Employers seeking to enforce non-compete clauses often seek temporary injunctive relief which usually requires an evidentiary hearing. In a recent case, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed an injunction against the defendant when the plaintiff stipulated that it was not seeking to enforce the non-compete on the basis of a “trade secret” violation. Zodiac Records, Inc., et al. v. Choice Environmental Services, Inc., 38 Fla. L. Weekly D866 (Fla. 4th DCA April 17, 2013). The trial court entered the injunction, however, on the “trade secret” basis. The Fourth District found that the trial court deprived the defendant of due process by entering the injunction in light of the plaintiff’s stipulation. The court ultimately determined that the plaintiff waived the trade secret argument and, therefore, could not rely upon it for purposes of obtaining the injunction.
Temporary injunctive relief requires an order backed up by evidence and, therefore, if an injunction is going to stand, the facts supporting the record must be clear. The Zodiac Records, Inc. case stands for this proposition and proves the point that injunctions could very well be vacated when there are irregularities in the record.