Fontana, CA asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Business Law for California

Q: We are a non-profit booster organization. We are attempting to compel a former treasurer's refusal to return documents.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, a nonprofit organization has the right to access and retain possession of its official records, including financial documents handled by its treasurer. If a former treasurer is refusing to return such documents, the organization can initially try to resolve the matter through direct communication, clearly stating the necessity and legal basis for the request. It might be beneficial to outline the potential consequences of their refusal to cooperate.

Should this approach fail to yield results, the organization has the option to pursue legal remedies. This can include sending a formal demand letter, which often serves as a strong incentive for compliance. The demand letter should be precise about the documents required and the legal obligations of the former treasurer to return them.

If the former treasurer continues to withhold the documents despite these efforts, the organization may need to consider filing a lawsuit for the return of the property. This legal action could compel the former treasurer to comply with the request. While taking legal action might seem daunting, it's important to protect the organization's interests and ensure it operates transparently and within legal guidelines. Consulting with a legal professional can provide guidance tailored to the specific situation and help navigate the legal process effectively.

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