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is blackmail a crime?

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felonious green View Drop Down
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  Quote felonious green Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: is blackmail a crime?
    Posted: 16/February/2012 at 19:17
In a contracts situation? Where a committee has told an owner that they will not allow them to sell unless they sign an agreement indemnifying that committee of all wrongdoing? ( and they have a good reason to want this)?

Ponala View Drop Down
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  Quote Ponala Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/February/2012 at 21:28
This does not fall under the definition of blackmail.

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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/February/2012 at 22:11
Does for duress.

Especially if the owner needs to sell the property due to extenuating circumstances, i.e. impending bankruptcy or other major financial crisis, there could be grounds to vitiate the contract (indemnification).

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  Quote NotGuilty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/February/2012 at 21:50
There is no duress nor blackmail. I can't see any grounds in which the contract is void or voidable.

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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/February/2012 at 09:44
"Your asset is locked up and barred from sale unless you indemnify us", I could see that spun towards duress or unfair influence. Depends on whether it is worth it to take action against the committee of course.

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  Quote NotGuilty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/February/2012 at 11:46
Originally posted by MickOne

"Your asset is locked up and barred from sale unless you indemnify us", I could see that spun towards duress or unfair influence.


What you have stated is no different to an agreement that we won't pay you compensation unless you agree to confidentiality. A contract is a bargain, that is, you do something for me and I'll do something for you. There is no duress or undue influence here.

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  Quote iconoclast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/February/2012 at 17:18
Disagree! The word "bargain" means literally "prevent profit".
There are certain situations where this idea simply will not wash. eg: "Your asset is locked up and barred from sale unless you indemnify us"; so what the hell are you saying please???
not legal advice

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  Quote rambler1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/February/2012 at 19:05
I agree with Not Guilty I cant see that a contract worded in this way can be construed to be duress. Duress comes from the facts outside a contract not what is written in a contract so to make a judgement, all the facts surrounding this contract need be known.

Undue influence requires there to be a relationship of influence such as boss employee teacher student etc etc and undue influence cant be established from these few facts given here but prima facie it does not look like undue influence between a comittee member and a comittee can stand.

There is no duress unless someone has no option but to sign the contract and this has not been established by the Op.

I suggest that when the godfather puts either your brains or your signature will be on this paper as a clause to the contract then duress "may" apply

Edited by rambler1 - 19/February/2012 at 19:28
Luke 11 46: Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won't even lift one finger to help carry those burdens.

MickOne View Drop Down
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/February/2012 at 20:29
The duress would not apply to the contract for sale. It would apply for the contract regarding the committee. There are two contracts in this issue, not one. The contract for sale would be solid, the contract between assert owner and this committee would be the one arguably made under a situation where duress could be argued. How successfully it could be argued would rely on points not in the post.

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  Quote rambler1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/February/2012 at 01:33

Well yes I kind of agree however

Theres only one contract the indemnity is a condition precedent of that contract.

Therefore can the imosition of a condition pecedent be considered duress? I dont think duress applies the court could order specific performance of the contract and ignore the condition if it was unjust.
Luke 11 46: Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won't even lift one finger to help carry those burdens.

MickOne View Drop Down
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/February/2012 at 11:56
Hmm I think the lack of detail in the originating post will see that we cannot come to a clear position. I can see that the agreement between the committee and the asset owner is a condition precedent on receiving the approval of the committee to sell the asset. Lets call this K1.

However, I would posit that there exist consideration between the committee and the asset owner (his indemnification and their approval), creating a contract between them, separate to the contract between the asset owner and the asset buyer. Lets call this K2.

I believe that K1 is a valid contract and not voidable due to duress or any other existent vitiating factor. But, K2 *MAY* be voidable at the assett owner's election should other elements exist that *COULD* render the contract to have been formed under a situation of duress. Should duress actually exist, the asset owner could potentially vitiate K2 after K1 is terminated by performance and the indemnification would be rendered invalid.

Bottom line, this is not a cut and dry situation. All parties should consult legal professionals to ensure their collective tail feathers are safe.

FYI I can absolutely see that this could be argued just as strongly the other way. Like every situation where there is little information to go on - the devil lieth in detail.

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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/February/2012 at 12:42
I note the OP has not returned to clarify the situation, but reading between the lines I expect that this is a situation involving a strata titled property. (It would help is this was clarified)

Perhaps the owner is in breach of some by-laws, and now wishes to sell the property, perhaps the committee is seeking indemnity in case the new owner demands the rectification work be at the committees expense.

If my assumptions are correct, the by-laws of the body corporate would come into play and the committee could serve a notice on the current owner requiring rectification to be carried out, this notice would become evident in any searches by any prospective purchaser, who could then make his decisions on the purchase in the full knowledge that should he proceed, the rectification work would become his problem.

If I have got this all wrong, sorry but my crystal ball has been playing up lately.

I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

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  Quote felonious green Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/February/2012 at 20:07
Sorry guys for distant replied. In regards to duress, the management rights owner was hospitalised and declared medically unfit for work due to harassment by the body corporate. This is why they want themselves indemnified. That and the fact we have literally 30 examples of their incompetence, "overlord" type tactics and illegal trying to prevent a sale. (based on racial grounds, but that is only hearsay, cant prove it)

So basically, they are saying we will not call the EGM to allow the sale to proceed unless you indemnify us. It is a breach of procedure, about the 20th in a row. We literally have only one road in the contract, which is arbitration, and they arent even compelled to attend.
Now, this. Indemnify or we will stall your sale more. (already 11 months late)
So thats why i asked, i hope this context clears up why I wondered if the blackmail (indemnifying document) is legal or not.

Thanks

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/February/2012 at 20:43
In light of that information it certainly seems like blackmail. But I'll leave it to others more experienced than me to suggest the appropriate response.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

MickOne View Drop Down
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/February/2012 at 21:50
Can't see criminality in it. This is certainly a civil matter. See a solicitor, you should apprise them of the issues and get some advice/assistance in negotiating with the BC

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  Quote felonious green Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/February/2012 at 22:37
Originally posted by MickOne

Can't see criminality in it. This is certainly a civil matter. See a solicitor, you should apprise them of the issues and get some advice/assistance in negotiating with the BC


Been there done that. One lawyer says just do whatever to see it through. The other says give me $xxxxx and ill fix them.
The BC lawyer has advised the BC to settle ASAP as has everyone else. I think this last tactic reeks of concern on their part, just have to figure out if it can be exposed and used against them.
Thanks for replies

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