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Martial arts contract question

Ok a year ago I talked with the “Master” of the martial arts school I attend. I told him I am a network engineer and such. Because of that my hours and location change a lot. I told him that was my concern with signing a 2 year contract that basically stated weather I am there or not I pay. He said not to worry that we would work something out if that happened. WEll it did. I have been reloacted out of the area, and my hours have changed so I cannot attend his courses. So I called he didn’t return my call. So I sent him a letter stating I would not be able to attend and extended one month tuition and stated that that was usual and customary to exit such a contract. He sends me a letter 3 days later stating I am late on my tution. I called him and explained again. He said I have 11 months left on the contract he would hold me to every penny. I stated that is rediculous we talked about this possibility he said “you signed a contract…” I am old enough I should know better than to listen to people but he seemed trust worthy. I was dead wrong. Now I have my options. I already started a case with the Better Business Beureu. This really pisssess me off. He said the best he would do is 60% of the contract which would be 825 bucks. I can either just quit paying and face whatever legal stuff comes up. I can send him in writing a settlement of say 3 months tuition instead of the sum he wanted. I can pay the 825 straight up and not get any services in return. I can create flyers to directly hurt his business. I can create a website to ruin his business. I am not talking slandery I am talking about stating what happened to me. Only. I would not make anything up. What are all of your thoughts. As I am sure someone has gotten stuck in a messed up contract for physical services. This is really eating me up it is affecting my sleep I am so pissed. I want to rip his freaking head off.

Seriously anyone else have problems like this with a gym contract. Any lawyers out there want to shoot at this one?

Dude you are sol, if you singed he owns your ass. Id try something extreme like wasting your weekends explaing to his customers as they come in what happened and what a sleaze he is the BBB is a good idea. No body wants bad publicity, or you could always do what Jim Kubler reccomened on another thread about revenge!

i got stuck with this with the gym i used to go to. usually contracts have a ‘location’ clause. that means if you move over 20 miles from the establishment you can break the contract. i got a written letter from my sister that i was moving in with her and that got me out of it. if you just stop paying, it will probably end up on your credit report and haunt you when you want to buy a house or a car. if his business is not web based, the web site probably won’t hurt him all that much. good luck!

He’s a piece of shit but you signed the contract so its he might have you. You coud take a chance in small claims court, you have a case. Never sign up for a gym or martial arts school that locks you in like that. They are in it for the money and not for your well being.

You’re in the weaker position because you read and then signed the contract. Initially, you will have difficulty getting any oral modifications not commemorated in writing into the contract because of the parol evidence rule (it’s complicated and would take a long time to explain, but it basically holds that oral discussions not commemorated in the final written agreement don’t matter). However, you may have an argument that you created a new oral contract based on the contingency you discussed, especially if you discussed this after you signed the contract – in that case you would need to define the offer, consideration, and acceptance for that other agreement. The main difficulty would be showing that the instructor received any consideration for making this concession. If you succeed in defining the oral arrangement as a side agreement, its exact terms become very important. If he gave you some specific guarantee that you would not have to pay, you would have something to argue. If he told you that you could “work something out” and now he is offering the 60% payment option, that would count as a good-faith offer to comply with your oral agreement. In the end, I would take him up on his offer and pay the $825 and never again sign any contracts when you’re not comfortable with the terms. More often than not, if you walk away you can get concessions, or you can find someone else somewhere else who will give you a better deal.

BTW, I would be extremely careful about the truth of your statements if you do decide to make posters or do anything of that nature, as you could be liable for damages. Secondly, know that if you make a counter-offer for settlement his original offer expires, so that if he rejects your 3-month counter-offer he is no longer bound to offer you the 60% option.

make up flyers saying what happened (what REALY happened, no lies) then blow 2-3 days standing in front of his place giving them to ANYONE who will take one. he’ll give you the refund.

Catch him walking out of the gym one day and use what he taught you against him.

3L: Couldn’t he argue that he formed a new oral contract when he told the instructor that he wouldn’t sign the K unless the instructor would let him out of it upon moving away? His signing the K was consideration for the oral K with the promise that if he moved away, the instructor would let him out of the K.

Regarding the flyers and other demonstrations. This happened at a car dealership near me where a dude stood outside of the place with a big picket sign pretty much saying he got ripped off (can’t remember the exact words.) He was out there for a long time, but he got in the paper and the dealership got a lot of bad press. I know most people in my area won’t go there anymore because of it. I live in a small city though so a bad reputation gets around quickly. I suppose you could get a bum a sign and have him do it and pay him a couple bucks a day.

This may or may not work.

Offer to write this man a check for $50 dollars to make an initail payment on what you owe him. Do this over the phone and in a letter and be nice very polite and get his trust.

When you write him the check in the comment/remark area write contract “Paid in Full” or possibly just paid in full. When and if he is dumb enough to cash it he just agreed to the terms of what I believe is considered a legally binding contract that admits he received payment from you. A contract with a bank(which a check is) is more important than a contract with a run down martial arts studio.

Do not know if it will work but it did get a friend of mine out of trouble. And $50 would be a very cheap out.

He could try to argue that, but I think that would likely be considered merged into the written contract, as it wasn’t really a side contract but more of a negotiation about a condition concerning the written contract – as such, because it wasn’t memorialized, it would probably not even be considered because of the parol evidence rule. The purpose of the parol evidence rule is really to allow free negotiation about terms up until the final written contract is negotiated, without tying either side to things they brought up during negotiations. Because the negotiations took place prior to the signing of the written contract, which supposedly memorialized the entire agreement about the contract for the lessons, they would likely fall under the parol evidence rule exclusion.

I forgot to mention this before. If Knuckledragger could demonstrate that the instructor affirmatively lied to him about the meaning of the contract he would likely have an out. The problem is that he obviously understood the implication of what he was signing – he even brought it up to the instructor, and then accepted the instructor’s oral assurance that they “would work something out” in the eventuality that he had to move. In addition to the practical difficulty of demonstrating oral negotiations in the face of a signed contract and of the parol evidence problems, just from what was posted it does not seem that they ever specified just what exactly they were to work out if Knuckle were to leave. Therefore, even if one could establish some sort of caveat, it is not at all clear why the offer to settle for 60% would not constitute a real, good-faith offer to satisfy that agreement. In the end, it seems wise to accept the settlement offer the instructor proposed. Knuckle could counter-offer and take the chance the the instructor would either re-offer the 60% if he turned down the counter offer, or that the instructor would simply not realize that his own settlement offer expired when the counter-offer was made, but that would be a calculated risk that could result in the loss of the 60% settlement offer.

Hey 3-l He did cash a check I wrote to him for that last month of tuition that stated payment in full on the memo section of the check it said “payment in full of osa contract”. Am I legally out of this contract then? Anyone

Actually, if you wrote “Payment in Full for OSA Contract” and he cashed the check, you definitely have a good argument that you satisfied the contract. Your check was an offer to settle the entire contract, and his cashing could be an acceptance of that offer, for the consideration of one-month’s tuition. That could definitely be a winner. He would still likely try to take you to small claims court, but you would have a good argument there. One thing to note about small claims court is that judges often play “split the baby” at that level rather than scrupulously applying the law, mostly because they realize they are dealing with people who don’t necessarily have legal educations (and because they’re lazy). If he does file, it will probably be 2 months or so before you get a court date, depending on how crowded the docket is. If by that time you have moved, you’ll have to consider the possibility that travel costs would affect your economic calculus. Of course, if you’ve moved you could also attempt to avoid service of the process and not leave any forwarding address – it is his responsibility to serve you with process, and people have been known to avoid such service quite successfully, especially if they’ve moved out of state. Good luck.

I talked to The owner again. I told him I have a check in my hand that says payment in full of osa contract. I stated to him that I viewed that as our new contract and that I would not be paying him. I told him if he wished to take me to sm. claims to go right ahead. I also told him I will give him my new address so he can serve me there. He tried to talk me into comming to him to rehab my shoulder… Judging by that reaction I would assume that I am out of that contract. I will post it if he pursues it further, however it doesn’t sound like it.

Damn, this is simple. You find the cell phone that belongs to Mark-AUS (the previous question sender), and then you plant it on this Master. That should take care of that.