Campbell Oil Co. v. Amerigas Propane, LP, 070816 NCSUP, 13 CVS 468

Docket Nº:13 CVS 468
Opinion Judge:Gregory P. McGuire Special Superior Court Judge
Party Name:CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY; CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY OF CLINTON, INC.; LINDSEY CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY, INC.; CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY OF WHITEVILLE, INC.; CAMPBELL BROTHERS, INC.; CAMPBELL INVESTMENTS, INC.; CAMPBELL OIL & GAS COMPANY OF RALEIGH, INC.; D.M. CAMPBELL, JR., Individually and as Trustee of the Irrevocable Trust Agreement dated September 13, 1989...
Case Date:July 08, 2016
Court:Superior Courts of Law and Equity of North Carolina
 
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2016 NCBC 50

CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY; CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY OF CLINTON, INC.; LINDSEY CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY, INC.; CAMPBELL OIL COMPANY OF WHITEVILLE, INC.; CAMPBELL BROTHERS, INC.; CAMPBELL INVESTMENTS, INC.; CAMPBELL OIL & GAS COMPANY OF RALEIGH, INC.; D.M. CAMPBELL, JR., Individually and as Trustee of the Irrevocable Trust Agreement dated September 13, 1989 with Bonnie H. Campbell, as Grantor; SYLVIA CAMPBELL, Individually and as Trustee of the Irrevocable Trust Agreement dated September 13, 1989 with Bonnie H. Campbell, as Grantor; BRIAN D. CAMPBELL, Individually and as Trustee for the Bonnie Campbell Irrevocable Trust for the Children of Dallas M. Campbell, Jr., U/A/D September 27, 2001; WESLEY S. CAMPBELL, Individually and as Trustee for the Bonnie Campbell Irrevocable Trust for the Children of Dallas M. Campbell, Jr., U/A/D September 27, 2001; CHRISTOPHER M. CAMPBELL, Individually and as Trustee for the Bonnie Campbell Irrevocable Trust the Children of Dallas M. Campbell, Jr., U/A/D September 27, 2001 and DALLAS MCQUEEN CAMPBELL III, Individually and as Trustee for the Bonnie Campbell Irrevocable Trust for the Children of Dallas M. Campbell, Jr., U/A/D September 27, 2001, Plaintiffs

v.

AMERIGAS PROPANE, LP, Defendant

No. 13 CVS 468

Superior Court of North Carolina, Bladen

July 8, 2016

ORDER ON MOTIONS TO REVISE SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER

Gregory P. McGuire Special Superior Court Judge

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Revise Summary Judgment Order and Defendant's Motion to Reinstate Counterclaim (collectively "Motions to Revise"). The Motions to Revise are made pursuant to North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), and seek this Court's reconsideration and revision of its Opinion and Order of January 15, 2016 (the "Opinion"), in light of the North Carolina Supreme Court's decision in Beverage Systems of the Carolinas, LLC v. Associated Beverage Repairs, LLC, ___ N.C. ___, 2016 N.C. LEXIS 177 (March 18, 2016). In Beverage Systems, the supreme court held that a trial court lacks the power to rewrite the terms of an unenforceable covenant not-to-compete to make the covenant enforceable, even where the covenant expressly purports to provide the court with such authority. The parties agree that the supreme court's decision in Beverage Systems renders this Court's decision denying Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, in part, on Plaintiffs' Third Claim for Relief and granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment on Defendant's First Counterclaim erroneous as a matter of law. The parties disagree as to the impact these requested revisions have on this Court's decision dismissing Defendant's Second Counterclaim for unjust enrichment as moot.

THE COURT, having considered the Motions to Revise, the memoranda filed in support of and opposition to the Motions to Revise, and other appropriate matters of record, FINDS and CONCLUDES as follows.

I. BACKGROUND.

1. The full procedural and factual background of this case are set out fully in the Opinion. Accordingly, the Court recites only those limited background facts necessary to the resolution of the Motions to Revise.

2. On June 1, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Summary Judgment and brief in support of that motion. Plaintiffs' motion sought summary judgment in Plaintiffs' favor on all of Plaintiffs' claims and both of Defendant's counterclaims. With regard to Defendant's Second Counterclaim for unjust enrichment, Plaintiffs only argued that the claim for unjust enrichment should be dismissed because it was precluded by the existence of the parties' written contract.1

3. Also on June 1, 2015, Defendant filed its Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant's motion sought summary judgment in Defendant's favor on all of Plaintiffs' claims. Defendant's Motion did not seek summary judgment on either of Defendant's counterclaims.

4. On January 15, 2016, the Court issued the Opinion. In the Opinion, the Court "conclude[d] that the geographic restriction in the non-compete is unreasonable, and therefore unenforceable."2 Nevertheless, based on the then-existing authority recognized by the court of appeals' decision in Beverage Systems of the Carolinas, LLC v. Associated Beverage Repairs, LLC, ___ N.C. App. ___, 762 S.E.2d 316 (2013), this Court concluded that it had the power to rewrite the geographic restriction to make it reasonable and enforceable, and proceeded to do so.[3] Consequently, the Court denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and granted Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, in part, on Plaintiffs' Third Claim for Relief seeking a declaratory judgment that the covenant...

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