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Court Dumps Dating Service’s Agreements

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A California appellate court struck down the matchmaking consulting agreements and arbitration clauses of Irene Valenti's dating service as void and unenforceable.

Three women sued Valenti and her companies, Valenti International Limited and Valenti International Foundation, alleging that her traditional matchmaking service falsely claimed to have a network of "high-level, wealthy, single potential romantic partners throughout the United States and internationally," but "never had any suitable matches to introduce to them." Plaintiffs said they paid between $20,000 and $75,000 in retainer fees to meet these nonexistent bachelors.

Valenti unsuccessfully moved to compel arbitration under an arbitration clause in the matchmaking consulting agreements that each plaintiff initialed.

The court found the consulting agreements unenforceable because they had been fraudulently induced and violated dating-service statutes. The agreements' arbitration provisions were likewise deemed void.

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