Turtle Hill Motion Against Jeff Mach Events–Denied


BER L 000644-19
04/12/2019 Pg 1 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
BER-L-000644-19
03/27/2019 7:28:22 PM Pg 1 of 3 Trans ID: LCV2019549782
Celeste Fiore, Esq. NJ Attorney License #040652010
FILED
Argentine Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC
50 Church Street, Suite 106
APR
1 2 2019
Montclair, New Jersey 07042
Tel: (973) 744-2980
ROBERT C. WILSON, J.S.C.
Fax: (973) 860-0739
J. Remy Green, Esq., appearance pro bac vice PHV038434
Cohen&Green P.L.L.C.
1639 Centre Street, Suite 216
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Tel. (929) 888.9480
Attorneys for’ Plaintiff
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
Turtle Hill Events, LLC,
CHANCERY DIVISION: FAMILY PART
BERGEN COUNTY
Plaintiff,
DOCKET #: L-644-19
v.
CIVIL ACTION
Jeff Mach; Widdershins, Inc. d/b/a Jeff
Mach Events; Joan B. Mach; and Joseph
D. Mach.,
ORDER ON NOTICE OF MOTION
Defendants.
DENTE
This matter having been opened by the Court on Notice of Motion filed by Plaintiff, Turtle
Hill Events, LLC, represented by Celeste Fiore, Esq., of the firm of Argentino Family Law & Child
Advocacy, LLC and J. Remy Green, Esq, of the firm Cohen&Green, P.L.L.C. appearancepro hac
vice; and Defendants, together represented by Jeffrey R. Pittard Esq, and Liana M. Nobile, Esq, of
the firm of Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC; and the Court having considered the submissions of the
parties and having heard argument of counsel; and for good cause shown:
-7H
It is on this
,f‘ day of
f.”, 2019
Ordered that:
BER L 000644-19
04/12/2019 Pg 2 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
BER-L-000644-19
03/27/2019 7:28:22 PM Pg 2 of 3 Trans ID: LCV2019549782
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BER L 000644-19
04/12/2019 Pg 3 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
BER-L-000644-19
03/27/2019 7:28:22 PM Pg 3 of 3 Trans ID: LCV2019549782
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ROBERT C. WILSON, J.S.C.
This motion is
posed
unopposed
A RIDER iS ATTACHED HERETO
AND NCORPORATED 1146REIN,
BER L 000644-.19
04/12/2019 Pg 4 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
TURTLE HILL EVENTS, LLC v. JEFF MACH, et. als.
DOCKET No. BER-L-644-19
RIDER TO ORDER DATED APRIL 12, 2019
THIS MATTER has been brought before the Court by way of a motion filed on behalf of
Plaintiff Turtle Hill Events, LLC (“Plaintiff’) seeking a preliminary injunction and other relief
against defendants Jeff Mach; Widdershins, Inc. d/b/a Jeff Mach Events; Joan B. Mach; and Joseph
D. Mach (collectively, “Defendants”). The Court, having considered the written submissions,
declares that Plaintiff’s motion is hereby DENIED.
New Jersey has long recognized the power of the court to grant injunctive relief to prevent
some threatening, irreparable harm in order to preserve the subject matter and status quo. Crowe
v. DeGioia, 90 N.J.
126,
132 (1982). In Crowe, the New Jersey Supreme Court delineated the
basis upon which an injunction should be granted. The Supreme Court held that an injunction
should issue when: (1) the temporary injunction is necessary to prevent irreparable harm; (2) the
plaintiff has a legal right to the relief sought; (3) the plaintiff has made a preliminary showing of
a reasonable probability of ultimate success on the merits; and (4) the relative hardships to the
parties have been considered by the court and favor the granting of temporary relief to maintain
the status quo. Id. at 132-34.
In this matter, Plaintiff alleges it will suffer irreparable harm if Defendants are permitted
to host and operate an event, “Evil Expo,” which allegedly violates two non-compete clauses in a
sale of business agreement. However, Defendants claim that Plaintiff is not entitled to such
injunctive relief, because:
(1) they have not violated either non-compete clause in the sale of
business agreement; and (2) Plaintiff has failed to set forth sufficient factual allegations to justify
the Court’s imposition of temporary injunctive relief. For the reasons set forth below, it is evident
that temporary injunctive relief is not appropriate given the circumstances at issue.
1
BER L 000644-19
04/12/2019 Pg 5 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
First, Plaintiff has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm if Defendants are
permitted to host Evil Expo, As previously stated, a preliminary injunction “should not be entered
except when necessary to prevent substantial, immediate and irreparable harm.” Subcarrier
Commc’ns, Inc. v, Day, 299 N.J. Super, 634, 638 (App. Div. 1997). Plaintiff has not demonstrated
an urgent need to prevent Evil Expo from occurring. Plaintiff only sets forth conclusory allegations
that it will be irreparably harmed by Evil Expo because that event directly competes with other
events Plaintiff purchased from Defendants, pursuant to their sale of business agreement.
However, upon a closer inspection of the evidence in the record, Evil Expo is an event with a
different target audience, and which hosts different types of events when compared to Plaintiff’s
“adult alternative lifestyle” events. The fact that Evil Expo will take place on January 20, 2020 —
over three hundred days from the filing of the instant motion — further supports a finding that any
harm that may be suffered by Plaintiffs is not imminent.
Second, Plaintiff has failed to establish that the legal right underlying its claim is well
settled, Plaintiff fails to appreciate that while New Jersey courts may enforce reasonable covenants
not to compete when applied to the sale of business context, there is absolutely no support for
Plaintiff’s unilateral expansion of the previously agreed upon non-competition clauses to cover
any and all events, including Evil Expo. The two non-compete clauses in the sale of business
agreement entered into by Plaintiff and Mr. Jeff Mach are limited as to the type of event they
pertain to, and the record does not support a finding that Evil Expo, which is not age restrictive, is
such an event,
Furthermore, it is unclear as to whether the two non-compete clauses are enforceable at all.
It appears as if the two clauses may conflict one another. Also, it is unclear as to whether Plaintiff
2
BER L 000644-19
04/12/2019 Pg 6 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
is the successor in interest to the now-dissolved entity that entered into the Agreement with Mr,
Jeff Mach.
Third, Plaintiff has not shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, as the very
essence of this matter, whether Evil Expo is the type of event which the non-compete clause would
prevent Defendants from hosting, is in dispute. Plaintiff argues that Evil Expo undoubtedly
constitutes such an event, while Defendants present exhaustive evidence establishing the opposite.
Specifically, Defendants describe Evil Expo as an event centering on the idea of “villains,” which
attracts individuals who like to write, watch, cosplay, game, read about, create and enjoy “fictional
villainy.” Significantly, Evil Expo also welcomes children to their event. The events hosted by
Plaintiff, on the contrary, cater to the sexual fantasies of an adult audience and erotic subject
matters, and as such, do not allow anyone under the age of eighteen to attend, Furthermore, as
explained in the previous paragraph, the Court is unlikely to enforce the non-compete clauses if it
determines that they have been unilaterally expanded by Plaintiff,
Finally, granting Plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief would impose an undue hardship
on Defendants, specifically upon Mr. Jeff Mach. While Plaintiffs argue that granting the injunction
would do no more than impose contractual conditions upon Mr. Mach to which he already agreed,
Mr. Mach contends that the injunction will unilaterally expand the non-compete agreement,
preventing him from hosting any events, regardless of their subject matter. In doing so, Mr. Mach
would essentially be prevented from making a living in his chosen field of event planning.
Therefore, for the reasons set forth above, the Court denies Plaintiff’s motion for temporary
injunctive relief.
The Court would also like to note that the other relief sought by Plaintiff is not appropriate,
as Plaintiff has failed to set forth sufficient legal support for such relief. Such relief appears to be
3
BER L 000644-19
04/12/2019 Pg 7 of 7 Trans ID: LCV2019655670
another attempt by Plaintiff to modify or otherwise expand the non-compete clauses of the sale of
business agreement without the consent of Defendants.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion seeking temporary injunctive relief against
Defendants is DENIED.
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