In a recent case of first impression within the state of New Hampshire, Feniger & Uliasz litigated the issue of whether a contractual non-compete agreement is enforceable against an independent contractor. The case is Brians 1:1 Fitness, LLC v Woodward reported as case No. 217-2012-CV-00838 in the Merrimack County Superior Court and orders may be reviewed on the court website.
Based on the contract between the owner and the independent contractor the case was litigated through a preliminary injunction and full evidentiary hearing resulting in a decision in favor of the independent contractor.
The case ultimately settled but, the orders from the presiding judge, based on cases from other jurisdictions, has set out a guideline for the enforcement of such contract provisions. In addition, during the pendency of the litigation protective legislation regarding non-compete agreements in employment contracts agreements became effective which may redirect the focus of the analysis.
From the standpoint of our client, the outcome allowed him to continue to operate a successful business in which he had already made a substantial investment of time and money.