Lawyers for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will appear in a Palm Beach court room Monday to explain why Trump hasn’t paid out $5 million in refundable deposits owed to members of Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.
The breach of contract dispute stems from 2012, when Trump purchased the club from the Ritz-Carlton. Trump assumed liability for approximately $41 million in membership deposits by buying the club. He offered members a deal in exchange for forfeiting their deposits, in which annual dues would drop to $17,500, and they would be afforded access to Trump properties around the country, including his posh Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.
Nearly 100 members of the club refused the deal and announced their intention to resign, hoping to immediately recoup their deposits. Membership was terminated for all those who attempted to leave the organization — those members allege Trump illegally pocketed their refundable membership deposits, totaling $5 million. Deposits ranged from $35,000 to $210,000.
U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra scheduled a trial to begin Monday after dismissing a motion from Trump lawyers to throw out the lawsuit, who call the complaint frivolous. The club is operated by Trump’s son, Eric Trump, who is likely to testify, and features a golf course designed by retired professional golfer Jack Nicklaus. (RELATED: Here Are The DC Power Law Firms Helping Donald Trump)
Lawyers for the defense argue Trump offered the departing members a reasonable alternative, which they refused.
Trump himself is not expected to testify, though a video deposition he gave in connection to the lawsuit will almost certainly be played. Several communications directly from Trump, however, feature prominently in the plaintiff’s case.
Marra will hear the case himself and render a verdict.
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