Members of Trump National Golf Club Jupiter filed a lawsuit against the Trump entity which operates the club. Trump’s Jupiter Golf Club, LLC recently acquired the golf course, club house and other club facilities from The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa Jupiter. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Palm Beach County, alleges that the Trump entity, upon acquiring the club facilities also assumed responsibility to existing club members to refund membership deposits in accordance with the terms and conditions of the exisiting membership agreements.
The members who filed suit, further allege that the Trump entity breached certain membership agreements by terminating their categories of membership, refusing to refund membership deposits as required, and continuing to charge ongoing dues despite a representation that it would not do so.
The lawsuit was filed by three club members who allege that they purchased memberships from the prior club owner — RBF, LLC — and paid fully refundable membership deposits. The plaintiffs seek to have the lawsuit certified as a class action and have requested a refund of membership deposits, as well as other relief for themselves and other club members who are similarly situated.
The Proposed Class
The lawsuit seeks relief for the named plaintiffs as well as for other club members who paid refundable deposits in connection with their purchase of memberships to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa Jupiter and who have been denied a refund of their respective Membership Deposits by Defendants RBF, LLC and Donald Trump’s affiliated business Jupiter Golf Club LLC.
Plaintiffs allege that they and other club members paid substantial Membership Deposits to Defendant RBF, LLC ranging from approximately $35,000 to $210,000, as well as annual dues. The lawsuit claims that Membership Deposits are refundable based upon the terms of the applicable Membership Agreements which Plaintiffs and Class Members entered into with RBF.
Donald Trump, through Jupiter Golf Club LLC, recently purchased The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa Jupiter (the “Club”) from RBF, LLC. The lawsuit contends that immediately after acquiring the Club, Trump, through JGC, unilaterally changed the terms of membership, terminated the categories of membership enjoyed by Plaintiffs and Class Members who were members-in-good-standing on the resignation waiting list and has refused to refund Membership Deposits to Plaintiffs or Class Members.
Plaintiffs claim that since January 1, 2013, RBF has similarly failed and refused to refund Membership Deposits to Plaintiffs and Class Members despite the clear provisions in their Membership Agreement and Membership Plan which require RBF to refund Membership Deposits upon “termination of any category of membership”.
The lawsuit also contends that JGC represented to Plaintiffs and Class Members on multiple occasions that they would not have any further liability to pay club dues. Yet, despite these numerous consistent representations, JGC has continued to bill and send collection demands to Plaintiffs and Class Members.
Plaintiffs seek, for themselves and Class Members, a refund of membership deposits and a declaration concerning their liability for ongoing club dues and their liability under promissory notes issued to secure payment of membership deposits.