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Legal Memorandum: Injunction Extended to Independent Contractors

Issue: Does an injunction extend to independent contractors working for the defendant?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Injunction; Independent contractors
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 395 F. Supp. 2d 859; 176 F.3d 669
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 01/01/2007

It cannot seriously be disputed that an injunction extending to all those acting in concert with the defendant includes independent contractors, if the independent contractors and the defendants are in fact acting in concert with each other.  See Travelodge Hotels, Inc. v. Hercoules Coutoules, No. CIV. A. 98-4307 (D.N.J. May 5, 1999) (preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendant and all acting in concert with him included independent contractors); Austin v. Pa. Dep’t of Corrections, No. Civ. A. No. 90-7497 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 29, 1992) (same).  See also Basin Elec. Power Coop. v. MPS Generation, Inc., 395 F. Supp. 2d 859; 867-68 (D.N.D. 2005) (preliminary injunction binding upon the defendant and those acting in concert with it extended to a non-party escrow agent that was acting in concert or participation with the defendant).

The Third Circuit case of Max’s Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669 (3d Cir. 1999), is inapposite.  In Max’s Seafood, the court of appeals reversed the district court’s finding that the defendant was in contempt based on the actions of the defendant’s business associate.  The court of appeals was specifically concerned that “the District Court did not find that Quinteros instigated, endorsed, or ratified [his business associate’s] violations” of the injunction.  Id. at 674.  The Max’s Seafood court contrasted the earlier Harris case, in which the defendant was appropriately held in contempt for its own violations of the order.  Id. at 677.  .

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