Is Your Club A Legal Entity?

Allen Matkins
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Allen Matkins

Nine years ago, I wrote about various provisions of the California Corporations Code concerning unincorporated associations.  See Thinking About Joining A Club? You May Want To Consider These Corporations Code Provisions First.  Yesterday, a California Court of Appeal provided a succinct history and summary of unincorporated associations under California law, finding that they possess many characteristics of other legal entities and may:

  • sue or be sued,
  • own and transfer an interest in real or personal property,
  • take property under a will,
  • register a trademark,
  • seek an injunction against a public nuisance or unfair competition, or
  • engage in commerce.

Vosburg v. County of Fresno, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 852.  The case itself involved the question of whether an unincorporated association could qualify for an award of attorneys' fees as a successful party.  The case itself largely concerned the question of whether the association participation in the litigation was more akin to an amicus curiae or a de facto intervener.  The Court of Appeal decided it was the latter.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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