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Obtaining Injunctive Relief Based On A Texas Non-compete Agreement (Part V)

October 25, 2013

We are blogging on “Non-competes, Trade Secrets, Fiduciary Duties, and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine.” Mark Oberti has prepared a detailed paper on all of these issues, which can be found here.

Under Texas state court practice, every order granting an injunction must set forth the reasons for its issuance. TEX. R. CIV. P. 683. The trial court is not required to explain its reasons for believing that the applicant has shown a probable right to final relief, but it must give the reasons why injury will be suffered if the interlocutory relief is not ordered. Transp. Co. of Tex. v. Robertson Transp., 152 Tex. 551, 261 S.W.2d 549, 553 (1953). The reasons given by the trial court for granting or denying a temporary injunction must not be mere conclusionary statements. Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local Union 479 v. Becon Const. Co., Inc., 104 S.W.3d 239, 244 (Tex. App.–Beaumont 2003, no pet.). The requirement of specifying the reasons for granting a temporary injunction is mandatory, and noncompliance amounts to an abuse of discretion. Toby Martin Oilfield Trucking, Inc. v. Martin, 640 S.W.2d 352, 355 (Tex. Civ. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 1982, no writ).

Rule 683 further provides, in relevant part, that orders granting injunctions “shall be specific in terms” and “shall describe in reasonable detail and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained.” This does not necessarily mean that each customer the restrained party is not to solicit must be specifically named in the injunction order. See Vaughn, 288 S.W.3d at 938 (rejecting that argument); Amalgamated Acme Affiliates, Inc. v. Minton, 33 S.W.3d 387, 397-98 (Tex. App.–Austin 2000, no pet.) (a temporary injunction that did not specifically name the applicant’s customers and advertisers complied with Rule 683 where the party enjoined admitted it could identify the customers and advertisers.); Safeguard Bus. Sys., Inc. v. Schaffer, 822 S.W.2d 640, 644 (Tex. App.–Dallas 1991, no writ) (in reviewing a permanent injunction, the court stated that “[o]rders generally restraining solicitation of customers and not specifically listing the individual customers have not been found to be overbroad.”).

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