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Legal Cause of Action Questions

A legal cause of action is defined as a set of facts that are considered sufficient to justify one party’s right to sue another party in order to get money or property or to enforce a right against the other party. A cause of action generally consists of the legal wrong that the plaintiff says he/she has suffered, along with the relief the court is requested to grant. Many times, the circumstances that force a person to seek judicial relief could create multiple causes of action.

Listed below are a few questions answered by business lawyers on issues related to legal cause of action.

Person A sold his business to Person B and received a promissory note from him for the balance of money due. Person B then defaulted on the loan and sold the business to Person C without giving Person A any notice. Based on these facts, what would be a cause of action against Person C?

If Person C knew that the business had already been sold to Person A, he/she can be sued for fraud. If Person C is a verifiable purchaser for value, then the matter will be viewed from a superiority of title and ownership point of view. Usually, the first person to record their interest would win the case.

My mother recently sold her business and signed a contract that said she couldn’t start another business like the one she owned within ten miles of her last business and for the next five years. Now, I am planning to buy a business similar to one my mother had. Will her contract have a legal bearing on my decision to buy?

As long as your mother isn’t part of your new business, her contract doesn’t bind you in any way and you wouldn’t face any restriction. As there is no privity of contract between the buyer of her business and you, they would have no cause of action against you.

I filed a complaint for several causes of action against an organization and four individuals belonging to the company. I plan to file an additional complaint against two of them for a new cause of action. Is it enough to serve the existing lawyer or do I need to pay to have them served individually again because the complaint is a new one?

A complaint always needs to be served on the individuals being sued and not on their lawyers. So you would need to pay the extra cost of serving a new complaint.

My bank made funds available to my account for a cashier’s check that they later said was counterfeit. I ended up spending the money before they told me about this. Do I now have a small claims cause of action against them?

This kind of scam is becoming increasingly common. The checks being used are printed overseas and are so close to the original that you can’t tell the difference. When the bank proves it to be false, they can charge it back to your account. It is similar to someone handing you a check without funds in their bank. Therefore, you would not have a claim here.

There are many reasons for a cause of action. It can stem from an act, a failure to meet a legal obligation, violation of rights, or a breach of duty. The importance of any of these causes is based upon the legal effect or characterization and in how these same circumstances relate to the law. A set of facts can have a zero legal effect in a particular situation, while the same facts can have major legal implications in another situation. If you are unclear on what steps to take, getting the advice of a legal expert may be advisable.
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Recent Cause of Action Questions

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  • Is a compulsory cross-complaint considered an affirmative pleading?

    Is a compulsory cross-complaint considered an affirmative pleading? Moreover, must the cross-complaint aver facts “as carefully and with as much detail as the fact which constitute the cause of action and are alleged in the complaint.” (FPI Development v. Nakashima (1991) 231 Cal App 3d 367, 384).
    The complaint alleged in detail that D held title to property for the benefit of another; D filed a general denial and a cross-complaint. in the cross-complaint, D states that he is the "owner on title" without more. (He alleges breach of a contract he signed at direction of the equitable owner.) I want to strike the cross-complaint on the basis of falsity or failure to plead, in detail, D's standing.
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    In what way should a cross-complaint be related to the underlying complaint (i.e., same injury, cause of action, same party).
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