(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Agencies specializing in representing minors with potentially budding acting or modeling careers cannot collect fees from the minors without taking substantive actions on their behalf and then drop representation of the minors without returning the fees, the Tel Aviv Small Claims Court has ruled.
The ruling was issued on November 18, but was only announced by the court spokesman on Monday.
The case runs in parallel to a class-action lawsuit filed against such agencies by a group of allegedly mistreated minors and their families, but the court decided that according to the procedure for small claims courts that it could not wait for the outcome of that litigation.
In the specific case, Svetlana Tzimburg paid NIS 3,750 to the Industry for Publications and Television Ltd agency for the agency to represent her eightyear- old daughter in helping her find modeling and acting positions.
The August 5, 2014-contract between the parties also dictated that Tzimburg would pay 20 percent of all future earnings to the agency for its role representing her daughter.
After some months, the agency notified Tzimburg that it was canceling the contract and ceasing representation of her daughter without reporting any actions it had taken on her behalf.
The agency also refused to return the NIS 3,750.
The court ordered the agency to return the funds and pay court costs, determining that the agency violated the contract by not taking any substantive actions on the Tzimburg family’s behalf.
It wrote that collecting fees from minors and exploiting their hopes to be actors or models without taking actions on their behalf violates contract law and was not permissible.