No. CV 05-400 76 60 S
July 13, 2005
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION
The plaintiff, Stay Alert Services, Inc. has requested a temporary injunction be granted precluding the defendant, Christopher Fletcher, from competing against the plaintiff in violation of a restrictive covenant.
An evidentiary hearing was held on June 6 and 7, 2005. Both parties submitted post-hearing memorandums which this court has reviewed. This court has jurisdiction over this application.
The court finds that in February 2003 the defendant accepted an offer of employment with United Rentals, Inc. An employment agreement (P's Ex. 7) was prepared. It contained a non-compete provision. It is in dispute whether the defendant actually signed said employment agreement.
United Rentals, Inc. was in the traffic safety and control industry primarily in North Carolina. While at United Rentals, Inc. the defendant had access to their customer lists, pricing schemes and cost information.
The plaintiff is in the traffic safety and control industry in North Carolina and several other states. The plaintiff purchased United Rentals, Inc., which was a competitor in January 2005. Approximately four employees from United Rentals, Inc. had employment contracts with non-compete clauses. These contracts were assignable to the plaintiff.
The defendant's last day of employment with United Rentals, Inc. was June 8, 2004. The defendant then formed, with his wife, Traffic Control, which is in the traffic safety and control industry. Traffic Control is located in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina.
The plaintiff alleges that the defendant is in violation of the non-compete provision contained in the employment agreement (P's Ex. 7) by operating Traffic Control. The defendant is not sure whether he signed the employment agreement or not. His signature appears on page 6 above his typed name but he does not concede that it is his.
Dr. Marc Seiter is a handwriting expert. He concludes, after comparing numerous other signatures of Christopher Fletcher, that the defendant did in fact sign the employment contract. The court agrees with the opinion of Dr. Seiter and finds the defendant did in fact sign the employment contract.
Based on the evidence presented the court finds the terms of the non-compete clause, 200 miles and 24-month duration, to be reasonable under the circumstances.
The court hereby grants the plaintiff's request for a temporary injunction.
JUDGE BRIAN T. FISCHER