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Rodriguez v. Nat'l Freight, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 13, 2014

ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff
v.
NATIONAL FREIGHT, INC., et al., Defendants

Orlando Rodriguez, Plaintiff, Pro se, Sugar Hill, GA.

For National Freight, Inc., Michael Crum, Dallas Foard, Karol Kempke, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Justin Failor, Tood Putt, Defendants: Brian T. Feeney, LEAD ATTORNEY, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Robert H. Bernstein, Zachary N. Klein, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Florham Park, NJ.

For Bimbo Bakeries USA, Michael Crum, Justin Failor, National Freight, Inc., Tood Putt, Dallas Foard, Karol Kempke, Counterclaim Plaintiffs: Brian T. Feeney, LEAD ATTORNEY, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Robert H. Bernstein, Zachary N. Klein, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Florham Park, NJ.

Page 726

MEMORANDUM

William W. Caldwell, United States District Judge.

I. Introduction

This matter is before the court on Defendants' motion for preliminary injunction (Doc. 17), which Plaintiff opposes. For the reasons the follow, the court will grant the motion and preliminarily enjoin Plaintiff from contacting Defendants' customers regarding

Page 727

the facts and issues underlying this litigation.

II. Background

Plaintiff Orlando Rodriguez, proceeding pro se, initiated this employment discrimination action against his former employer and various other defendants by filing a ten count complaint (Doc. 1) and motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) on August 5, 2013.[1] By order dated August 27, 2013 (Doc. 5), the court granted Plaintiff's motion and conducted an initial review of his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). As a result of this review, the court dismissed two of Plaintiff's counts with prejudice and directed the United States Marshal to serve Defendants.

Defendants filed an answer (Doc. 8) on November 4, 2013, denying all allegations of misconduct. On January 31, 2014, Defendants filed an amended answer (Doc. 16) to add counterclaims arising under Pennsylvania law for defamation, tortious interference with business relationships, and wrongful use of civil proceedings/abuse of process. Defendants note that these counterclaims were prompted by correspondence received by counsel for Defendants, in which Plaintiff indicated his intention to contact Defendants' customers " to denounce [Defendants'] practices." (Doc. 18 at 3). Defendants contend that this correspondence included a " sample letter" from Plaintiff to one of Defendants' customers, accusing Defendants of " [d]iscriminatory and abusive practices" that were " [i]llegal, [i]mmoral, or both." ( Id. at 4). Defendants assert that Plaintiff's proposed correspondence, and its stated intent, is defamatory, unfounded, and a serious threat to Defendants' business relationship with its customers.[2] Such conduct, Defendants argue, also amounts to an abuse of the legal process as Plaintiff's stated goal in sending this correspondence is to needlessly increase Defendants' cost of litigation.[3]

On February 12, 2014, Defendants filed a motion (Doc. 17) requesting that the court issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent Plaintiff from communicating ...


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