Trump golf club appeals $5.77 million loss over membership fees

News Hour:

A Florida golf club owned by U.S. President Donald Trump appealed a federal judge’s ruling that it pay $5.77 million to former members for refusing to refund their deposits when they wanted to resign.

The Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, filed a notice on Tuesday saying it will ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to review the Feb. 1 ruling by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra.

Its notice did not provide the legal basis for the appeal.

Marra, who sits in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled after a non-jury trial that the golf club had no right to keep the deposits of 65 members involved in the lawsuit, even as it barred them from using the club.

He said the golf club breached contracts that the members had signed with Ritz-Carlton, which owned the club before Trump took it over in late 2012.

The Trump Organization said shortly after Marra ruled that it would appeal.

It said the club was “suffering financially” when Trump bought it, and that “we presented overwhelming evidence that the plaintiffs’ memberships were never recalled.”

The president was not a defendant, but the judgment was believed to be the first against a company he controlled since he took office on Jan. 20.

The appeals process typically takes at least several months.

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