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Warner v. Gloge

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT


March 27, 1985

BENDIX WARNER & SWASEY FINANCE CORP., APPELLANT
v.
GLOGE, CHARLES D., INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A ROYAL SCREW AND MACHINE WORKS

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, (D.C. Civil No. 82-4009), District Judge: Honorable Charles R. Wiener

Author: Aldisert

Before: ALDISERT, Chief Judge, SLOVITER, Circuit Judge, and MANSMANN, District Judge.*fn*

MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT

ALDISERT, Chief Judge.

Bendix Warner & Swasey Finance Corporation and Charles D. Gloge are parties to a financing arrangement concerning the purchase by Gloge of an automatic turning machine used in his business, the Royal; Screw & Machine Works. After payments were not forthcoming by Gloge as provided in the financing statement, Bendix Finance sued Gloge in district court. The parties reached a settlement on June 11, 1982. Upon Gloge's failure to execute the settlement agreement, however, Bendix Finance filed a second action in the district court seeking enforcement of the agreement. The trial court examined the motion to enforce the order together with Gloge's reply, and on May 21, 1984, entered judgment in the amount of $71,733.75 against Gloge and in favor of Bendix Finance. The trial court stated in its order that Gloge was "perpetually enjoined from commencing any further litigation regarding [the turning machine] against Bendix, Warner and Swasey Finance Corporation, Warner and Swasey Company, Bendix Industrial Group, their successors and assigns, and any other person, partnership or corporation [sic] in any matter associated and/or affiliated with them or any of them." App. at 70a-71a. Eight days later, the court amended its order by vacating the injunction that precluded Gloge from commencing any further litigation. The May 29 order left intact the monetary judgment contained in the May 21 order. Bendix Finance appeals from that part of the may 29 order that deleted the may 21 injunction. Both parties agree that the standard of review is abuse of discretion. We find such abuse and affirm.

Reduced to its essence, appellant's position is stated in its brief:

If Gloge is permitted to bring further litigation regarding the machine, the court orders would be violated and plaintiff will suffer the harrassment [sic] of being subjected to repeated proceedings regarding determined issues. Moreover, assuming arguendo, Gloge is permitted to recover against Bendix Manufacturing, plaintiff will be irreparably harmed by twice having to suffer a pecuniary loss in recognition of Gloge's claims. Thus, the "balance of equities" clearly demands the entry of an injunction in this action. The order of the district court evinces that plaintiff has succeeded on the merits in the bringing of its claim. First, the claims raised in Gloge's complaint [in another proceeding] are barred by the doctrins [sic] of collateral estoppel and res judicata.

Brief for Appellant at 20-21.

To state such an argument is also to answer it. That appellant or any of its related companies may successfully interpose claim preclusion or issue preclusion as a defense in a separate law suit -- an issue we do not meet in these proceedings -- does not mean that appellant is entitled by law to an injunction, based on future possibilities, in this law suit. issuing an injunction to preclude further litigation, and especially against individuals or entities not parties to a particular law suit, is strong medicine. Such an injunction should be entered only under the most compelling circumstances. We find no such circumstances here. Moreover, at a minimum, such drastic injunctive relief should not be afforded as a matter of law unless a full record, not developed here, precedes its issuance.

We have carefully considered all of the contentions presented by the appellant and conclude that there was no abuse of discretion by the district court.

The judgment of the district court will be affirmed.


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