LLC Divorce: Till Death Do Us Part, or Just Irreconcilable Differences
Should a business divorce be hard or easy? In the world of human divorces, it’s the difference between no-fault divorce and divorce only after a showing of cause. In the world of businesses, it turns on the
concept of court-ordered purchases and sales of minority interests. And in the area of law governing limited liability companies, it is the concept of “involuntary dissociation” – expulsion, if you will, of one of the members.
Involuntary Dissolution of LLC
Two recent cases in the past month demonstrate this concept. East of the Hudson River, we have the First Department of the Appellate Division in New York opinion in Barone v. Sowers, , 2015 NY slip OP 04195 (1st Dept May 14, 2015), in which the court held that allegations of oppressive conduct simply don’t make out a claim for relief under New York’s limited liability statute.
Compare this Empire State decision with one from the Garden State captioned IE Test, LLC v. Carroll, docket No. A-6159 (N.J. Super. App. Div., March 17, 2015)(Opinion Below). Here, the appellate court affirmed the expulsion of a member because it was clear that the parties personal animus prevented them from maintaining a working relationship.