CanI press charges against my father-in-law for stealing my business if there was no written contract?

UPDATED: Dec 13, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 13, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

CanI press charges against my father-in-law for stealing my business if there was no written contract?

I own an independent snack cake/bread distributing business and about 1 1/2 years ago. I had to let an employee go and was left short handed. My father-in-law offered to help by running the route until we could find a replacement. After a few months of running the route, without my knowledge, my father in law got a business license, started purchasing product from my suppliers and began servicing my stores for himself. Is there anything legally I can do to force him to give the stops back?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Business Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney with experience in business litigation. You *may* be able to sue your father-in-law, either for monetary compensation or for an order stopping from doing this, IF it is the case that he misapproriated proprietary or confidential information, such as your customer list or the list and contact information of your suppliers, to start his own business. You can't stop him from generally competing with you, unless there had been a non-competition agreement (in the future, have one; the lawyer can draft one for you), but you might be able to stop him from competing using information he stole from you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption