YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 16 denied a motion to stay the enforcement of a preliminary injunction until an appeal of the order granting the franchisor’s motion for a preliminary injunction is decided because the defendant franchisees failed to present any new arguments to rebut the court’s prior finding that the franchisor demonstrated a high likelihood of success on its claims for trademark infringement, trade secret violations and irreparable harm (Handel’s Enterprises Inc. v. Kenneth S. Schulenburg, et al., No. 18-508, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177655).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Oct. 9 granted a motion for extension and gave the parties in a class lawsuit over guest lists being voluntarily turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents by Motel 6 Operating L.P. and G6 Hospitality LLC, doing business as Motel 6, until Nov. 2 to move for preliminary approval of a class settlement (Jane V., et al. v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., et al., No. 18-242, D. Ariz.).
DETROIT — A former employee filed a class action suit in Michigan federal district court on Oct. 15 against franchisor Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC and other related entities, alleging that an employee no-poach and no-hiring agreement with franchisees violated the Sherman Act, causing job-related harm to employees (Harley Blanton, et al. v. Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC, et al., No. 2:18-cv-13207, E.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK — A restaurant franchisor on Oct. 4 filed its opening brief in an appeal of a district court’s decision to deny its petition to compel arbitration with a potential franchisee, arguing that the issue of whether the parties agreed to arbitrate disputes was an issue that must be decided by an arbitrator (Doctor’s Associates Inc. v. Girum Alemayehu, No. 18-1865, 2nd Cir.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 28 found that a franchisee’s failure to inform Dunkin’ Donuts that his wife’s company was opening a frozen yogurt franchise in the same mall where he had a Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins store violated the no-fraud provision of a franchise agreement he had with the company but that the cross-default provision should not be applied to terminate two other agreements he held with the company (Dunkin’ Donuts Franchising LLC, et al. v. C3WAIN Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-6865, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167682).
PHOENIX — Attorneys representing individuals who were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents after they allege that their personal information contained in guest lists was voluntarily turned over by Motel 6 Operating L.P. and G6 Hospitality LLC, doing business as Motel 6, moved Oct. 4 in an Arizona federal court for additional time to prepare class settlement documents (Jane V., et al. v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., et al., No. 18-242, D. Ariz.).
DENVER — The U.S. secretary of Labor stated a facially plausible claim for relief to proceed with his lawsuit accusing Jani-King of Oklahoma Inc. of having an employer-employee relationship under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with its franchisees and requesting that Jani-King be required to keep necessary employee records, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 3, reversing a trial court’s dismissal with prejudice (R. Alexander Acosta v. Jani-King of Oklahoma, Inc., No. 17-6179, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27984).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Sept. 30 granted a franchisor’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the plaintiffs in three consolidated cases failed to prove that the franchisor should be held liable as a joint employer for wage-and-hour violation claims (In re Domino’s Pizza, No. 16-2492, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169607).
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on Oct. 3 granted a motion to compel arbitration as to delivery drivers employed by a Pizza Hut franchisee who signed an arbitration agreement and are part of a class suing for wages and stayed a motion to strike the collective and class allegations pending the filing of an amended complaint (John Hobon, et al. v. Pizza Hut of Southern Wisconsin, Inc., et al., No. 17-947, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171179).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 25 upheld a federal judge in California’s ruling dismissing a suit brought by a franchisee accusing a franchisor of violating the Automobile Dealers' Day in Court Act (ADDCA), California law and Michigan law when refusing to allow it to relocate (Mathew Enterprises Inc. v. FCA US LLC, Nos. 17-15060, 17-17392, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27365).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A plaintiff sufficiently alleged a claim for violation of the Connecticut Franchise Act, a Connecticut federal judge said Sept. 28 after determining that questions of fact exist regarding whether the plaintiff’s exclusive agency agreement to sell insurance products was properly terminated (Raymond Kollar v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1927, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167569).
CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 30 denied two motions to dismiss, transfer or stay a wage class complaint brought by delivery drivers against franchisor Papa John’s International Inc. and franchisees, finding that the first-to-file rule doesn’t apply, as a similar case in a New York federal court is only against the franchisor and the conditionally certified class in that case does not encompass the proposed class in the present case (Derrick Thomas v. Papa John’s International, Inc., et al., No. 17-411, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168596).
GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge on Sept. 28 sent a class complaint against McDonald’s Corp., one of its franchisees, the owner of the property and a parking enforcement company over the alleged improper booting of vehicles back to state court, finding that the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) $5 million threshold has not been met (Michael Stewart, et al. v. Buckhead Parking Enforcement, LLC, et al., No. 18-35, N.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167416).
SPOKANE, Wash. — A hotel franchisor alleges in a Sept. 26 complaint filed in Washington federal court that one of its business competitors intentionally interfered with the franchise agreements of nine franchisees to acquire those franchisees and force the franchisor out of the subject territory (Radisson Hotels International Inc. v. Red Lion Hotels Corp., d/b/a RLH Corp. et al., No. 18-303, E.D. Wash.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Letters by a franchisor giving a franchisee more time to pay delinquent royalty payments did not properly notify the franchisee that the franchise agreements were terminated, a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge ruled Sept. 25, granting the franchisee’s summary judgment motion as to the franchisor’s adversary proceeding (In re: RMH Franchise Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 18-11092, D. Del. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 2905).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A business court judge in North Carolina on Sept. 24 dismissed a woman’s request for an order finding that a restructuring agreement she signed with her business partner should be deemed void because she was mentally incompetent at the time, holding that the plaintiff failed to present sufficient facts to substantiate the argument (Emily Preiss, et al. v. Wine and Design Franchise LLC, et al., No. 17 CVS 11895, N.C. Super., Wake Co., 2018 NCBC LEXIS 99).
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin federal judge on Sept. 24 found that General Motors LLC’s proposed warranty cost recovery surcharge does not violate the plain language of Wisconsin Statute Section 218.0125, denying motor vehicle dealers’ motion for summary judgment (Don Johnson Hayward Motors, Inc., et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 16-1350, E.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162513).
NEW YORK — Allegations by a franchisee that its franchisor violated New York franchise laws were partly dismissed Sept. 20 by a New York federal judge on grounds that the parties’ original agreement is outside the applicable statute of limitations (Safe Step Walk In Tub Co. v. CKH Industries Inc., No. 15-7543, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161082).
SAN FRANCISCO — A franchisee told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals at oral arguments on Sept. 10 that its franchisor’s refusal to allow the franchisee to relocate violates California state law and constitutes breach of contract (Mathew Enterprise Inc. v. FCA US LLC, Nos. 17-15060, -17392, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S Court of Federal Claims judge on Sept. 17 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the U.S. government after determining that issues of fact exist regarding whether the U.S. government’s action in connection with the General Motors Corp.’s bailout amounted to a taking of the franchise agreements of former GM auto dealer franchisees without just compensation (Colonial Chevrolet Co. Inc., et al. v. United States, Nos. 10-647C, 11-100C, 12-900C, Fed. Clms., 2018 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1190).