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Small claims court with arbitration clause
Old 04-19-2019, 04:08 PM   #1
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Small claims court with arbitration clause

OK, I need some help on this and hope someone here has some knowledge.


I want to sue my DDs soccer club for fees we paid. She was assaulted by another player and the club would not do anything about the other player. Normally that player would be kicked off the team but the club did nothing. The said they would, but when it came down to do it they failed to do so. I did not want my DD in a situation where she could be assaulted again.


They are throwing up that there is an arbitration clause in the contract. I would like to take it to small claims as that would be cheaper.


Can I? Or am I stuck with that clause?


Additional info... I never did actually sign a contract but did pay for the club online and probably did click some box somewhere that I would be bound by the contract.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:23 PM   #2
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I’m not a lawyer, but I handled contracts for mega corp, and when people would threaten to sue us, our legal team would always say that they’d get tossed out if court because the court will say they didn’t avail themselves of the remedy outlined in the contract. Therefore, I believe that since you have an arbitration clause, you will be “forced” to use it by any court.

As for signing the contract, again, in my experience with our legal department, that won’t matter. You’ve availed yourself to the benefits of the contract therefore, you’ve essentially agreed to it.

Of course if big money was involved and expensive lawyers were retained and there were some extenuating circumstances that could be brought up or made up, things might roll differently, but that’s probably not the case here.

Also, does the contract state or imply that the soccer club is responsible to provide a safe environment for your daughter to play soccer? Without that, expressed or implied, you’re starting out in a weak position.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:42 PM   #3
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Depends on the state.
MN is (or at least was) BIG on arbitration. If there is an arbitration clause judges will ask "why are you here?"


If you have a legally weak, but otherwise "common sense" grief, you might have better luck with an arbitrator than with a judge who looks only at the law.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:33 PM   #4
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Well, it is in the state of Texas.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:17 PM   #5
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Is the other player being prosecuted? Bond conditions ought to require that she stay away and have no contact. And a likely condition of probation, deferred prosecution agreement etc. would be for her to stay away and have no contact. That doesn’t answer your question but seems to accomplish your goal.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:49 PM   #6
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Is the other player being prosecuted? Bond conditions ought to require that she stay away and have no contact. And a likely condition of probation, deferred prosecution agreement etc. would be for her to stay away and have no contact. That doesn’t answer your question but seems to accomplish your goal.



I did not want to prosecute... and yes I could have...


I do not think that it would serve anybody to do so... she was given bad advice from her mother to attack my daughter... I had to go to court for a fight that my son was in at school... a total of 15 secs per the video.. had to hire a lawyer etc. etc.... this was also 15 to 30 secs even though she was the aggressor...



And in the short term it would not have done anything as it would have taken a long time for the case to get to court... and she would still be on the team...


I am just interested in getting my money back from the club as my daughter is not being coached or playing... but in a way it might be a blessing as we have found another team where the coaches are MUCH better and my DD is actually looking forward to going to practice...
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:59 PM   #7
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I can’t believe that they didn’t throw the other girl off the team. I would threaten to post it all over social media if you don’t get your money back.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:06 PM   #8
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Just my random thoughts (I'm not a lawyer).

How much money are we talking about, might be better to forget it.

Did you pay by credit card, if so, dispute the charge as they failed to deliver a safe environment, yes you may not win, but it will bother them, and maybe you will win.

Criminally Charging the other kid or mother (are parents not responsible?) will add someone to your side of "give him his money back so he goes away" . Besides the mother deserves to pay a lawyer for her bad actions.

Check your paperwork/website to see and download the agreement, maybe it's a lie they told.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:34 PM   #9
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I want to sue my DDs soccer club for fees we paid.
Did you pay for a term in full before it started, or is this something where you pay, say, monthly.

If so, I'd be fully expecting (in your shoes) to not pay for the rest of the season, but getting money back on the term already covered would be tricky.

For the sake of simplicity, I'll imagine this was a 12 week club, and the incident occured halfway, and you pay every week. For you to simply not pay the next 6 weeks is easy enough (cancel your credit card, etc.). But getting money back for the 6 weeks that have passed, eh, more of a fight.

What means of payment did you use? A good CC fight would be the cheapest way to start. Do you have photo's of your DD's injury? Is it above and beyond something that could have happened by accident? Was it on the field or are we talking Tonya Harding with a crow bar on the stairwell? Intent aside, I'd expect to get some bruises over a season of soccer.

Teenage girls and competitive parents... if nothing else your daughter got a good lesson out of this. I do hope her injuries are temporary and she is healing well.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:51 PM   #10
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Assault is a criminal offense. If you are concerned about assault, file a police report and encourage the prosecution of the offender. Even if the offender is under age.

The soccer club is going to assert (among other things) that they're not responsible for the actions of a player, even if it happened at practice or in a game. I would tend to agree with this assertion.

Also, if you are concerned about your daughter's safety, then withdraw her from the team. Then you may have a civil claim for any part of the season you paid for but did not receive.

Unless there's something in the contract about assault -> expulsion, then you're out of luck. People break promises all the time; unless the contract promises otherwise, there's no foul there that a court would remedy.

Finally, almost all courts will respect arbitration clauses unless there is some legal reason why it isn't binding, which is exceedingly rare.

I am not a lawyer, but I've probably stayed at a Holiday Inn at some point.

Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:30 PM   #11
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Forget about arbitration. It is not free. I am not an atty, but just guessing arbitration fees would be over $ 1,000 on the simplest case.

If you feel the need to get even, stay in, and make yourself the parent from Heck, administratively, and lawfully, at every opportunity. Attend all board meetings, coaches meetings, protest all questionable referee calls , formal request for documents etc. This will give them a good reason to refund.

Got to go now, JAG reruns are on tonight
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:54 PM   #12
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Forget about arbitration. It is not free. I am not an atty, but just guessing arbitration fees would be over $ 1,000 on the simplest case.

If you feel the need to get even, stay in, and make yourself the parent from Heck, administratively, and lawfully, at every opportunity. Attend all board meetings, coaches meetings, protest all questionable referee calls , formal request for documents etc. This will give them a good reason to refund.

Got to go now, JAG reruns are on tonight

As a referee, I would oppose this course of action (we get enough abuse as it is) or at least delete the part about protesting all questionable referee calls
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:19 PM   #13
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Pull your DD from the league and put this deal behind you. It may be wrong, but don't think that athletic leagues are for profit entities. They're usually just operating day to day financially.

There are always other soccer clubs.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:45 PM   #14
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I'd prosecute and tell the club to keep the dough, they're gonna need it.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #15
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What are you trying to teach your daughter? To me that's the most important thing here. Teaching the other girl or her family a lesson doesn't really matter to me. I don't know the answer of what you are looking to achieve, with your daughter, but that's the only thing I would look at it. To ME I don't want my kids thinking we sue for everything because I like more personal responsibility, overcoming difficult situations, etc... but that's just me. Good luck to you.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:39 PM   #16
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Just my random thoughts (I'm not a lawyer).

How much money are we talking about, might be better to forget it.

Did you pay by credit card, if so, dispute the charge as they failed to deliver a safe environment, yes you may not win, but it will bother them, and maybe you will win.

Criminally Charging the other kid or mother (are parents not responsible?) will add someone to your side of "give him his money back so he goes away" . Besides the mother deserves to pay a lawyer for her bad actions.

Check your paperwork/website to see and download the agreement, maybe it's a lie they told.

The full year was $1350... she played in 1 or 4 games for the spring but also is missing tournaments... I figure it is a bit over $500 I am due and that is what I asked for (the $500).


Thanks for the CC suggestion... I think I will go that direction for now...


It is a bit irritating as the last email I got said there was no assault and that I know it because if there was I would call the authorities... I really do not want to do so but have told them it is still an option.


They sent the contract and it does have an arbitration clause... who knows if it is the one when I signed up...
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
Forget about arbitration. It is not free. I am not an atty, but just guessing arbitration fees would be over $ 1,000 on the simplest case.

If you feel the need to get even, stay in, and make yourself the parent from Heck, administratively, and lawfully, at every opportunity. Attend all board meetings, coaches meetings, protest all questionable referee calls , formal request for documents etc. This will give them a good reason to refund.

Got to go now, JAG reruns are on tonight
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Originally Posted by timbervest View Post
As a referee, I would oppose this course of action (we get enough abuse as it is) or at least delete the part about protesting all questionable referee calls



I agree.... I would never abuse the referee... well, much... the only time I did was when the goalie grabbed my daughters ankle as she was going by her outside the box... by rule a direct red card... ump did pull it out but then changed to a yellow... I was mad as she did injure my DDs ankle... and the free goal that would have happened...
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small claims court settlement
Old 04-22-2019, 07:09 PM   #18
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small claims court settlement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
OK, I need some help on this and hope someone here has some knowledge.


I want to sue my DDs soccer club for fees we paid. She was assaulted by another player and the club would not do anything about the other player. Normally that player would be kicked off the team but the club did nothing. The said they would, but when it came down to do it they failed to do so. I did not want my DD in a situation where she could be assaulted again.


They are throwing up that there is an arbitration clause in the contract. I would like to take it to small claims as that would be cheaper.


Can I? Or am I stuck with that clause?


Additional info... I never did actually sign a contract but did pay for the club online and probably did click some box somewhere that I would be bound by the contract.
File a small claims court case for the full amount recoverable by law. They will end up settling for the fees. Basically you want your money back because you believe rules are not being uniformly enforced.

Small claims are cheap to file and costly to defend...
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:30 PM   #19
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Thanks for the replies.... a few more answers...


We did take her out of the club...



What I was trying to teach my DD is not to quit when someone else is at fault.... she came home and said she was through with the club... when we first met with the director he even said that if he had to choose he would choose my daughter.. so this was another of his lies (he had many)... when it came time for a game I forced the issue... he accused me of become aggressive and said it is up to us if my DD plays or not...


What DD learned is that people you think are on your side can easily lie to your face...


I am trying to get the money back so she can get into another club... it was HER money... I was already to leave this club because of lies and bad coaching but she had been with the team for years and wanted to be with her team mates (BTW, the team has moved between clubs a few times... it is this last one that is the worst).



I do not want to press charges... first, the club is not responsible for the assault, but they are for the action taken afterwards...



This clubs IS a for profit entity... even though it is under cover of a non-profit they spend the money on themselves through salaries.... there is a rec league that is fully non-profit and the costs are WAY lower than this one...




Well, I had typed a bunch but did not hit submit... so an update... I have started the dispute with the CC company... thanks for the suggestion...
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:33 PM   #20
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File a small claims court case for the full amount recoverable by law. They will end up settling for the fees. Basically you want your money back because you believe rules are not being uniformly enforced.

Small claims are cheap to file and costly to defend...

But if they win automatically because of arbitration clause then all it is is a nuisance... now, I am not against causing them some but I would at least like to have a shot at it...


Also, I am not sure if they even need to show up.. it appears that some are just paper submitted from both parties and a decision made...
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