If I Am Forced to Sign a Contract, is It Still Valid?
Contracts provide the opportunity for private individuals and entities to create legally binding agreements. Contracts are essential for business transactions. When a valid contract is created, it should be enforced by the court and it should provide a remedy in the event that either party fails to comply with the agreement terms. If you sign a contract and the other party fails to perform his or her obligations set forth in the agreement, you may file a civil lawsuit for a breach of contract. Remedies in a breach of contract lawsuit can range from the court requiring the other party to perform the agreement terms to the court ruling that the breaching party must pay you damages.
While contracts are generally enforceable, there are situations where a contract is not considered valid. One of those situations is when you are forced to sign a contract. If someone holds a gun to your head and coerces you to sign an agreement, you will not be bound by the contract. In fact, there are many situations where a person who is under duress is not going to be required to abide by the terms of an agreement that he was coerced into signing.
If you were forced to sign a contract, you need to get legal help. An attorney can help you to determine if you can get the contract rescinded or can provide you with legal representation if you are being accused of breaching a contractual agreement that you were coerced into signing. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has provided legal representation to many people who have been forced into signing contracts and who do not want to be be held legally liable for a failure to live up to the terms of these agreements. Give our Orange County breach of contract lawyers a call today to learn more about the legal services that we can provide to help when you are a party to an agreement you did not want to sign.
What if You are Forced to Sign a Contract?
In order for a contract to be considered legally valid and to be enforced by the court, the parties to the agreement must have entered into the contract willingly. If a gun was held to your head, you were not in a negotiating position where you were able to make a choice about whether to sign the contract or not. This is a clear example of duress, which makes the contract invalid.
Other examples of situations where you may be forced to sign a contract include situations where your family or business are threatened, or situations where you are not given any alternatives about whether to make an agreement. If you are starving and being told you will only get food if you sign a contract, for example, this is another situation where you are under duress and the contract should likely not be considered valid.
In some cases, it is less clear cut whether you were forced to sign a contract or not. An experienced attorney who represents clients in breach of contract cases can help you to decide if your circumstances were an example of a situation where duress should invalidate your legal obligation to perform. Call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to speak with our contract lawyers to learn more. 714-505-3000