How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas McJD Your Own Question
Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6516
Experience:  Legal Expert
19305272
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Thomas McJD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Unfortunately our church has a contract dispute with a school

This answer was rated:

Unfortunately our church has a contract dispute with a school we share a campus with.
The church has an 25-30 year old sign that needs to be replaced.
The church has been working with the School to get approval since the sign is on a small corner of the school's property.
Between Oct - Nov 2012 we received a written contract from the school to proceed.
We then received approval from the city, hired the sign contractor and started to move forward with the project.
In the middle of the project one board member from the school decided to consult a lawyer, he now wants to add terms to the existing contract. We have explained we are willing to work with them, but we really must keep our contractor proceeding. He has since at least TWICE directly called our contractor to stop the work.

The church and the school have a Long history of cooperation and similar contracts that we would like to continue with contracts that work in the spirit of cooperation.

We (the Church) feel we have a valid contact and would like to get the project complete. Can he continue to call our contractor?
Can he claim his attorney does not like certain language in the contact without written documentation from his attorney?
Should he be spreading these concerns via e mail to parties not involed in the dispute?

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

As to the contract you reference -- does it state a term (like one year, an indefinite period, etc.)? Does it contain terms stating that terms of the contract may only be changed by agreement of both parties or only one of the parties?

Customer:

It is for 25 years. Net lease. The church s responsible for the cost and installation, maintenance and insurance of the sign. At the end of the lease the school has the opportunity to assume ownership of the sign.

Customer:

There are no stipulations regarding changes.

TMcJD :

Okay, so there's nothing in the existing contract that would allow the school to change the terms without your consent? There's nothing that prevents the existing contract from being considered currently valid (such as a missing signature, an additional event that is to occur prior to the contract being valid, etc.)?

Customer:

Signed by the school board President and the school principal.

TMcJD :

It sounds, then, that the contract is valid and currently enforceable. One party to the contract cannot suddenly insist that terms be changed and expect to get anywhere unless the other party is also willing to accept the changes. If the school continues to interfere, you could sue them for breach of contract, interference with contract, and potentially other causes of action if those activities cause the church to lose money or become damaged in some other way as a result of the school's breach/interference. They must allow you to place the sign as they agreed in the contract. It's too late for them to hold out for different terms now. That would have been something to do during the negotiations prior to signing a new contract.

TMcJD :

Whether they can share information with someone uninvolved -- there's nothing necessarily illegal about that unless it causes you to not be able to enjoy the benefit of the contract. That's more along the lines of the interference I mentioned. In addition, the interference potentially includes calling your contractor and delaying the work.

Customer:

Thanks for the assistance. I think this all should be able to be resolved amiably.

Customer:

Dan

TMcJD :

You're very welcome. Have a great day!

Thomas McJD and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you