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Marek Brother Systems Inc. v. Enriquez

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

July 24, 2019

MAREK BROTHER SYSTEMS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
JUAN ENRIQUEZ and JP ACOUSTICS AND DRYWALL, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Sam A. Lindsay United States District Judge

         Before the court are Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 14), filed June 10, 2019; Defendants' Verified Response to Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Injunctive Relief (Doc. 17), filed June 14, 2019; Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 18), filed June 18, 2019; Plaintiff's Reply to Defendants' Response to Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 19), filed June 20, 2019; Defendant's Supplemental Response and Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Injunctive Relief (Doc. 23), filed June 25, 2019; and Plaintiff's Reply to Defendants' Supplemental Response to Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Injunctive Relief (Doc. 30), filed June 28, 2019. After considering the application, briefs, and applicable authority, the court denies Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 14) and orders the parties to submit a proposed discovery and briefing schedule and suggested date for the preliminary injunction hearing.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Marek Brother Systems, Inc. (“Marek” or “Plaintiff”) is a business that offers field construction services for the commercial sector, including “metal framing and gypsum assemblies, building information modeling, ceilings and acoustical solutions, flooring, paint, specialty coatings and wallcoverings, fabric panels and stretch systems, [and] window treatments.” Pl.'s Renewed Mot. for Prelim. Inj., Doc. 14 at 2. Marek also offers services for the residential sector, including “turnkey drywall hanging and finishing, spray applied and hand trowel textures, level 5 smooth finishes, reveals and specialty trims, and sound and fire rated assemblies.” Id. at 3. Juan Enriquez (“Enriquez”) is a former Estimator and Project Manager for Marek. Id. at 3. He resigned his employment with Marek on or about March 21, 2019. Id. Sometime prior to his resignation with Marek, Enriquez founded a construction services company, JP Acoustics and Drywall, LLC (“JP Acoustics”). Id. Marek does not allege the specific types of services offered by JP Acoustics, or whether it caters to the commercial or residential sector.

         Marek contends that, on August 22, 2018, Enriquez sent an e-mail to his personal e-mail address that included “confidential contact information for Marek's clients, vendors, manufacturers, and subcontractors, which included contact phone numbers, mailing addresses, fax numbers, and proprietary notes Marek had on those customers.” Pl.'s Reply, Doc. 30 at 2. Marek contends that it has “spent years accumulating” this client information and contends that it is entitled to trade secret protection. Id. at 3. Marek also contends that, during Enriquez's employment, he started “at least one job for one of Marek's customer, ” Muckleroy and Falls, and also “proposed on other jobs for Marek clients.” Id.; Pl.'s Mem. of Law, Doc. 18 at 2. It contends that Muckleroy and Falls has been Marek's client since 2014, and it continues to perform services for this client. Pl.'s Mem. of Law, Doc. 18 at 2. Marek contends that, since Enriquez's resignation, he is “using Marek's confidential information in order to advance JP Acoustics' business, ” and it has consequently suffered harm. Pl.'s Renewed Mot. for Prelim. Inj., Doc. 14 at 4.

         On May 6, 2019, Marek filed the Original Complaint and Application for Temporary Restraining, Order, Preliminary and Permanent Injunction (Doc. 1) and asserts claims against Defendants for: (1) misappropriation of trade secrets under Texas law; (2) misappropriation of trade secrets under federal law; (3) breach of fiduciary duty; (4) violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; (5) tortious interference with contract; and (6) unjust enrichment. On May 6, 2019, Marek additionally filed the Application for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary and [Permanent] Injunction (Doc. 4). On June 10, 2019, Marek filed the Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (the “Renewed Application”), and Request for Expedited Hearing (Doc. 14). On June 11, 2019, the court denied without prejudice Marek's request for expedited hearing; advised the parties that it would construe the renewed motion as an application for a temporary restraining order; and directed Defendants to file a response to the renewed motion. Doc. 16.

         In the Renewed Application, Marek seeks a temporary restraining order that enjoins Defendants from:

(i) directly or indirectly utilizing or disclosing Marek's confidential information or trade secrets;
(ii) offering, providing or selling, or participating in offering, providing or selling, products or services competitive with or similar to products or services offered by, developed by, designed by, or distributed by Marek to: (1) any person, company, or entity who was a customer or potential customer of Marek for such products or services during the 12 months prior to Defendant Enriquez's resignation from Marek;
(iii) hiring, soliciting, or encouraging any current employee of Marek to cease work for Marek and/or to work for, or be associated with, JP Acoustics or any of JP Acoustics' affiliates;
(iv) destroying, concealing, or disposing of any document, paper, or electronic files, or other materials that in any way relate to, or are relevant to, the conduct, causes of action, or defenses in this lawsuit; and
(v) altering, deleting, removing, or writing over in any respect any documents, computer files (including, but not limited to, e-mails, hard drives, disc drives, zip drives), data, drafts, text messages, or other things relating in any way to Marek, including information regarding Marek's clients, employees, property, or business information, until such time as those materials may be turned over in discovery or until further order of the Court.

         Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj., Doc. 14 at 7-8.

         II. ...


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