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Salazar v. Hometeam Pest Defense, Inc.

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

November 17, 2017

BALTAZAR SALAZAR and WALTER SALAZAR PEST CONTROL, Appellants,
v.
HOMETEAM PEST DEFENSE, INC., f/k/a ROLLINS H T, INC., Appellees.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

         Appeal pursuant to Fla. R. App. P. 9.130 from the Circuit Court for Lee County; John Duryea, Judge.

          Brooke A. Bach and Jonathan E. Pollard of Pollard, PLLC, Fort Lauderdale, for Appellants.

          Simona V. Popova and Mark E. Grimes of Golden & Grimes LLP, Miami, for Appellee.

          LaROSE, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Baltazar Salazar, a former pest control technician with Hometeam Pest Defense, Inc., appeals the trial court's nonfinal order granting Hometeam's motion for temporary injunction. We have jurisdiction. See Fla. R. App. P. 9.130(a)(3)(B). We reverse and remand for the trial court to enter an order consistent with the requirements of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.610.

         Background Facts

         Mr. Salzar began working for Hometeam in late 2009 pursuant to a written employment agreement that contained a noncompete provision. Among other things, this restrictive covenant prohibited Mr. Salazar from directly or indirectly contacting or soliciting Hometeam customers following the end of his employment with Hometeam. The restrictive covenant also prevented Mr. Salazar from engaging in "pest control, exterminating, fumigating, or termite control business, in any capacity" within five specified Florida counties.

         Hometeam fired Mr. Salazar in 2014. Later, after learning that Mr. Salazar had formed a competing pest control company, Hometeam sued Mr. Salazar in late 2015 seeking temporary and permanent injunctive relief.

         In June 2016, the trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on Hometeam's motion for a temporary injunction. Hometeam offered the testimony of its general manager, and a private investigator. In his defense, Mr. Salazar testified, as did the owner of a home watch company who had referred prospective pest control clients to Mr. Salazar. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court made no oral findings of fact or rulings. Instead, the trial court invited the parties to submit proposed orders.

         The trial court entered an order granting Hometeam's motion, finding that Mr. Salazar was in violation of the noncompete provision of the employment agreement. The order largely adopted Hometeam's proposed order.

         Analysis

         "A trial court's ruling on a motion for a temporary injunction is clothed with a presumption of correctness, subject to reversal only for an abuse of discretion." Orkin Extermination Co. v. Tfank, 766 So.2d 318, 319 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000). However, a temporary injunction "should be granted only sparingly and only after the moving party has alleged and proved facts entitling it to relief." Morgan v. Herff Jones, Inc., 883 So.2d 309, 313 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004).

         Mr. Salazar raises a number of claims attacking the order before us. Because the order is deficient on its face, we do ...


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