Preliminary Injunction Cases In North Carolina

The Supreme Court has said regarding a preliminary injunction: It is an extraordinary measure taken by a court to preserve the status quo of the parties during litigation. It will be issued only: (1) if a plaintiff is able to show likelihood of success on the merits of his case (2) if a plaintiff is likely to sustain irreparable loss unless the injunction is issued, or if, in the opinion of the Court, issuance is necessary for the protection of a plaintiff's rights during the course of litigation. Investors, Inc. v. Berry, 293 N.C. 688, 701, 239 S.E.2d 566, 574 (1977). "On appeal from an order of a superior court granting or denying a preliminary injunction, an appellate court is not bound by the findings, but may review and weigh the evidence and find facts for itself." A.E.P. Industries v. McClure, 308 N.C. 393, 402, 302 S.E.2d 754, 760 (1983). An agreement not to compete will not be enforced unless it is: (1) in writing (2) entered into at the time and as a part of the original contract of employment (3) based on a valuable consideration (4) reasonable both as to the time and territory embraced in the restrictions (5) fair to the parties (6) not against public policy." U-Haul Co. v. Jones, 269 N.C. 284, 286, 152 S.E.2d 65, 67 (1967). The requirement that an agreement not to compete be in writing includes a requirement that the writing be signed. "No contract or agreement hereafter made, limiting the rights of any person to do business anywhere in the State of North Carolina shall be enforceable unless such agreement is in writing duly signed by the party who agrees not to enter into any such business within such territory . . . ." N.C. Gen. Stat. 75-4 (1999). We have held: " G.S. 75-4 is consistent with the other 'statute of frauds' provisions in our law which require only that the writing be 'signed by the party charged therewith[,'] or require that the writing be signed by 'the party against whom enforcement is sought.'" Manpower, Inc. v. Hedgecock, 42 N.C. App. 515, 519-20, 257 S.E.2d 109, 113 (1979); see N.C. Gen. Stat. 75-4.