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Old 11-30-2014, 11:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Karate contract

Part of my daughter's karate contract included getting sparring gear for sparring. We had found a used set of sparring gear at a church sale and was using that. Everything fit fine until the helmet got too small and I bought a bigger one. We never ordered the sparring gear that was part of the contract. I was waiting until she outgrew the gear we had gotten from the church sale.

The director of the school talked me into another contract when we were at the end of the contract that the sparring gear was part of. I made sure I told him that she never received the sparring gear. He agreed to add it on the new contract and note it on her account.

Now, she does not want to do karate anymore and there is an opt out on the contract. I had sent an e-mail on November 19, requesting that the director talk to my daughter about her wanting to quit and to talk about the contract. He just got around to answering my e-mail on November 28, 2014. First he said, “...there is a 10% penalty. So you would need to pay 10% of the contract balance in order to cancel it.” Then he saw there was an opt out we could use and e-mailed saying, “I just took a closer look at your program and there is an opt out date on 11/15/14 so I will go ahead and cancel it right away with no penalty.”

However, I wanted the sparring gear we never received but paid for as part of the contract. I told him this but he e-mailed first saying, “...the sparring package can no longer be redeemed due to the length of time that's passed.”...” and later e-mailing, “...I thought she got it bit by bit over the years. Your talking about something that happened over 5 years ago. There's no record of what…” she “...received and when, but I'm certainly not going to replace an entire new sparring gear set after you cancel the program...”

So, I decided to have it reactivated so I could see about getting the sparring gear. My daughter’s older sister wants to do karate this summer she said.

I really just wanted to be able to get the sparring gear I paid for as part of the program and get the unused time that I paid for as well. My daughter did not go every month and they would put that time at the end of the contract. He will not ever tell me how much unused time she has right now. There is more but this is already very long, you get the point I think.

Very frustrating, please advice. Thank you very much.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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Penalties in contracts are illegal, but very few people know that. Illegal doesn't mean anyone is going to jail, but just that penalties in a contract are not legally enforceable. http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...penalties.html - there can be something called Liquidated damages, but that doesn't matter here.

I am not 100% clear on the post, but basically you can not pay the Karate place anything and move on to another karate studio, which might be the easiest option.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Penalties in Contract

Penalties of rather liquidated damage clauses that are in contracts varies slightly among different jurisdictions within the United States, but generally the courts look at (2) elements to determine whether a liquidated damage clause is enforceable by the non-breaching party:
(1) Uncertainty element; whether the harm caused by the breach is difficult to calculate and whether the damages are hard to be determine.

(2)whether the amount of the liquidated damages is reasonable in proportion to the actual or anticipated harm. If it is not, then it is a penalty. Penalties are against public policy and usually are not enforceable in contracts.
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