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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111605
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am a small ethnic community newspaper publisher, printing

Customer Question

i am a small ethnic community newspaper publisher, printing my newspaper for the past year and a half at the printing facility of a much larger newspaper in NYC. I had to go away for around a couple of months so the newspaper was not being printed during my absence. When I wanted to resume printing I was informed by the new printer manager that " in light of our new strategy of the printer, we will not be able to print your newspaper anymore". I suspect one of the reasons for this sudden decision is that my newspaper is an Arabic paper and in the light of the recent political situation and general mood in the country the management of the bigger newspaper decided not to have anything to do with printing my newspaper.
I tried pleading with them asking for just a reasonable grace period until I can find a new printer, letting them know that the results of not printing my newspaper would be devastating to me and to my business especially that i have obligations towards the advertisers who paid for their ads. Moreover, having to redesign the whole newspaper in a different format to fits the specs of the news printer, which I don't have yet will double my overheads...
their response was that "well, you don't have a contract with us, and no we won't print you". as for the contract, I had went through a rigorous process where I had signed on the printer's terms and conditions and provided necessary insurances, etc. before they printed my first issue. I also have always paid them on time with no problems no whatsoever, so in that sense I did have an ongoing business relationship with them. in addition to that, last year at the same time, I had stopped printing for a similar amount of time, then resumed again with no problem.
my question is, do i have any legal rights here for the loss i suffered due to their surprising decision not giving me any reasonable amount of time to search for other options. by the time I find a new printer, the whole content would be worthless, and the advertisers won't pay for their advertising and the cost of putting up the issue will be lost with no hope of recuperating any of it back . on the top of it I also have my fixed costs and salaries that I have to pay...
would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
my question is
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

I am afraid that under NY law, without a written contract, even if their reasons may be based on the paper being Arabic, there is nothing forcing them to continue to do business with you. They are allowed to decide whom to do business with in this type of situation and the only way to force them to do business would be if you had a written contract with them that mandates they continue doing your business for a specific time.

They can cancel any unwritten agreement, even if you have previously paid on time and had no issues with them in the past I am afraid. The court will not order someone to continue to do business with you without the contract.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
signing their terms and conditions and providing required insurances etc is not considered some form of a business contract? or does the contract specifically have to mention that the printer must print me for a certain period of time.
i don't mind finding a new printer, it is just that the sudden decision is an unexpected knock out for me, that will incur a tremendous loss...and you're saying that there is nothing i can do about it. is that it?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Sure signing terms and conditions and insurance is a form of a contract only for those terms. It does not give you a right to continue to do business with them forever or for any amount of time unless the written contract specifies some time period.