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Hantash v. V Model Management New York

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


August 7, 2007

LISA-ATHENA S. ABU HANTASH, IN HER INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND AS MOTHER AND NATURAL GUARDIAN OF JORDAN-ANNETTE JAZZMIN RICHARDSON, A MINOR, AND JORDAN RICHARDSON, INC., A VIRGINIA CORPORATION, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
V MODEL MANAGEMENT NEW YORK, INC., AND VNY MODEL MANAGEMENT, LLC, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: George B. Daniels, District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs filed this action seeking a declaration, pursuant to the Federal Declaratory Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201 et seq., that two management agreements between plaintiff Jordan Richardson, a minor, and defendants are no longer enforceable. About a month later, before the benefit of any discovery, plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.

Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); June v. Town of Westfield, New York, 370 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 2004).

Here, it is undisputed that plaintiff Jordan Richardson is a seventeen-year-old minor. Both parties also agree that the first of the two management agreements-the 2005 agreement-is no longer valid and enforceable because it was superceded by the second agreement-the 2006 agreement. Finally, while there are disputed issues of fact concerning whether the 2006 management agreement was validly executed, it is beyond dispute that, even if it was enforceable, Jordan Richardson has now repudiated both management agreements. On these facts, plaintiffs are entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

First, because both parties agree that the term of the 2005 management agreement has expired and is null and void, that agreement is no longer enforceable against Richardson. In addition, it is well-settled that "an infant's contract is voidable and the infant has an absolute right to disaffirm." Scott Eden Mgmt. v. Kavovit, 563 N.Y.S.2d 1001, 1002 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Westchester Co. 1990) (citations omitted); see also Joseph v. Shatzkin, 181 N.E. 464, 465 (N.Y. 1932) (finding that the contract between the defendants and their infant customer was voidable); CBS, Inc. (CBS Records Div.) v. Tucker, 412 F.Supp. 1222, 1226 (S.D.N.Y. 1976) (stating that under New York law, "the right of the infant to disaffirm [a] contract is virtually certain") (citations omitted); Shields v. Gross, 448 N.E.2d 108, 112 (N.Y. 1983) (JASEN, J., dissenting) (noting that "it has long been the rule in this State [New York] that a minor enjoys an almost absolute right to disaffirm a contract entered into either by the minor or by the minor's parent on behalf of the minor") (collecting cases).*fn1 Accordingly, the minor Jordan Richardson's [Ed. note: text missing in original.]


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