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How To Sue Gold's Gym

Camila Lopez - Gym - August 11, 2022

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Do you have a dispute with Gold's Gym over a refund, purchase, or charges to your account? You have several options, including suing Gold's Gymin small claims court.

In this article, learn about:

  • Common types of small claims lawsuits against Gold's Gym.

  • What to do before suing Gold's Gym in small claims court.

  • How much does it cost to sue Gold's Gym in small claims?

  • How much can you sue Gold's Gym for in small claims?

  • How to file a small claims lawsuit against Gold's Gym.

  • Fun fact, lawyers are not allowed at the initial small claims hearing! This is to even the playing field so that each party has an equal chance of obtaining justice.

Common types of small claims lawsuits against Gold's Gym

We often receive the question, can I sue Gold's Gym in small claims? The answer is yes as long as the dispute is for $10,000 or less (more on this below).

Here are some examples of small claims lawsuits against Gold's Gym:

  • Failure to cancel your membership. For example, you requested Gold's Gym cancel your membership but they never cancelled it.

  • Failure to refund your account. For example, Gold's Gym agreed to issue you a refund but never did.

  • Charges to your credit card. For example, if you cancelled your Gold's Gym membership and they kept on charging you.

What to do before suing Gold's Gym in small claims court

Send a Demand Letter

A demand letter is a letter that outlines a set of requests. For example, you could request a refund and explain why you are requesting a refund.  

If you eventually decide to sue in California small claims court, you are required to first request your money or property back before you can file the lawsuit. While you can request your money or property back orally, it is recommended you do so in writing in the form of a demand letter.

What to include in the demand letter?

Unsure of what to include in your demand letter to Gold's Gym? Here are a few suggestions:

  • How much money you are owed.

  • Why you are owed money.

  • Your contact information.

  • Where to send payment.

  • Give them a few days to respond (usually about 7 to 14 days).

  • State that if they don't respond, you intend to sue.

Where to send the letter:

Step 1: Identify the legal name for the gym, their address, and their "agent of service of process."  

Make sure you identity the correct legal entity for Gold's Gym. Gold's Gym tends to register each of its gyms as a separate corporation or LLC. You can call the city where the gym is located and look up their business license. The city will be able to tell you the name of the corporation or LLC that registered the business license. After you obtain the corporation or LLC name, run a search on the California Secretary of State's database. Learn how here. Here are some tips:

  • Look for names the gym uses on contracts, receipts or the store front. Look through any documents you have from Gold's Gym and write down any potential names you have from them. Follow the steps below using the names you have written down.

  • Business License Search. Using the address for the gym, you can search for their business license. Each city has a database of business licenses. Call the business license department for the city where the gym is located in.

  • Search on the California Secretary of State's website. The gym may be registered as a corporation or LLC. You will need to identify the name of the corporation or LLC. In this article, we cover this process in detail. It is important to identify who the agent for service of process (someone selected by the corporation or LLC to receive legal documents on its behalf) as this is the person who will be served.

Step 2: Mail the letter to mailing address for the business you have located

The California Secretary of State's website will list the correct mailing address for the Gold's Gym franchise you are suing. Learn how here.

If Gold's Gym ignores your demand letter, what is the next step? You can sue Gold's Gym in a small claims court.

How much does it cost to sue Gold's Gym in small claims?

So how much are you going to spend by suing Gold's Gym in small claims court?

Court Filing Fees

The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit in California depends on how much you are suing Gold's Gym for. You will pay between $30 to $75 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.  

Serving Costs

Once the lawsuit is filed, you have to notify Gold's Gym that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $0-$75.

Gold's Gym has an agent in each state it has a store. Officially this agent is called an "agent for service of process" which means the person or business responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of Gold's Gym.

Review the steps listed above for identifying the legal name for the Gold's Gym location you are suing. Once you search the California Secretary of State's website, you will also see their agent for service of process listed. Learn more here.

If you win, you can request that Gold's Gym pay for your court fees and serving costs.

How much can you sue Gold's Gym for in small claims?

In California, you can sue Gold's Gym for a maximum of $10,000 if you are an individual. If you are a business suing Gold's Gym, you can sue for a maximum of $5,000. Note, if you are a sole proprietor, you count as an individual.

By suing in small claims you are agreeing to waive any amount over the maximum amount you can sue for, even if you are owed more. For example, if Gold's Gym owes you $15,000, and you decide to sue in small claims, you are waiving suing for an additional $5,000. Meaning that you will win a maximum of $10,000.

While you may be missing out on the full amount you are owed, there are practical benefits to suing in small claims instead of suing in "regular court."

Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.

  2. The process is faster in small claims than in other courts as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.

  3. Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims which helps keep the costs of suing low.  

How to file a small claims lawsuit against Gold's Gym

We have outlined each one of these steps in detail, click the links to learn more.

  1. Prepare and file the lawsuit. Learn more. Make sure you sue the correct legal entity for Gold's Gym. Gold's Gym tends to register each of its gyms as a separate corporation or LLC. You can call the city where the gym is located and look up their business license. The city will be able to tell you the name of the corporation that registered the business license. After you obtain the corporation name, run a search on the California Secretary of State's database. Learn how here.

  2. Notify ("serve") Gold's Gym agent for service of process. Learn more.

  3. Prepare for and attend the small claims hearing. Learn more.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the small claims hearing will be scheduled 30-70 days later.

Make sure to review any terms you agreed to with Gold's Gym! 

What is a small claims court hearing like?

Small claims hearings in California small claims are informal and most hearings last around 15 minutes. While many disputes settle before the hearing, here is what to expect if your lawsuit does not settle.

Who will represent Gold's Gym at the hearing?

  • The easiest way to answer this question is that a lawyer will not be representing Gold's Gym since lawyers cannot represent parties at the initial small claims hearing. They will have a non-attorney representative.

The hearing:

  • Right before the hearing, the judge will ask you and Gold's Gym representative to show each other the evidence that you will later show the judge.

  • The judge will ask you why you are suing.

  • The judge will ask Gold's Gym representative to tell them their side of the story.

  • The hearing will last around 15 minutes.

  • The judge will ask you to show them the evidence you brought. Sometimes the judge will keep the evidence. Other times, you will get the evidence right back.

  • Very rarely a judge will tell you whether you won or lost at the hearing. Instead, the judge will tell you that their decision will be mailed to you (usually takes a few weeks to two months or so).

Chief Legal Architect & Co-Founder @ People Clerk. Camila is an attorney, consumer advocate, and certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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