Palm Beach Country Club Facing Lawsuit Over Refused $50,000 Initiation Fee Refund

By Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.Class Action

Another golf club lawsuit has been filed against a country club that refused to refund the substantial fee paid when a member joined, this time in the upscale Palm Beach community in Florida. This lawsuit and others like it all revolve around a common theme: a member that resigns from the club or that is no longer able to use his or her membership seeks a refund of the substantial fee or deposit paid when he or she joined, per the terms of a membership agreement, but the club either refuses or delays any repayment.

The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman and the Law Offices of Robert S. Dowd, Jr., have handled a number of these cases and see an increasing number of these golf course lawsuits against country clubs that are doing everything they can to withhold refunds and are instead using those funds to support a club’s operations or expand their operations or facilities instead of utilizing funds to pay the former members per the membership agreement’s terms. Former members are increasingly seeking to hold their former clubs accountable by suing their old clubs, either individually or as a class with other former members, to recover their initiation fees, also sometimes characterized as membership deposits, to prevent the clubs from taking advantage of these former members.

What are the details of the Palm Beach lawsuit?

In the Palm Beach case, the aggrieved former member bought a residence in the Wycliffe Golf and Country Club development. As part of his purchase of the residence, he paid $6,000 for an equity stake in the golf and country club and $50,000 as an initiation fee to join the club. Unexpected health problems prevented the purchaser from moving into the residence and he resold it to another party. That person then paid another $50,000 initiation fee to the country club. When the original purchaser requested a refund of his $50,000 fee, the club declined his request.

The member filed a lawsuit against the club on February 5 to recover a golf club refund of his $50,000 initiation fee. The club’s board of directors claimed that a refund was contrary to the club’s bylaws and offered to pay him only $4,800 as a partial refund of the $6,000 he spent to purchase an equity stake in the club. The former member alleges that the board has no minutes or other records to prove that it ever considered the issue and that the club has been unjustly enriched because it double-dipped, retaining his $50,000 fee and the $50,000 initiation fee paid by the other party that purchased the member’s residence.

When can a country club member file a lawsuit?

Golf and country clubs need to treat their members fairly and equitably, and at all times in accordance with the agreements that members sign when they join the club. If you believe that your club is improperly withholding a refund or any deposits of initiation fees that were supposed to be refunded to you upon resignation, you should consider retaining a lawyer that has experience in pursuing these claims to analyze the agreement for you.

Call the Golf Club Attorneys at KGG and Dowd Law for Knowledgeable and Experienced Representation in Golf Club Lawsuits

The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman and the Law Offices of Robert S. Dowd, Jr. have represented former members of golf and country clubs in lawsuits to recover fees that are owed to former members.

Please see our website or call our New York or New Jersey offices if your country club is withholding refunds contrary to your membership agreement or the club’s bylaws. or membership plan. We will review all of these potential claims against your club and advise you if you have a claim that is likely to succeed.

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