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MetroPCS Georgia, LLC v. Metro Dealer, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 7, 2019



          Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Jad Dea's (“Mr. Dea”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint for Injunctive Relief (“Motion to Dismiss”). Dkt. # 12. Plaintiff MetroPCS Georgia, LLC (“MetroPCS”) opposes, and Mr. Dea has filed a Reply. Dkt. ## 13, 17. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Mr. Dea's Motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following is taken from MetroPCS' Amended Complaint, which is assumed to be true for the purposes of this motion to dismiss, as well as declarations provided by both parties. Sanders v. Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007); see also Dole Food Co. v. Watts, 303 F.3d 1104, 1107 (9th Cir. 2002) (holding that in the context of a Rule 12(b)(2) motion for lack of personal jurisdiction, the court is to take as true the allegations of the non-moving party and resolve all factual disputes in its favor); McCarthy v. United States, 850 F.2d 558, 560 (9th Cir. 1988) (“Moreover, when considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) the district court is not restricted to the face of the pleadings, but may review any evidence, such as affidavits and testimony, to resolve factual disputes concerning the existence of jurisdiction.”).

         MetroPCS is a Delaware LLC with its principal place of business in Bellevue, Washington. Dkt. # 7 at ¶ 4. Defendants Metro Dealer Inc. (“Metro Dealer”) and Mobile USA, Inc. (“Mobile USA”) are Florida corporations, with their principal places of business in Georgia. Id. at ¶¶ 5, 7. Defendant Jad Dea is a citizen of Georgia. Id. at ¶ 6.

         Until July 2018, Metro Dealer was a MetroPCS subdealer, operating through MetroPCS' Master Dealer, DMW GA, Inc. (“DMW”). Dkt. # 7 at ¶ 1. In October 2017, Metro Dealer and DMW entered into an Exclusive Subdealer's Agreement to Comply With Dealer Agreement (“Subdealer Agreement”), with an effective date of October 12, 2017. Id. The Subdealer Agreement further provided that MetroPCS was “a third-party beneficiary” of the Subdealer Agreement, and that it “may take any equitable or legal action required to enforce its provisions and the terms and conditions of the Dealer Agreement.” Id.

         According to the Amended Complaint, the Subdealer Agreement specifically provided that Metro Dealer “shall comply with all terms and conditions of the Dealer Agreement, including but not limited to . . . the covenant not to compete (Section 16.7).” Dkt. # 7 at 11. Paragraph 16.7 of the Dealer Agreement, which MetroPCS alleges was incorporated into the Subdealer's Agreement, provided that the dealer would not sell wireless services in competition with MetroPCS or solicit, divert, or attempt to divert MetroPCS's customers for a period of six months following termination of its agreement, within two miles of any of the storefronts in which it had operated as a MetroPCS dealer. Id. at ¶ 2. Paragraph 16.7 also provided that if the dealer “breaches this warranty and covenant, then, in addition to any other legal or equitable remedy that MetroPCS may have, the post-termination of this warranty covenant will be extended for one (1) day for each day during which the Dealer's breach was ongoing.” Id. at ¶ 17.

         The Amended Complaint also alleges that Paragraph 2.4 of the Dealer Agreement also contained a six-month non-solicitation provision:

All customers are owned by MetroPCS and not by Dealer. During the term of this Agreement and for a period of six (6) months after termination of this Agreement (whether voluntary or involuntary, with or without cause), Dealer, its principals, owners, partners, members, shareholders, officers, directors, employees, agents (“Affiliated Persons”) and any entity in which an Affiliated Person owns an interest and/or any successor entity to Dealer (“Affiliated Entity”) shall not at any time (i) request any MetroPCS customer to curtail or cancel its business with MetroPCS, or (ii) otherwise solicit, divert or attempt to divert any such MetroPCS customer from patronizing MetroPCS.

Dkt. # 7 at ¶ 17.

         MetroPCS alleges that on or before July 2018, Metro Dealer breached the Subdealer Agreement, prompting DMW and MetroPCS to jointly provide a Notice of Termination of the Subdealer Agreement for cause by letter dated July 13, 2018, effective August 15, 2018. Dkt. # 7 at ¶ 15. Soon after termination, MetroPCS became aware that Defendants were selling competing wireless services from the former MetroPCS store for Tracfone Wireless, a competitor of MetroPCS. Id. at ¶¶ 19, 20. After receving information from Tracfone, MetroPCS discovered that on September 7, 2018, “Mobile USA Inc. is currently operating in the former MetroPCS store as “a non-exclusive, multi-brand retailer.” Id.

         MetroPCS filed this action for injunctive relief on October 9, 2018 (Dkt. # 1), and filed an amended complaint on January 14, 2019. Dkt. # 7. MetroPCS filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. # 9), which this Court granted, and to which Defendants did not file an opposition. Dkt. # 20. Defendant Jad Dea, acting pro se, filed this Motion to Dismiss on February 14, 2019, before this Court ruled on MetroPCS' Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Dkt. # 12.


         Mr. Dea provides three apparent bases for his Motion to Dismiss, although he only cites one subsection of Fed.R.Civ.P. 12. First, he moves to dismiss MetroPCS' lawsuit for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). Dkt. # 12 at 1. Second, Mr. Dea appears to move to dismiss due to a lack of subject matter jurisdiction, which the Court construes as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1). Id. at 1-3. Third, Mr. Dea appears to move to dismiss for lack of personal ...

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