Mr. Smith was a member of the Royal Golf Club which is located in Los Angeles, CA. He planned on moving to an eastern city and wanted to change his membership from a full-time one to a non-resident one. As a non-resident, he would be paying only one third of the dues.
Mr. Smith was referred to the clubâ€™s membership representative who told him that he could make the change to a non-resident member and that he would have one opportunity to change back to a full-time membership provided he pay the dues back to the beginning of the year that he decided to return to a full-time member. He was given a letter stating these terms. Mr. Smith made the decision to change to a non-resident member on December 31, 2000. The difference in the amount of dues was $500.00 a month. In other words, non-resident members were required to pay $500.00 a month while full-time members were required to pay $1,000.00 a month.
The policy of the Royal Golf Club â€“ at the time Mr. Smith changed to a non-resident member â€“ allowed a member a one-time change back from non-resident to full-member provided he/she paid the dues back to the time he/she converted to a non-resident membership. Mr. Smith had no knowledge of the club policy (other than what told by the membership representative) at the time he decided to become a non-resident member.
In January of 2016, Mr. Smith contact the membership representative and informed him that he wanted to return to being a full-time member. The monthly dues for a full-member had were still $1,000 a month for a full-time member. Mr. Smith was told that he would have to pay the difference between the monthly dues for a full-time member and those of a non-resident member dating all the way back to the time he changed his membership to non-resident in 2000. The amount he owed to the Royal Golf Club was $96,000.00!
Mr. Smith sued the Royal Golf Club alleging a breach of contract and an injunction ordering the club to allow him to return and pay dues prospectively from January 2016 forward. He contended that based on the contract he entered into in 2000, he was required to begin paying the club $1,000.00 a month beginning in January 2016. He contended that the club and he entered into a contract and these were the terms of the contract.
The lawyers for the Royal Golf Club contended that no contract had ever been formed. The lawyers also argued that even if a court ruled that a contract had been formed it was unenforceable because the representative who entered into the written agreement with Mr. Smith had no authority to bind the club to a contract that included terms that were contrary to the clubâ€™s policy at the time.
You are hired to represent Mr. Smith. Please indicate (in your own words and using the relevant and available legal theories that you have learned) what arguments you would make on behalf of Mr. Smith.
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