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Can a staff association be sued

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Why would the staff association be exempt from someone making a County Court claim against them ?


What is the story ? Reasons for any Court claim ?  

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A Railway Staff Association folded in June of last year and owed a sum of money to Canon Hygene. 

A new club was formed in July 2019 and as such had a separate constitution, Committee and HMRC status. We notified Canon that we did not want their services and asked them to remove their equipment. This was ignored and they have been persuing GWRSA. We have pointed out that we are not them and they should persue the person who signed the agreement between them an GWRSA.


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So what was the situation between June 2018 and July 2019 ? 


Did Canon provide any services between June 2018 and July 2019 ?


After the Staff Association folded June 2018, who dealt with creditors that might be owed money ?



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Now with staff associations, like many other registered members clubs they are effectively a co-operative so all of the members are equally liable for any debts as long as they remain members.


In your case it is  a rather interesting problem as when you have a committee to manage things they are given the right and responsibility to enter into contract, pay bills, employ staff etc and that create a responsibility by those individuals to bear the burden if things go wrong.


So Canon had a contract with the old club and  was that properly wound up with the secretary informing canon of this and paying any bills owed before the assets were transferred to the new association?


If not then Canon can sue the past chairman, secretary, treasurer etc as individuals for their failure to properly carry out their duties and pay off debts before dispersing assets.


If the new club has assets that belonged to the old club then that raises other problems as they weren't the old clubs's to pass over without the whole membership agreeing to this and anyone not agreeing would be entitled to have their interest returned to them as cash as well as the settling of any debt before the divvy (all of the assets belong to the members and are held in trust by the club committee)


So what to do?

If the new club is solvent they should settle the bill that was owed on the date of the dissolution of the old club to save the ex-committee members being sued personally. If there was nothing to transfer then you can continue to deny the debt and make it clear that the now ex-committee members are the correct people to chase or you can sit tight and hope that they give up.


What i wouldnt be doing though is entertaining any payments that are a result of a penalty as for starters the club wasnt a business  and secondly as of the end of june there was no-oe who could agree to anything so Canon's contract was dead on the vine. They arent going to sue each and every member at the time for 40p each but that is what is supposed to happen.


Now another thing about being a member fo such an association is that you cant sue the club and they cant sue you because it is effectively suing yourself so dont be trying to pass the buck if things werent done properly at the winding up

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