this Answer is helpful and that you will give it a positive rating. If you have any follow up questions please send back a Reply. You should consult a local attorney to verify that this information is accurate for your state. Thank you for using Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How can I best argue against them regarding my past participation?

You keep saying " how do I argue". Are you in Small Claims Court? I don't undestand where you plan to make an argument.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Civil Court in Contra Costa County CA.

I believe that you said you are in the discovery stage. There's no argument to present to the judge at that stage. Argument comes at the end of the trial when you sum up for the judge why the plaintiff is not entitled to a judgment. Pro se litigants tend to believe that there is a "magic bullet" case or statute which automatically decides the case their way. There isn't, especially where there are conflicting facts that can be construed by a court in different ways. A lawyer defending you in court would probably concentrate on proving that you were never notified that you couldn't resign club at any time without penalties or whatever they are suing for. The absence of your signature on the contract goes a long way toward that but might not be decisive in and of itself. There will be cases holding both ways on similar facts. You are not trained to know which ones help you and which don't. If the judge asks the parties to submit written briefs on the law at the end of evidence you would be well advised to have an attorney research and write it for you. That might be difficult if s/he's not involved in the trial, but it can be done. Again, I don't know how much money is involved. You are better off reading treatises dealing with contract law generally. I am not recommending this particular attorney, but you might find his general summary of CA contract law helpful . See:

http://www.markhamlawfirm.com/law-articles/contract-lawyer-san-diego/ I think that I have gone as far as I (or anyone) can go in assisting you with this question. Thank you for your positive rating and for using
Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business.