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RGMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 16314
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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In a private club that is "member" owned, one individual wrote

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In a private club that is "member" owned, one individual wrote a letter of his opinion. There was no profane language, just an expression of how the club was being run. The board is now harassing the member and is threatening to vote him out of the club. The club constitution has no policy written into it regarding such actions. What is your take on this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  RGMacEsq replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I think that it's unfortunate, as I believe that clubs should be open and debate driven. But I also think that there's no case against the club (unless the member is being harassed for some other reason rather than his expression, such as age, race, religion, gender, or disability). Freedom of speech only applies when the government is doing the restrictive actions. That is, the government cannot restrict freedom of speech, but private entities may. For example, an HOA can tell you that you can't have political signs in your yard. That's a restriction of freedom of speech, but it's entirely legal because it's not the government enforcing a restriction. One other cause of action that could come up would be "defamation" if the board was making false statements of material fact about this member, that was communicated to third parties and caused quantifiable economic damage to the member. But it doesn't sound like that is happening. In the absence of any bylaw or rule to the contrary, the board can do this. A member does not have a "freedom of speech" in a private club. Hope that clears things up a bit. 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, ***** ***** luck to you!

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