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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My daughter entered into a gym membership contract as a 17

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My daughter entered into a gym membership contract as a 17 year old living in CA. She paid $180 for Jan to use their gym, $180 for Feb to use their gym, and half way through March, I found out. Since she was only 17 years old, I had the ability to cancel the contract. But my question is: can we dispute the payments of $180 for Jan, $180 for Feb and $90 for mid-March?

Thank you for your question.

Did she ever actually go to the gym and use it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, she did. She used the services in Jan and Feb. In March, she did not use it, as I told her not to use those services. The $180 was actually for a trainer, and not the gym. The gym membership was a different cost.


So, just to be clear:


Jan: $180 paid for trainer services. Used the trainer services.

Feb: $180 paid for trainer services. Used the trainer services.

Mar: $180 billed for trainer services. Did not use the trainer services.


I cancelled the gym membership separately, but that is really not the real question - it was just easier to relay my initial question as a gym membership. If you just insert the words "gym trainer" for "gym membership" then it is truly correct.





Thank you for your response.

Because she is under the age of 18, she is not legally able to enter into a contract. Thus, the contract is voidable. However, where she received actual services, she must pay for those services. Thus, the $180 in both January and February were for services rendered for which she must pay.

Arguably, you can ask for the return of the money in March, since there were no services actually rendered. The trainer has a counter-argument in that he was relying on her representation that she was able to enter into a contract in good faith, and relied on her as a customer and thus was entitled for the money up until the day she cancelled the contract. If you are able to show that he failed to check her identification to see if she was old enough to enter into the agreement, then he looses that argument.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
TexLaw and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for your reply. The question arises: since the contract is voidable, then is it reasonable to say that the services provided were payable via the contract?


Doing the right thing is something separate, as I do think that people should be compensated for their services, but the contract - the way that it is written - is very difficult to understand.


So, the question still remains: under the contract, do we owe the money?

The law provides a theory called Quantum Meriut in cases like this, which provides that service which are rendered must be paid for. Thus, even where there is no contract, there still may be payment due.

Further, the fact that a contract is voidable is something that is forward looking. If you owed money, the you could argue that there is no contract and thus you don't have to pay. That would then trigger the Quantum Meriut argument by the trainer. However, if you have already paid under a voidable contract, you cannot assert that the money must be returned under any legal theory that I know of when services have actually been performed.