As a General Partnership (formed verbally, not written, in 1999), my business partner and I have been doing business for 20+ years, splitting fiduciary duties by verbal agreement. Now, she has signed our new business lease (her traditional duty) but with her own new business name - not for and in behalf of our joint business venture, as she has for 20 years - and at her request, the Building Manager changed the lock preventing me further access. She admitted disposing of company financial and client records, preventing our joint business from continuing, so to build her new business on the spoils of our previous one.
(1) Was this a crime?
(2) Was this Elder Abuse? I'm 70, with no other form of gainful employment.
What do I do from here?
Thanks for your help.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Under Utah law, a partnership can be formed even if the partners do not intend to form a partnership, but join together to conduct a business. Accordingly, your partner has breached her fiduciary duty towards you by engaging in the conduct which she has. You have a right to sue for your share of partnership assets, and to force a termination of the partnership, but you will need to hire a litigation attorney who can handle the case. This is not something that you can do on your own.
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