New Jersey Court Declares WMSCOG Non-Disclosure Agreement Invalid, Unenforceable & Void

On May 13, 2019, New Jersey State Superior Court Judges Avis Bishop-Thompson and Rachelle Lea Harz ruled that a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”), that the World Mission Society Church of God, A NJ Nonprofit Corporation (“WMSCOG”) asked its members to sign, is invalid, unenforceable and void. The original complaint filed by former member Raymond Gonzalez, alleges that the WMSCOG used the confidentiality agreement to prevent members from ever speaking out against the church if they decided to end their membership with the organization (Raymond Gonzalez v. World Mission Society Church of God, BERL-1025-18). The Court issued a comprehensive 52 page analysis of the NDA, its history, its impact other cases pending against the WMSCOG, and all of its deficiencies. In summary, the Court found that the NDA is invalid, unenforceable and void for the following reasons:

  • the definition of ‘Confidential Information’ as defined in the NDA is overbroad,
  • the NDA has an undefined expansive application,
  • the NDA is procedurally unconscionable,
  • the NDA lacks a remedies clause in event of breach,
  • the NDA lacks valid consideration,
  • the NDA is against public policy,
  • portions cannot be excised to make a valid NDA

(emphasis in original).

The complete opinion from the Court is available below. Click here for instructions on how to access the document on the NJ Courts website.

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