If I own my own business, what recourse do I have regarding unfair competition?

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If I own my own business, what recourse do I have regarding unfair competition?

It is a small soccer club. We are fully certified to play in a certain league run by a larger soccer club. Three weeks ago, they accepted our payment to play in their league. Two nights ago, they emailed me to say they were refusing our admittance to the league. They gave no reason and will not respond to emails or phone calls. There is no legitimate reason for them to withdrawal our entry, as we are certified. Since they waited these 3 weeks, I am now out of time to enter any other leagues. This bigger club would have reasons to want to shut down my club (in order to get the fields and players under my control). I believe this is clear discrimination. What courses of action can I take?

Asked on July 1, 2015 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them for breach of contract. In agreeing to accept you into the league and accepting your payment, they entered into an enforceable contract or agreement with you to let you play. As long as none of the following are the case--

1) There was something in the agreement giving them unbridled discretion to reject you after accepting your payment (if there was such a term in a  written agreement, however, such a term would generally be legal and enforceable);

2) You did not lie on your application or otherwise commit fraud;

3) In between their accepting your payment and your exclusion, nothing happened to make you ineligible (e.g. you didn't fall below some critical number of players)

--then they should have had to honor the agreement to let you play. You could sue them for monetary compensation (for the economic losses this will cause you) or for a court order requiring them to admit you. If you seek the court order, you will need to do so on a rush or "emergent" (think: urgent or emergency basis), which can be complicated--you should retain an attorney to help you.


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