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Aamco Transmissions, Inc. v. Paramvir Singh A/K/A Perry Singh

October 1, 2012

AAMCO TRANSMISSIONS, INC.
v.
PARAMVIR SINGH A/K/A PERRY SINGH



FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW ROBERT F. KELLY, SR. J.

Currently before this Court is Plaintiff, AAMCO Transmissions, Inc.'s (AAMCO), Motion for Preliminary Injunction. After a hearing on the Motion before this Court on September 21, 2012, and after careful consideration of AAMCO's Brief in Support of the Motion, Defendant Paramvir Singh's ("Singh") Response, and AAMCO's Reply, this Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. On April 25, 2012, AAMCO filed a Complaint against Singh alleging breach of a franchise agreement. (Compl. ¶¶ 14-16.)

2. AAMCO is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Horsham, Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶ 1.) Singh is an adult individual who is a citizen of the State of Washington with a principal place of business at 18012 Bothell-Everett Hwy., Suite #4, Bothell, WA 98012. (Id. ¶ 2.)

3. AAMCO filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction on April 30, 2012 seeking to enjoin Singh from operating a transmission business at the above address. (Doc. No. 3.) Singh filed a Response to the Motion on June 27, 2012. (Doc. No. 9.) Thereafter on July 25, 2012, Singh's counsel filed a Motion to Withdraw and requested a stay for sixty days for Singh to retain new counsel. (Doc. No. 13.) On August 7, 2012, we granted the Motion to Withdraw, but denied the stay and ordered Singh to "obtain new counsel forthwith." (Doc. No. 15.) AAMCO filed a Reply to Singh's Response on August 14, 2012. (Doc. No. 16.)

4. On September 21, 2012, a hearing was held before this Court on AAMCO's Motion for Preliminary Injunction. AAMCO presented the testimony of Brian O'Donnell ("O'Donnell"), its Senior Vice President of Operations, in support of its Motion. Singh did not appear at the hearing, nor did he request a continuance or inform the Court that he would not be present at the hearing.

5. Since 1963, AAMCO has been engaged in the business of franchising or licensing others to use the mark and name "AAMCO" in the operation of transmission and general automotive repair centers throughout the United States and Canada. (Pl.'s Ex. P-1, O'Donnell Affidavit at ¶ 3.)*fn1

6. On June 17, 1997, AAMCO and Singh entered into a franchise agreement ("Franchise Agreement") in which Singh was authorized to use and did use the name "AAMCO" in connection with the operation of an automotive center located at 13040 Bellevue-Redmond, Road, Bellevue, WA (the "Center"). (Id. ¶ 5.)

7. Section 19.2 of the Franchise Agreement, entitled "Covenant Not-to-Compete," states in relevant part:

For a period of two (2) years after the termination of this Agreement, Franchisee shall not directly or indirectly engage in the transmission repair business within a radius of ten (10) miles of the former center or any other AAMCO Center. The two (2) year period shall not begin to run until Franchisee commences to comply with all obligations stated in this section 19.2(b).

(Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj., Ex. A.)

8. The Covenant Not-to-Compete further states in pertinent part: Franchisee acknowledges that because the business of AAMCO and the strength of the AAMCO name and trademark, the restrictions contained in this section 19.2 are reasonable and necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of AAMCO and that any violation of these restrictions will result in irreparable injury to AAMCO. Therefore, Franchisee acknowledges that, in the event of such violation, AAMCO shall be entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and damages.

(Id.)

9. As a franchisee, AAMCO disclosed to Singh its propriety systems, information and trade secrets for operating a successful automotive repair business which AAMCO had developed over its ...


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