I need legal advice (any lawyers?)

9 replies to this topic
  • sirthumpalot

Posted June 11, 2002 - 04:28 AM


This could actually be good. In my area (South Florida) there is almost zero land left to ride on, unless you consider running from the poliece part of the sport. Word of mouth brings me the message that a comissioner in our area may be willing to lease land for ATV/motorcycle use for $1 a year to an organization willing to accept the liability (the local govt. doesn't want people on "public" land due to liability). So my question is: What type of not-for-proffit organization do I create to lease the land which would shield all of the organization members from any personal responsibility/liability? My goal is that if (when..) someone decides to sue the organization because they got hurt, etc.. that the organization can just fold without the members (president, board members, ...) having to worry about any personal law suits, and then we can hopefully open a new organization to take over the lease. Are there any TT lawyers out there who can help out with some advice?

  • 2000426Rider

Posted June 11, 2002 - 05:35 AM


I'm not a lawyer but that is the definition of a corporation: The people that work in a corporation are sheilded from liability. You can do it cheaper and easier with a limited liability partnership, though.

  • jlewis

Posted June 11, 2002 - 06:03 AM


Try looking into the NOHVCC. They help with issues like this. They have a real good web site and a lot of free information they will send you regarding getting and setting up places to ride.


good luck,

  • Coalminer

Posted June 11, 2002 - 06:37 AM


What we have up here for that type of situation is we create a society (we have the ski touring association and the mountain bike club) a society is registered with the local government as a non-profit association, we pay an annual fee to the government and we have to send them meeting minutes for each of our Annual General Meetings and so on. So for your situation I would create a club (a society) that would be interested in putting together a proposal that would offer to provide the due diligence required for the area to become safe for riding within reason. What you would do is create a schedual for trail maintenance and do some signage. This way if there is a problem and someone wants to sue you, they have to sue the society (non-profit club) and the members are somewhat protected. Its worth looking into. Good Luck.

  • Mark_Cantrell

Posted June 11, 2002 - 07:10 AM



Don't let this opportunity pass. Create a corporation with no assests, a non-profit if not too expensive. Have no assets. See if he'll bite. If the corporation has assets and is sued, it won't have assets anymore.

He will likely require a policy which would be hard to get, even if your corporation could afford it (dues, drives, contributions, etc.). Maybe AMA could help with that.

Finally, consider applying for Federal help. I hate the concept but what the hell. In the incorporation papers, state that the purpose of the corporation is to pursue self esteem for children through open air motorcycle riding or some such bull****. Then apply for a federal grant to help. There's a group of civic minded (seriously) cops in Detroit who got a truckload of small Hondas from Honda USA for some similar purpose. This might net some money for insurance, equipment, improvements or a track, make it more attractive to the people who control it, of course it would be open riding outside of kids, and would only cost a weekend a month rotated between some of the core group of volunteers.

Good luck,

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  • YZeezee

Posted June 11, 2002 - 07:44 AM


I'm by no means a lawyer either, but I do know a couple things about becoming incorporated... I'm sure laws vary slightly by state, but the idea behind becoming a corporation is to insulate the owners and officers from personal liability within the company. A corporation is very inexpensive to start (around $50), and does not have to generate any revenue. The reason people choose LLC's (limited liability companies) is that they aren't charged a corporate tax rate (essentially taxed twice). But if there is no revenue, then no extra taxes. A corporation must have a board of directors (can be one person), and that's about it I believe. If your "company" ends up needing to buy assets or having anything in its possession, start another bogus company and lease everything from them. If your original corporation is its only customer, you probably won't sue yourself. That way if the original corporation gets sued, they get a few pencils and maybe a used oil filter for their efforts.
The other critical item, that was mentioned earlier is signage, perhaps some sort of waiver of responsibility, etc. Hope that helps some, but don't let the cost dissuade you in any way-it's cheap to start a company... Just my opinion, take it for what it's worth...

  • skthom2320

Posted June 11, 2002 - 10:05 AM


The whole insurance, liability, etc. problem is what brought the skateboard parks of the late 1970's and early 80s to their knees. Part of the the resurgence in skateboard parks was due to the Boy Scouts of America stepping up and providing insurance to the sport.

I would investigate how your local skateboard parks acquired insurance (or avoided liability).

  • DethWshBkr

Posted June 11, 2002 - 12:02 PM


Would the AMA do something to help?
I mean, come on, they always say how they are here to protect our right to ride....so help us regain it!
I know the AMA offers insurances, I wonder if they would somehow be able to help out....but they are a for-profit organization. Never know though.....

  • jlewis

Posted June 11, 2002 - 12:04 PM


Here is a direct link to the page you are looking for.


This is what the NOHVCC is for!


  • freestyle111

Posted June 11, 2002 - 01:57 PM


you wont find to many lawyers on tt they are all hanging out at "greenies forum"

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