by Michael Fox
The trial court refused to grant a temporary injunction because he found there was no proof of irreparable injury or lack of adequate remedy at law, which are traditionally required for a temporary injunction. The First Court of Appeals, relying on its earlier opinion in Butler v. Arrow Mirror & Glass, Inc., 51 S.W.3d 787, 795 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2001, no pet.), reversed finding the trial court abused its discretion in denying the injunction on those grounds. The money language is as follows:
Section 15.52, entitled “Preemption of Other Law,” provides, “The criteria for enforceability of a covenant not to compete provided by section 15.50 of this code and the procedures and remedies in an action to enforce a covenant not to compete provided by Section 15.51 of this code are exclusive and preempt any other criteria for enforceability of a covenant not to compete or procedures and remedies in an action to enforce a covenant not to compete under common law or otherwise.” Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 15.52 (Vernon Supp. 2002); Butler, 51 S.W.3d at 795. Thus, a showing by the promisee of an irreparable injury for which he has no adequate legal remedy is not a prerequisite for obtaining injunctive relief under the Covenants Not to Compete Act. Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. §§ 15.50, 15.51(a); Butler, 51 S.W.3d at 795.
The plaintiff still might not prevail as the Court sent it back for a further hearing. However, at least in the First Court of Appeals, the traditional injunction requirements seem to be trumped by Section 15.52.