Should I sue for up front fees paid to an athletic program that kicked my daughter off the team for absolutely no reason?

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Should I sue for up front fees paid to an athletic program that kicked my daughter off the team for absolutely no reason?

My daughter was kicked off a cheer team (competitive cheerleading) for the owner stating she’s “no longer compatible with their organization”. We paid up front for competition fees (about $500). The owner was caught bullying one of the other members and, as a parent, expressed concern which led to my daughter being removed from the program. Are they allowed to keep the fees for competitions we paid for especially since they decided to kick her off the team (i.e. we didn’t decide to remove ourselves, that would be different)? Our daughter wasn and always had been, in good standing.

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, if the team kicked your daughter off and it was not for her material (or important) breach of team rules, or some criminal or safety violation, they should have to return at least  the pro rata or "unused" portion of the fees.

However, you need to review any agreements you executed when signing her up for the team--if they state that team members may be kicked off at any time for any reason but fees are unrefundable when that happens (or something to that effect), that clause or term should be enforceable and you'd likely not be entitled to a refund.

And if your daughter was kicked off for some significant wrongoing, then again, they may be entitled to keep the fee. It's only when she is kicked off without wrongdoing, and without a contractual provision allowing them to keep the fees even in that situation, that you would get a refund.


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