Gym contracts tend to be the worst. They are easy to get into and extremely difficult to end. But you have the right to sue Equinox in small claims court for many reasons. Are you owed a refund? Are there unclear charges or purchases from Equinox? You can use the small claims court to enforce your rights.
Common Small Claims Lawsuits Against Equinox
We often are asked the question, "Can I sue my gym, Equinox?"
Here are some examples of small claims lawsuits that have been brought against Equinox:
- Failure to cancel your membership: For example, you requested Equinox cancel, but they never did, and kept charging you.
- Failure to refund your account: For example, Equinox agreed to issue you a refund but never did and won't take any further requests.
- Fraudulent Charges to your Card: For example, you believe someone else has used your card to purchase a membership but Equinox won't help.
What to Do Before Suing
Send a Demand Letter
A demand letter is a letter that outlines a set of requests. For example, you could request a refund and explain why you are requesting a refund.
If you eventually decide to sue in small claims court, many states require you first to request your money or property back before you can file the lawsuit. It is recommended you do so in writing in the form of a demand letter.
What to include in the demand letter?
Unsure of what to include in your demand letter to Equinox? Here are a few suggestions:
- How much money you are owed.
- Why you are owed money.
- Your contact information.
- Where to send payment.
- Give them a few days to respond (usually about 7 to 14 days).
- State that if they don't respond, you intend to sue.
Where to send the letter:
31 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 1001
You can also send a copy of the letter to their registered agent in your state. Check out our guide on how to find a registered agent in your state.
But if Equinox ignores your demand letter, what is the next step? One option is to sue Equinox in a small claims court.
How much does it cost to sue Equinox in small claims?
So how much are you going to spend by suing Equinox in small claims court?
- Court Filing Fees: The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit depends on how much you are suing Equinox for and where you are suing. You can expect to pay between $30 to $400 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.
- Serving Costs: Once the lawsuit is filed, you must notify Equinox that you have sued them. This is called "serving." Serving Costs can range from $20-100 depending upon the local area. Equinox has a registered agent for service in each state it has a store. Officially this agent is called an "agent for service of process," which means the person or business responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of Equinox.
Remember, if you win, you can request that Equinox pay for your court fees and serving costs.
What are the Benefits of Small Claims Court?
- Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
- The process is faster in small claims than in other courts, as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
- Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims, which helps keep the costs of suing low.
How to File a Small Claims Lawsuit Against Equinox
- Prepare and File the Court Paperwork - If you end up in 30-40% of cases where the demand letter doesn't work, you can prepare and file the court paperwork for small claims court next. The upside is that you can typically do this yourself and don't need to send much evidence with your filing. You just need to know the name of the party you're suing, the amount you're suing for, and answer some basic yes/no questions.
Again, you can do this yourself, or use Dispute's Small Claims Filing platform, which includes online paperwork prep, live online notarization, and online filing.
- Serve the Defendant - After the court accepts your paperwork, you have to serve your court paperwork to the defendant to notify them they're being sued officially. This is also another point where people will often realize they should settle before going to court. This is the one step you aren't allowed to do yourself. To avoid bias, the court requires you to get someone else to serve your case and file a proof of service in court (a simple statement that they swear they served the defendant). The free way to do this is to get a friend or family member who isn't part of the case to help you. The hassle-free professional way to serve court papers is to hire a process server and let them take care of it.
Taking the First Step in Your Lawsuit
If all of this work seems complicated or daunting, rest assured that it's easier than it initially seems. 2.7 million small claims court cases are filed annually in the US, which is only growing as more people realize how easy it is to enforce their legal rights in court.
There's no rush. But when you're ready to sue Equinox, you can get started with a simple demand letter online. Please get in touch with us if you have any additional questions.