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View Full Version : Would enforcing a contract for porn movies = rape? (very very sordid)


Sampiro
02-24-2006, 01:32 AM
There is an interesting and thoroughly sordid legal matter going on now between a gay porn star named Brent Corrigan (I won't link for obvious reasons but it's easy enough to Google) who states now that he was underaged by almost a year when he began his "career". The studio owner (who's as sleazy as his stereotype would be) is suing him for numerous charges including breach of contract. Producer states that he does not believe Corrigan (whose real name he gave out on several websites, and ironically it's more the name of a porn star than his porn name, but still dirty pool as that can be dangerous for somebody in his field) is underage as Corrigan supplied him with three proofs of age before shooting and has refused to submit a copy of his "real" birth certificate and other documents after repeated requests. The producer states that he paid him to make X number of porn films (I don't remember exactly how many) and Corrigan still has 2 left on his contract for which he has already received the money. All of the movies are to be bareback (i.e. no condom) and all of them featuring Corrigan as the "recipient" in some sex scenes.

Now, suppose that the producer's case is true and that Corrigan really is lying about his age. Further suppose that Corrigan has no money (which I think is valid). Can the producer legally force Corrigan to have sex (unprotected and passively at that) against his will in order to honor the contract, or would this be the same as rape? For that matter, can anybody be coerced into performing a service (say, I hire a painter to paint my house and pay him in advance and he doesn't do so) or can the defendant in such a case only be held liable for money damages? Can they face jailtime if they refuse to either repay the money or perform the service?

Interesting case. I'm sure it'll find it's way onto some legal show in the near future.

Seven
02-24-2006, 02:15 AM
No court in the USA would force Corrigan to have sex to fulfill the contract. They would place a monetary value on the contract and he'd owe that amount.

My guess would be something like this: Corrigan is paid in advance something like $10k for 4 films, he has two left, the court would award sleazy studio owner $5k plus legal.

Sleazy studio owner collecting on the money is a different story.

Seven
02-24-2006, 02:21 AM
Opps, forgot this bit.

Can they face jailtime if they refuse to either repay the money or perform the service?

There wouldn't be jail time for a civil case unless it can be shown the defendant was attempting some sort of fraud.

In the case of your painter. If you paid your painter and he never showed up you can sue him for the amount you paid him plus legal.

If this painter has a history of duping people into paying for services he never intends to fulfill, then the PD might be interested in going after this guy.

Bricker
02-24-2006, 09:48 AM
I defer to someone whose civil law experience is fresher and more involved than law school...

...but as a general proposition, courts are not very likely to order specific performance on services. Genrally, a breach of a service-type contract is remedied with payment of damages. Specific performance is most often seen in contracts for conveyance of property: Smith sells Jones some land, then reneges on the deal. That kind of contract will often end with Smith being ordered to perform.

However, I do recall there being some sort of exception in the case of literal performance contracts: if Smiith contracts with Jones to perform a part in a play, and Jones is the only actor who could perform the role in the requisite manner, then there's no real substitute for Jones. But even then, there's a practical issue in getting the best performance out of an ordered but unmotivated Jones. Even then, I think Smith has to show his damages and his remedy is money, not performance.

I think.

pikolo77
02-24-2006, 10:00 AM
Awesome question, Sampiro. Okay, now just imagine his character is supposed to play the part of an unwilling participant! is this adding insult to injury or just good method acting?

Giles
02-24-2006, 10:29 AM
Back when I studied some elementary contract law in Australia, I learned that courts generally will not order specific performance of a contract for services, regardless of how legal the services might be. So if A contracted to work for B for 4 months, and only worked 2 months, the court won't order the missing 2 months' worth of work, at last in part because that would amount to a form of slavery, and partly because (except in very rare circumstances) monetary damages will suffice.

In this case there may be other questions of whether the contract as a whole is legal, if it involved an under-aged person (i.e., a person legally unable to consent) being required to engage in sexual activity. The contract as a whole may be void, and the studio owner might be guilty of statutory rape (as that can take place even if the rapee provides evidence that they were old enough to consent). If I were the studio owner, I would not be going anywhere near the courts.

Giles
02-24-2006, 10:36 AM
I should add that, even if the age of consent for gay sex is less than 18 in the relevant jurisdiction, there's also the serious criminal offense of child pornography that the studio owner might be charged with, even if he seriously believed the actor to be over 18.

Annie-Xmas
02-24-2006, 10:51 AM
1. Illegal contracts are uninforceable.
2. Nobody can be forced to honor a contract. You cannot make a football player play or an opera singer sing. You can sue them for "punitive damages" but see #1 above.
3. I doubt that any judge in the country would enforce a porn contract.

pravnik
02-24-2006, 10:52 AM
If a pro basketball player refuses to play for a team, the team can't sue him for specific performance and force him to play. A court order forcing someone to perform a contract for services would violate the 13th Amendment. What the court can do is allow damages or issue an injunction against his playing for any other team.

Same thing here. A court can't and won't force someone to be a sex slave, but it can award damages and enjoin him from making such a film with any other company, assuming contracts for making adult films are valid and enforceable.

mazinger_z
02-24-2006, 11:30 AM
Everybody has already touched on specific performance. My last civil case on this matter was 5 years ago. We pushed for and got liquidated damages, which I'm surprised isn't in the studio contract (considering how many lawyers they must have). When I first learned about this in law school, we were told how big a dick Pavarotti is. He would cancel performances as often as changing his underwear.

kidchameleon
02-24-2006, 11:35 AM
In a pretty similar earlier incident, Kim Basinger backed out of performing in Boxing Helena. Just wasn't forced to do the role, but ended up owing a $8 million and declared bankrupcy. Of course, hubby at the time, Alec Baldwin, took care of poor Kim.

al129
02-24-2006, 12:36 PM
No court in the USA would force Corrigan to have sex to fulfill the contract. They would place a monetary value on the contract and he'd owe that amount.

My guess would be something like this: Corrigan is paid in advance something like $10k for 4 films, he has two left, the court would award sleazy studio owner $5k plus legal.

Sleazy studio owner collecting on the money is a different story.



<Brent Corrigan>: I rather bend over than paying sleazy studio owner $5k

:D

Antinor01
02-24-2006, 12:50 PM
1. Illegal contracts are uninforceable.
2. Nobody can be forced to honor a contract. You cannot make a football player play or an opera singer sing. You can sue them for "punitive damages" but see #1 above.
3. I doubt that any judge in the country would enforce a porn contract.

I'm curious as to why you think a judge wouldn't enforce this contract? (assuming the person in question was of legal age of course) It's not illegal to produce porn, so why would it be different from any other contract?

I'm guessing you say that because for some people porn is morally wrong, but if a judge was to not enforce an otherwise legal contact because they didn't like the morality of it, I would say they should be removed from the bench. Feel free to correct my guess if it's wrong.

Giles
02-24-2006, 12:58 PM
I'm curious as to why you think a judge wouldn't enforce this contract? (assuming the person in question was of legal age of course) It's not illegal to produce porn, so why would it be different from any other contract?

I'm guessing you say that because for some people porn is morally wrong, but if a judge was to not enforce an otherwise legal contact because they didn't like the morality of it, I would say they should be removed from the bench. Feel free to correct my guess if it's wrong.
Again, from my memory of the common law of contracts (in England and Australia), judges will not enforce gambling contracts because of "public policy". Not because gambling is illegal, but because the state should not enforce such contracts. In a jurisdiction where prostitution is legal, they might well not enforce a contract involving prostitution, e.g., if the prostitute has done his or her side of the bargain, they might not require the client to pay the agreed-on fee. I doubt if it's ever been tested, but the same principle might apply to a contract involving hard-core pornography.

Grossbottom
02-24-2006, 01:03 PM
I've got a meeting in a moment, so no time to look it up, but if memory serves me correctly all contracts involving sexual activity are void ab initio and consequently unenforceable. I'll try to get a cite later (or am I totally out of my tree?).

Gfactor
02-24-2006, 01:07 PM
There are some other issues here, but this case would probably be resolved on basic contractual grounds, assuming Corrigan is telling the truth: A minor can disaffirm a contract for a reasonable time after he reaches the age of majority. This is generally so even if the minor misrepresents his age at the time of contractin, although some jurisdictions hold the minor liable if misrepresentation is proven.

If Corrigan was a minor when he signed the contract, specific performance is probably not an option. The best the studio can do is get some of its money back.

Here is a safe link (although the domain belongs to a porn production company) that talks about the lawsuit. http://www.cobravideo.com/message_from_cobra_video.htm

astro
02-24-2006, 01:46 PM
Sleazy as the producer may be, Corrigan does sound like a hustling cheat. If he gave 3 age references and is refusing to give a copy of his "real" birth certificate to settle the matter, I'm not so sure the Producer is wrong in his suspicion that he is being played by Corrigan.

Anaamika
02-24-2006, 01:49 PM
However, I do recall there being some sort of exception in the case of literal performance contracts: if Smiith contracts with Jones to perform a part in a play, and Jones is the only actor who could perform the role in the requisite manner, then there's no real substitute for Jones. But even then, there's a practical issue in getting the best performance out of an ordered but unmotivated Jones. Even then, I think Smith has to show his damages and his remedy is money, not performance.

I think.
Well, are you sure?





Sorry, Bricker. Just teasing.


What an interesting question. What about using someone else's body and superimposing his face? In the age of computer graphics, that's a distinct possibility.

Gfactor
02-24-2006, 01:58 PM
Of course if he wasn't a minor when he signed the contract (he is lying now) he is fuc in worse shape. :D

He could be found liable for damages. Contract damages are far more than the amount paid out. The production company, in the hypothetical $10,000 contract expected to profit. Basic contract damages are expectancy damages. http://www.law.washington.edu/courses/ramasastry/A501C/handouts/Remedies.html

So, if the production company can prove that it reasonably expected to make $30,000 profit on the last two videos, it would get an amount well above $5,000. Also, it is not clear, as mazinger_z pointed out, there may be a liquidated damages clause in the contract.

Specific performance of a personal service contract, is probably not constitutionally barred, but is not likely here. Courts are squeamish about them for lots of reasons.

Likely defenses include:

1. Public policy (contract with sex as consideration)
2. Illegality (especially if he was a minor when he entered into the contract). Before Lawrence, the existence of a sodomy statute would be a big help too. Now, not.
3. Something else that I can't remember right now.

It also appears that there were multiple jurisdictions involved. Choice of law may be a crucial issue.

pravnik
02-24-2006, 03:57 PM
Specific performance of a personal service contract, is probably not constitutionally barred, but is not likely here.Gotta disagree that it's not constituionally barred. Specific performance for a personal services contract is generally considered unavailable due to both public policy and the 13th Amendment prohibition on involuntary servitude. For example, this case:

"An unwilling employee cannot be compelled to continue to provide services to his employer either by ordering specific performance of his contract, or by injunction. To do so runs afoul of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against involuntary servitude." Beverly Glen Music v. Warner Communications, Inc. (http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA3/178CA3d1142.htm), 178 Cal.App.3d 1142, 224 Cal. Rptr. 260, Cal.App 2 Sist., 1986.

Sampiro
02-24-2006, 04:05 PM
Same thing here. A court can't and won't force someone to be a sex slave, but it can award damages and enjoin him from making such a film with any other company, assuming contracts for making adult films are valid and enforceable.

This is in fact a part of the lawsuit. Corrigan has since started a self named blog/website on which he wants to have a for-pay photo and film gallery (and which I'm guessing would be his primary source of income). Cobra Video has prevented him from so doing until this matter is somehow resolved.

Thanks for all answers, btw. I didn't think he could be forced to do the movies (I know obviously he can't be physically forced, but the judge can't tell him "do this or you're in contempt of court... ooh, and do that thing with your butt tattoo while you're at it! And could you sign this picture... it's for my son, whose name is also Judge..." sorry, off track-

anyway, I knew he couldn't be physically forced but I didn't know if he could be court ordered to fulfill the contract. However, he could conceivably be faced with such a huge financial blo... detriment that it would be in his best interest to do so. (No, I don't think that would be hot, so stop looking at me that way... alright, just a little... but it's BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT JUSTICE IN THIS COUNTRY!)

So, if it turns out that the producer can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had no reason to believe Corrigan was lying to him and that Corrigan did present him with false ID forms, would the producer still be in trouble for making a porn film with an underaged actor? (While Corrigan is gay, I understand that the "false ID" thing is a staple of straight porn as well.)

Cliffy
02-24-2006, 04:15 PM
I've got a meeting in a moment, so no time to look it up, but if memory serves me correctly all contracts involving sexual activity are void ab initio and consequently unenforceable.
I think that's right under common law, but honestly I think that today the right judge on the right day with the right case would be willing to revise that proposition. Porn is a big business and despite its skeeve factor, it's above board and legal. I'd be willing to enforce such contracts were I a judge as a general matter.

Of course, enforcement != specific performance.

--Cliffy

Otto
02-24-2006, 04:16 PM
1. Public policy (contract with sex as consideration).
We've had a number of threads on why porn doesn't equal prostitution, and the gist of them has always been that the actors aren't being paid to have sex; they're being paid to appear in a movie. Wouldn't the same thing apply here in response to the above defense, that the sleazy producer isn't contracting with Corrigan to have sex but to appear in a film?

Quercus
02-24-2006, 05:46 PM
We've had a number of threads on why porn doesn't equal prostitution, and the gist of them has always been that the actors aren't being paid to have sex; they're being paid to appear in a movie. Wouldn't the same thing apply here in response to the above defense, that the sleazy producer isn't contracting with Corrigan to have sex but to appear in a film?
I would tend to agree. After all, murder is pretty much illegal, but if Al Pacino signed a contract for "Scarface II: Resurrection" , I think courts would find it enforceable, even if the contract called for him to depict murder in the movie.

Sampiro
02-24-2006, 06:18 PM
BTW, I don't know whether to be delighted or disappointed that this thread has gone for all these posts and nobody has made any comment about it being an "oral contract".

Giles
02-24-2006, 07:21 PM
BTW, I don't know whether to be delighted or disappointed that this thread has gone for all these posts and nobody has made any comment about it being an "oral contract".
Jeez -- here we are, discussing principles of contract law, and someone has to come in and lower the tone ...

How about, the princple that an oral contract isn't worth the paper that it's written on? :rolleyes:

Random
02-24-2006, 07:27 PM
pravnik has nailed it. No specific performance would be ordered here, for the reason he has stated. Same analysis would apply if it were a contract to mow the employer's lawn - the sexual part of the issue is irrelevant to this analysis.

Potentially, there are other defenses here, depending on the facts that are proven at trial. If the employee was underage, the subject of the contract was illegal, and therefore the contract is unenforceable. (that's the public policy concept some others have mentioned.)

If this legal principle is also ignored (i.e, it isassumed that there is no applicable law against underage sex, or child pornography), a minor is usually not considered to have the capacity to form a legal contract. (There are some exceptions, such as contracts for necessities of life, which don't apply here. Also, as someone has said, the minor might be bound if he doesn't promtly disavow the contract upon becoming an adult.)

Random
02-24-2006, 07:29 PM
Forgot the disclaimer: This is general information and not legal reliable legal advice. I'm not your attorney. State laws vary. If you are an actual underaged sex slave seeking to avoid a contract, see a lawyer licensed in your state for advice.

Gfactor
02-24-2006, 09:16 PM
We've had a number of threads on why porn doesn't equal prostitution, and the gist of them has always been that the actors aren't being paid to have sex; they're being paid to appear in a movie. Wouldn't the same thing apply here in response to the above defense, that the sleazy producer isn't contracting with Corrigan to have sex but to appear in a film?

I'm sure the defense would raise the issue. But here they aren't prosecuting the producer for hiring people to have sex with each other. Instead, the producer is seeking to force the actor to have sex. Contracts in which sex is the consideration (in this case, for example, to perform :eek: his contract, Corrigan must have sex. Many courts will refuse to enforce such contracts. Cf. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=352102

Gotta disagree that it's not constituionally barred. Specific performance for a personal services contract is generally considered unavailable due to both public policy and the 13th Amendment prohibition on involuntary servitude. For example, this case:

"An unwilling employee cannot be compelled to continue to provide services to his employer either by ordering specific performance of his contract, or by injunction. To do so runs afoul of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against involuntary servitude." Beverly Glen Music v. Warner Communications, Inc., 178 Cal.App.3d 1142, 224 Cal. Rptr. 260, Cal.App 2 Sist., 1986.



Fair enough. I looked into the issue a while back, but I haven't checked recently. Do you know of other cases? IIRC, I would say overall, a lot of courts hint that there might be 13th amendment problems and others, a few lower courts have made it the basis of their refusal to order specific performance, and commentators are all over the place. But I defer to you more recent research.

Here is professor Randy Barnett's read on the situation:


Finally - these rules and presumptions notwithstanding - specific performance has traditionally been unavailable to enforce contracts for the provision of personal services, even if these services can be shown to be unique and damages therefore are in fact inadequate.

Courts have given two reasons for their reluctance to award specific performance. First, they have sought to avoid the task of administering specific performance decrees. It is sometimes difficult for a court to monitor the quality of performance or to assess claims that performance is not being appropriately provided. Second, specific performance decrees for breaches of personal services contracts have been thought to pose moral problems as well, "because they are perceived to be substantively unacceptable limitations on personal freedom." Forcing someone to perform a contract strikes courts as involuntary servitude and is said by judges to be against "public policy."http://randybarnett.com/4socphilpol179.html#6-8

The Beverly Glen Court notes:

However, beginning with the English case of Lumley v. Wagner (1852) 42 Eng. Rep. 687, courts have recognized that, while they cannot directly enforce an affirmative promise (in the Lumley case, Miss Wagner's promise to perform at the plaintiff's opera house), they can enforce the negative promise implied therein (that the defendant would not perform for someone else that evening). Thus, while it is not possible to compel a defendant to perform his duties under a personal service contract, it is possible to prevent him from employing his talents anywhere else. The net effect is to pressure the defendant to return voluntarily to his employer by denying him the means {Page 178 Cal.App.3d 1145} of earning a living. Indeed, this is its only purpose, for, unless the defendant relents and honors the contract, the plaintiff gains nothing from having brought the injunction.(Emphasis added.) http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA3/178CA3d1142.htm

Many courts agree with this analysis.

OTOH, Professor Barnett notes a little later on, "If a contract itself specifies that the party in breach should refrain from performing a given act - as it did in the famous injunction case of Lumley v. Wagner, 1 DeG. M. & G. 604, 42 Eng. Rep. 687 (Ch. 1852) - then an injunction is a form of specific performance. If there is no such term (either expressed or implied-in-fact) in the agreement then there is no consensual basis for such relief."

In other words, most courts think it is ok to force the defendant to complete the contract by barring him from doing something else, which somehow makes the completion voluntary.

Under the Supreme Court's 13th Amendment cases, either both qualify, or neither does. US. V. Kozminski (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=487&invol=931#948) (scope of 13th Amendment limited to cases involving the compulsion of services by the use or threatened use of physical or legal coercion.); but see, Robertson v. Baldwin (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=165&invol=275) (approving laws preventing sailors who contracted to work on vessels from deserting their ships as exceptional cases existing at the time of the Thirteenth Amendment).

JRDelirious
02-24-2006, 09:30 PM
We've had a number of threads on why porn doesn't equal prostitution, and the gist of them has always been that the actors aren't being paid to have sex; they're being paid to appear in a movie. Wouldn't the same thing apply here in response to the above defense, that the sleazy producer isn't contracting with Corrigan to have sex but to appear in a film?

Hmmm... so Corrigan could then settle the claim by aggreeing to appear in two videos in the role of "wacky neighbor offering clever insights from his front porch", as opposed to in that of "bottom in scenes 1 and 3; third from the right in multiple-gloryhole scene"? That would be an interesting "pox on both" type of ruling: actor has to work with the team he can't stand, team has to forego using actor in role they wanted.

In any case, the producer must have some seriously airtight case here -- if Corrigan could prove that he indeed WAS under 18 when he performed the first part of the contract, the producer risks losing BIG.

Campion
02-24-2006, 11:32 PM
So, if it turns out that the producer can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had no reason to believe Corrigan was lying to him and that Corrigan did present him with false ID forms, would the producer still be in trouble for making a porn film with an underaged actor? (While Corrigan is gay, I understand that the "false ID" thing is a staple of straight porn as well.)In general, child pornography is a strict liability offense. In other words, it doesn't matter how badly (or well) Corrigan lied, or how sincerely the producer believed that Corrigan was legal. From a public policy perspective, of course, this makes sense: it puts the burden on the producer to ensure that s/he is working only with adults. Honestly, if the producer cared about this at all, s/he could have Corrigan's birth certificate in a day.
2. Nobody can be forced to honor a contract. You cannot make a football player play or an opera singer sing. You can sue them for "punitive damages" but see #1 above.Punitive damages generally are not available for a breach of contract action. They are only available when the action complained of gives rise to a separate tort. Here, I don't see a tort, but simply a breach of contract, so punitives aren't available.

Cerowyn
02-24-2006, 11:32 PM
Thanks for all answers, btw. I didn't think he could be forced to do the movies (I know obviously he can't be physically forced, but the judge can't tell him "do this or you're in contempt of court... ooh, and do that thing with your butt tattoo while you're at it! And could you sign this picture... it's for my son, whose name is also Judge..." sorry, off track-Good gods, it's court slash.

My own practical experience with civil law is limited to a single case, but I wonder if the actor wouldn't also be in legal jeopardy for asserting that he was underage in affadavids (assuming of course that he does in actual fact turn out not to have been underage when he signed the contract). Is there any particular reason that he wouldn't be guilty of perjury (the crime, not just morally) in this case?

Sampiro
02-24-2006, 11:38 PM
So here's another question: suppose Corrigan was underage at the time he of his contract and further suppose that the producer did not know it and had every reason to believe that Corrigan was 18. In this situation Corrigan's actions most definitely caused demonstrable financial damage to the producer (legal fees, loss of revenue from video titles that were pulled upon learning Corrigan's age, etc.)- $100,000 is not an inconceivable figure and he is most definitely guilty of fraud, BUT AT THE SAME TIME he was still a minor at the time of his contract and any illegal action (fraud, conspiracy, etc.) was also committed by a minor. Does this by itself still negate the contract and can he still be held liable for punitive/actual damages even though he was a minor both in terms of the contract and how he should be punished for illegality of his actions?

Corrigan on his web site (which I really did go to because I think this case is interesting- he's not my type before I bought most of the clothes in my closet) states that he is considering suing his former producer for, among other things, libel (the producer has stated he is an escort, which Corrigan says is untrue [though I would be curious to know how an 18 year old from a poor family affords a house in the Arizona hills with a swimming pool and large fenced backyard]) and has repeatedly used Corrigan's real name and location, which he says (and I honestly think he is perfectly reasonable in saying) is spiteful and endangers his safety. (Numerous Hollywood celebs have had dangerous stalkers but at least they usually have the money for security guards and well protected houses; a porn star is liable to have even more deranged fans because their appeal is totally and irrevocably connected to explicit sexuality [giving extra dementia material] and they can't usually afford anything akin to a mainstream celebrity's security measures.)

Do you believe that Corrigan's case has merit on the endangerment part, or that an 18 year old has been maligned by being called a prostitute even if he is not if he [I]has, essentially, had sex for money (on camera)?

Speaking of obsessed stalkers, I'm really not one, but I think this case is just interesting for a variety of reasons.

Campion
02-24-2006, 11:49 PM
So here's another question: suppose Corrigan was underage at the time he of his contract and further suppose that the producer did not know it and had every reason to believe that Corrigan was 18. In this situation Corrigan's actions most definitely caused demonstrable financial damage to the producer (legal fees, loss of revenue from video titles that were pulled upon learning Corrigan's age, etc.)- $100,000 is not an inconceivable figure and he is most definitely guilty of fraud, BUT AT THE SAME TIME he was still a minor at the time of his contract and any illegal action (fraud, conspiracy, etc.) was also committed by a minor. Does this by itself still negate the contract and can he still be held liable for punitive/actual damages even though he was a minor both in terms of the contract and how he should be punished for illegality of his actions?A minor lacks capacity to enter into contracts. It's irrelevant whether the contract at issue is for making movies, or whether it's just a cell-phone contract. So most jurisdictions have a statute that lays out the rule that a minor can repudiate a contract without being in breach of it (http://law.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/89895):A contract made by a minor is voidable at the minor's discretion, meaning that the contract is valid and enforceable until the minor takes some affirmative act to disavow the contract. Minors who choose to disavow their contracts entered may not be held liable for breach.Generally, the minor has a certain amount of time after reaching majority to disavow the contract. The next and obvious question is whether he has to give back what he's gotten under the contract (or at least the unfulfilled part of the contract). I defer to my learned brothers on that one; I'm tired and going to bed.

Do you believe that Corrigan's case has merit on the endangerment part, or that an 18 year old has been maligned by being called a prostitute even if he is not if he has, essentially, had sex for money (on camera)? Generally, allegations that someone is a prostitute are considered slander per se. Here (http://www.expertlaw.com/library/personal_injury/defamation.html) is a decent article about defamation.

My personal opinion? I would not necessarily call it slander. I might, if pressed, call it "leverage."

Speaking of obsessed stalkers, I'm really not one, but I think this case is just interesting for a variety of reasons.Uh huh. ;)

Otto
02-24-2006, 11:50 PM
Honestly, if the producer cared about this at all, s/he could have Corrigan's birth certificate in a day.
Per one of Gfactor's links:
...Cobra Video maintained a file on Mr. Lockhart that included color copies of three forms of identification he provided to Cobra Video, and by contract certified that wereunaltered orforged, including a birth certificate, which all indicated a 1985 date of birth....Since the September 13, 2005 announcement, Cobra Video LLC and its attorneys have made multiple requests for a state-certified copy of Mr. Lockhart's birth certificate in order to compare it to the birth certificate that it has maintained in its file. However, each of these requests were either ignored or expressly rejected by Mr. Lockhart and his attorney. The state in which Mr. Lockhart was born, maintains state laws that deem birth certificates "confidential documents" that can only be supplied to the individual himself or to "immediate family." Therefore, Cobra Video LLC has no way of determining the actual true date of birth of Mr. Lockhart or to verify the accuracy of the copy of the birth certificate that it has maintained in its file.

The lawsuit that was recently filed has been filed for a number of purposes. First, Mr. Lockhart is in material breach of a contract that he voluntarily entered into on July 18, 2005. Secondly, with a lawsuit pending, Cobra Video will be able to use subpoena powers in order to officially determine the actual date of birth of Mr. Lockhart.It will also enable subpoena powers for other documents and certified personal correspondence between parties.
Of course it's self-serving but it appears the producer made a good faith effort to to determine young Mr Corrigan's actual age (which is a good argument IMHO in favor of child pornography not being a strict liability offense; should everyone who relied on Corrigan's alleged forgeries and bought a video in the belief that he was of legal age be convicted of possession?). If Corrigan did forge or alter three different documents, he could be looking at up to 45 years in prison, if I'm reading the statute (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00001028----000-.html) correctly.

Gfactor
02-25-2006, 02:10 AM
Here's some good stuff on minors' contracts:

Minors' Contracts in the Entertainment Industry* (http://www.gtlaw.com/pub/articles/1996/jacobsonm96a.asp) (discussing right to disaffirm)

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/charges/410n.htm (misrepresenting minor can disaffirm only if minor disgorges benefits)

http://www.lawreform.ie/publications/data/volume4/lrc_34.html (See section on United States law)

http://cbanotes.utk.edu/ACCT/fischer.nsf/626e6035eadbb4cd85256499006b15a6/88e8471b848b8622852568c4007729c8?OpenDocument&Click=

http://profj.us/wlac/capacity.htm (on disaffirmance minor must return all consideration within control)

alphaboi867
02-25-2006, 02:49 PM
I should add that, even if the age of consent for gay sex is less than 18 in the relevant jurisdiction, there's also the serious criminal offense of child pornography that the studio owner might be charged with, even if he seriously believed the actor to be over 18.
Depending on what kind of proof of age documents Corrigann used the studio might be off the hook, at least criminally. Traci Lords got the US government to issue her a passport listing her age as 21 when she was 16. The Justice department had to drop all charges since the defendants could hide behind the government's error.

Gfactor
02-25-2006, 03:56 PM
Depending on what kind of proof of age documents Corrigann used the studio might be off the hook, at least criminally. Traci Lords got the US government to issue her a passport listing her age as 21 when she was 16. The Justice department had to drop all charges since the defendants could hide behind the government's error.

The feds responded to this by trying to fix the law:

The attempt to raise the age of consent failed, but the U.S. criminal code was amended to impose stricter regulation of producers of explicit sexual conduct. President Reagan signed the legislation on Oct. 18, 1986--Traci's Law, one might call it.

The law, whose implementation was delayed until 1995 by legal challenges, holds porn producers accountable for hiring an underage performer, even if the producers did not know the actor was a minor. The law attempted to close the loophole that got Jim South off the criminal hook, since Traci Lords had showed a fake California driver's license.

http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/sexual_assault/traci_lords/9.html

And see, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002251----000-.html:

(a) Any person who employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any minor to engage in, or who has a minor assist any other person to engage in, or who transports any minor in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with the intent that such minor engage in, any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct, shall be punished as provided under subsection (e), if such person knows or has reason to know that such visual depiction will be transported in interstate or foreign commerce or mailed, if that visual depiction was produced using materials that have been mailed, shipped, or transported in interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including by computer, or if such visual depiction has actually been transported in interstate or foreign commerce or mailed.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=000&invol=u10337 (SCOTUS notes legisltative intent to hold producers liable despite lack of knowledge of age under 2251(a)).

lissener
02-25-2006, 04:15 PM
Even if it's legal to produce porn, this contract is still unenforceable.

Think about it: it's legal to film consensual sex, but it's not legal to inflict nonconsensual sex upon another person. Once Corrigan has rescinded his consent, the contracted act is illegal, and thereby unenforceable.

It's a catch-22 for the producer: enforcing it makes it unenforceable.

Otto
02-25-2006, 06:10 PM
Out of curiosity, lissener, did you read the thread before posting?

lissener
02-25-2006, 07:40 PM
Out of curiosity, lissener, did you read the thread before posting?
Out of curiosity, Otto, do you ever just address the subject of a thread without finding a way to make it more about the poster than the post? If you want to criticize my posting style, rather than the content of my post, it's my understanding that the Pit is the place for such things, rather than starting a hijack about me, as opposed to about the OP. Tiresome; very very tiresome.

Otto
02-25-2006, 08:15 PM
I just asked a simple question. The content of your post indicated to me that you did not read the thread before posting, since the content of your post is pretty well contradicted by the content of a number of other posts. If you in fact did not read the thread before posting, then that would explain it. If you did read the thread before posting, then I would be interested as to why you think your answer is correct and the answers of several other people are not. As several people stated very clearly, the producer is unable to compel specific performance. Your post seems to be predicated on the idea that he can. If you can support that position, please do so. If I have misunderstood your post, please clarify. My question was about your legal analysis. If you choose to take it personally, that's on you.

lissener
02-26-2006, 12:56 PM
Your post seems to be predicated on the idea that he can. Um, it was predicated on the idea that he cannot. Sorry if there was a communication breakdown somewhere along the line.
My question was about your legal analysis.Oh dude. Do you even read your own posts?

samclem
02-26-2006, 01:26 PM
Can this just STOP, right now?

samclem GQ moderator