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

November 16, 2012

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



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert F. Kelly, Sr. J.

MEMORANDUM

Currently before this Court is Defendant, Paramvir Singh's ("Singh"), Motion for Reconsideration of this Court's October 1, 2012 Order granting Plaintiff, AAMCO Transmissions, Inc.'s (AAMCO), Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. For the reasons which follow, this Motion is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 25, 2012, AAMCO filed a Complaint against Singh alleging a breach of a franchise agreement. (Compl. ¶¶ 14-16.) AAMCO is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Horsham, Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶ 1.) Singh is a citizen of the State of Washington with a principal place of business at 18012 Bothell-Everett Highway, Suite #4, Bothell, WA.*fn1 (Id. ¶ 2.) 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, Washington (the "Center").*fn2 (Pl.'s Ex. P-1, O'Donnell Affidavit at ¶ 3.) 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.)

In September 2010, after conducting an audit of the Center, AAMCO discovered widespread and continuing under reporting of sales at the Center in an attempt by Singh to avoid payment of franchise fees which were calculated as a percentage of sales. (Pl.'s Ex. P-1, O'Donnell Aff. at ¶ 9.) Thereafter, on or about July 15, 2011, in consideration of AAMCO's agreement to release Singh from the substantial debt he owed to AAMCO, Singh sold the Center to AAMCO's affiliate company. On this same date, the Franchise Agreement was terminated. (Id. ¶ 10.)

AAMCO filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction on April 30, 2012, seeking to enjoin Singh from operating a transmission business at the Bothell, Washington address. Singh filed a Response to the Motion on June 27, 2012. 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. 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. 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.

On October 1, 2012, we issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and granted AAMCO's Motion for Preliminary Injunction. See AAMCO Transmissions, Inc., v. Singh, No. 12-2209, 2012 WL 4510928, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 1, 2012). We ordered Singh enjoined from operating a transmission repair business at 18012 Bothell-Everett Hwy., Suite #4, Bothell, Washington 98012, or anywhere else within ten (10) miles of an AAMCO Repair Center."*fn3 Id.

We determined that AAMCO met the four factors enumerated in Pappan Enters., Inc. v. Hardee's Food Sys., Inc.: (1) plaintiff's likelihood of success on the merits; (2) irreparable harm; (3) the extent to which the defendant will be irreparably harmed if the injunction issues; and (4) the public interest. Pappan Enters., Inc. v. Hardee's Food Sys., Inc., 143 F.3d 800, 803 (3d Cir. 1998). We further found that under Pennsylvania law, the Covenant Not-to-Compete is enforceable because: (1) the covenant relates to either a contract for the sale of goodwill or other subject property; (2) the covenant is supported by adequate consideration; and (3) the application of the covenant is reasonably limited in both time and territory. See Piercing Pagoda, Inc. v. Hoffner, 351 A.2d 207, 210 (Pa. 1976).

Singh filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration on October 15, 2012. AAMCO filed a Response to the Motion on October 25, 2012. Singh filed a Motion for a Stay of our October 1, 2012 Order on October 26, 2012, which we denied on November 1, 2012. Singh filed a Reply on November 2, 2012.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Reconsideration as provided for in Local Civil Rule 7.1(g). The purpose of a Motion for Reconsideration "is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985). This Circuit has held that the party seeking reconsideration must demonstrate at least one of the following grounds: "(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court granted the motion . . . or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Cafe by LouAnn, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999); see also Jackson v. Rohm & Haas Co., No. 06-1540, 2007 WL 579662, at *2 (3d Cir. Feb. 26, 2007).

This standard does not allow a party a "second bite at the apple." See Bhaunagar v. Surrendra Overseas Ltd., 52 F.3d 120, 1231 (3d Cir. 1995). "A litigant that fails in its first attempt to persuade a court to adopt its position may not use a motion for reconsideration either to attempt a new approach or correct mistakes it made in its previous one. A motion for reconsideration should not be used as a means to argue new facts or issues that inexcusably were not presented to the court in the matter previously decided." Kennedy Industries, Inc. v. Aparo, No. 04-5967, 2006 WL 1892685, at *1 (E.D. Pa. July 6, 2006).

Moreover, in light of the court's interest in the finality of its judgments, such motions "should be granted sparingly and may not be used to rehash arguments which have already been briefed by the parties and considered and decided by the Court." Calhoun v. Mann, No. 08-458, 2009 WL 1321500, at *1 (E.D. Pa. May 12, ...


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