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I prepaid venue son and his fiance, which he is

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I prepaid for a venue...
I prepaid for a venue for my son and his fiance, which he is in the army and I explained to the manager things may change. I did not sign a contract and paid in cash $1700 the wedding date is July 11 & my son may not be able to have leave. They said if we cancel they will keep $950 deposit, stating it was in my contract. Since I did not sign anything is that legal for them to keep the $950?
Submitted: 3 years ago.Category: Consumer Protection Law
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6/12/2015
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 3 years ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
If the venue is not able to find another event to take place on July 11, then you are liable for the full $1,700 you would have paid them to hold the wedding there, minus their expenses. This is because it's not the venue's fault that your son isn't able to make it to the wedding (I realize that it's not his fault either, or yours, but all of this is 100% outside the venue's control). They're not required to eat the profit they'd have made because you booked the venue before your son could confirm leave for the event.
You'd only have a right to cancel and get your money back if there was a written contract that said so. Otherwise, you're bound by the oral agreement you made when you agreed to rent the place.
They cannot charge you if the venue is re-rented for a wedding for that date, because in that scenario, they have lost no money. Note that if they wind up renting it out for less, then you'd have to pay the difference between what you agreed to pay and what the got from someone else.
Another option may be to see if they will allow you to move the wedding to a different state instead and apply the money you paid toward that date.
If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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