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Appeals court tosses injunction tied to non-compete clause

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Terms of a non-compete clause in an agreement between an IT recruiter and his former employer are unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday in throwing out an injunction that barred the recruiter from similar employment.

An appellate panel reversed and remanded an order from Tippecanoe Circuit Judge Donald L. Daniel granting a preliminary injunction for a West Lafayette firm that specializes in recruiting information technology executives.

In a 27-page opinion, Judge Elaine Brown reiterated the state’s general disfavor of non-compete clauses in employment contracts, the second such opinion handed down by the appeals panel in recent days. In Daniel B. Buffkin v. Glacier Group, 79A02-1302-PL-141, Glacier won a preliminary injunction from the trial court that barred Buffkin, a contract recruiter who had been terminated, from recruiting a range of IT professionals for any company with offices in the United States.  

Terms of the non-compete clause are “certainly excessive to protect Glacier’s legitimate interests,” Brown wrote in the opinion joined by judges Edward Najam and Paul Mathias.

“Based upon the language of the Agreement and the record, and keeping in mind that non-competition agreements are strictly construed against the employer … we conclude that Paragraph 6 of the Agreement, to the extent that it protects a legitimate interest of Glacier, is unreasonable in terms of the activities it prohibits and its geographic restraints. Accordingly, the non-competition covenant in the Agreement was unenforceable,” Brown wrote.

“Glacier failed to meet its burden of showing a reasonable likelihood of success at trial. As a result, the court erred in granting its request for a preliminary injunction.”

Last Monday, the same panel ruled that summary judgment was erroneously granted in favor of a former employer that sought to exercise the non-compete clause in the contract of a former airline mechanic who went to work for another company.

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  4. Oh, and you fail to mention that you deprived the father of far FAR more time than he ever did you, even requiring officers to escort the children back into his care. Please, can you see that you had a huge part in "starting the war?" Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

  5. Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

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