Can an organization that runs competitions force you to pay a fee for withdrawing from the competition?

I am in charge of a Winter Guard team in So. Cal. WGASC is a non-profit, youth organization which cultivates personal growth through competitive performance opportunities in an organized forum that promotes self esteem, education and freedom of creativity. We pay $475 to enter 5 competitions and a championship. I recently had to withdraw from a comp. and WGASC is now charging my team $200 for withdrawing. Is this legal?

San Diego, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Thomas Anthony Schaeffer

Thomas Anthony Schaeffer

Business Attorney - San Diego, CA
Answered

Sounds like a contract term triggered by the withdrawal. I suggest you review all your documentation and see what you agreed to.

Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.... more
Mark as helpful
Sponsored Listing
Albert Lee Crosner

Albert Lee Crosner

Contracts / Agreements Lawyer - Manhattan Beach, CA
Answered

Did you enter into a contract/agreement with WGASC as I suspect you must have? If you did, was there anything in the contract that discussed a charge for withdrawal? Was there anything said orally before the event that you agreed to regarding withdrawal? These are things to think about.
I hope it all works out for you.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather... more
Mark as helpful
James Alan Greer

James Alan Greer

Business Attorney - Del Mar, CA
Answered

I agree with the responses provided by the other AVVO attorneys, and would add that the cancellation clause is used in these types of contracts (team-oriented and participation sensitive) because many times there is no other way for the Service Provider to recoup its expenses. For example, the Service Provider relies upon you (and the others that "signed up") in undertaking their expenses to run the competition (examples include staff, facilities, and other services). IT seems to me the $200 will meet the "reasonableness test" if brought before a Small Claims Judge. I recommend that you consider allowing the payment of the contractual cancellation fee.

JAMES GREER is an attorney with offices in Del Mar CA and Boulder CO, practicing in the areas of Real Estate,... more
Mark as helpful

Related Advice

Questions? An attorney can help.

Ask your questions on our Q&A forum. It's free and anonymous.

Ask a Lawyer

Need to find an attorney? Browse our lawyer directory.

Find a Lawyer