Q: Does our local Chamber of Commerce own our communities local "Pageant"?

We have a pageant that has been in our community for over 30 years! Its never been filed as an official entity or organization. It has always been ran by different volunteers within the community. I know for several years our local Chamber sponsored the pageant. Then there was a issue with funds and they pulled there sponsorship and we found a different sponsor. A couple years later they sponsored us again. This year we decided to create a Pageant Board and create a 501C3 to officially have a "true entity" that can manage itself. Get our own insurance, write checks etc.The Chamber told the board we are not allowed to do this because they "OWN" the pageant. How can they own something that is not a true "Entity" It literally has no name! One year we called it the "The Green Sandwich" another "The Bananza Race" this year, "The Crew" How can they own it? Side note: They sent me minutes from a meeting they had 2 years ago where it says "Pageant would become property of the Chamber"

1 Lawyer Answer

A: You definitely need to consult with an attorney.

Anybody can own a pageant and call it anyway they want.

The question is whether it is exclusive, and if what you do, your work, is owned by somebody else.

Check if they ever signed or got a contract from somebody.

Even if your entity does not exists legally or formally, it may have created the impression it does and therefore bind some members to other entities.

best luck


Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.