How can I obtain my assets promised to me in a recently signed business contract?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I obtain my assets promised to me in a recently signed business contract?

Recently I signed a contract stating that all licenses and title should be handed
over to me. Licenses are to remain until I am able to have them switched over.
While away from the business, the previous owner came back taking her personal
items, which are stated in the contract, but also taking all licenses and never
giving me the title deed to the business.

Asked on August 2, 2018 under Business Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue him for breach--or violation--of contract: courts can enforce the terms of contracts. The lawsuit would be straightforward: you would need to show the existence and terms of the contract, show that you did anything you were supposed to (e.g. that you paid any amounts you were supposed to pay), and also allege that he took or never turn over things you were entitled to under the contract. Unless he can then prove that he did in fact give you what he was supposed to, you should get a court judgment (determination or ruling) in your favor which, if he still does not comply, could ultimately be enforced against him (such as by the sheriff). You can either sue for a court order requring him to turn over what he should; and/or for the monetary value of what he should have provided. While it may be difficult to put a monetary value on some of the items (e.g. licenses), procedurally, a lawsuit just for money is simpler than one for a court order. (You could potentially handle a lawsuit for money only yourself, but would almost certainly need an attorney for one seeking a court order requiring that the items, etc. be provided to you.) In either event, the lawsuit could be settled or resolved by him giving you what he is suppposed to.

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.

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