I bought the franchise 7 years ago in the Middle East and have 2 partners from there. Due to the civil unrest there, the business failed. I have since moved back to the U.S. I gave over the business to the partners. They are now trying to sue me for breach of contract and money that has been invested by them. I have no assets--no car, house or savings. What can they do to me given these circumstances?
Let's start with the first question. Yes, they can sue. You can be sued by anyone over anything. Since you claim that you have no assets, even if they sue and win you may be judgment proof which means that they could not collect. Now, if they do sue, it is advisable to speak with an attorney to see about your rights and options. Good luck.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Great answer by Mr. Murillo as always. Yes, you can always be sued. Especially if you live in CO, the court would have jurisdiction over you because of your residency. However, it sounds like you are what we call as "judgment proof."
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.
Just to add to the good advice already received, do not return to the M. E. Due to cultural and legal differences, and depending upon the the applicable law, they do arrest people there for things that are not crimes in the U.S.
As a franchise attorney , who has actually walked the walk, owning and operating a very successful franchise, and a court-accepted, testifying franchise expert, I agree with my colleagues. Your partners face an uphill, expensive battle trying to sue you. Even if they invest the time and money required, and are lucky enough to get a judgement, how will they collect if you have no assets? If they have competent legal advice, these issues will be explained to them, If they don't, and you happen to get served with a lawsuit, consult with an attorney asap.
On a related note, you may be sued by the franchise company for delinquent royalty accumulations for the balance of the term, or other things. If that happens, where you're sued and if it's in court or in an arbitration proceeding, and where, will be specified in the franchise agreement. Again, the same calculus applies - they're not likely to invest legal time in a case where, even if they win, they lose (i.e. can't collect).
Best of luck,
Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D.
Franchise Attorney & Franchise Expert
Director of Operations - Mr. Franchise
FRANCHISE FOUNDATIONS APC