United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
DELTA FUEL CO. INC., Plaintiff
SCOTT TAYLOR, Defendant
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes, United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is a “Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim, and Alternatively,
a Motion to Transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)”
(Doc. 6), filed by Defendant Scott Taylor
(“Taylor”) (“Taylor's Motion”).
Plaintiff Delta Fuel Co., Inc. (“Delta Fuel”)
opposes Taylor's Motion to Dismiss, and consents to
Taylor's Motion to Transfer. (Doc. 13). Taylor replied.
Motion (Doc. 6) should be granted in part, denied in part,
and deferred in part. Because it is more convenient to the
parties and witnesses, and in the interest of justice,
Taylor's Motion to Transfer (Doc. 6) should be granted.
Taylor's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
Jurisdiction (Doc. 6) should be denied as moot given the
recommendation to transfer. This court defers to the Western
District of Texas for a ruling on Taylor's 12(b)(6)
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Doc. 6).
20, 2018, Delta Fuel filed a Verified Petition for Temporary
Restraining Order (“TRO”) and Injunctive Relief
(with exhibits) against Taylor in the Seventh Judicial
District Court, Concordia Parish, State of Louisiana. (Doc.
1-2). Taylor is the sole named defendant. (Doc. 1-2). Delta
Fuel alleges it is incorporated under Louisiana law and
maintains its principal place of business in Ferriday,
Louisiana. (Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel further alleges Taylor
resides in Coahoma, Texas. (Doc. 1-2).
Fuel alleges Taylor was an employee until his resignation on
January 12, 2018. (Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel alleges Taylor was
the Branch Manager for the Midland, Texas office. (Doc. 1-2).
Delta Fuel alleges Taylor made regular trips to Ferriday,
Louisiana for trainings and meetings with other executives
and managers of Delta Fuel. (Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel alleges
Taylor was a highly trusted member of Delta Fuel's
leadership team, and received confidential information
regarding its customers, operations, and business practices.
(Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel further alleges Taylor interacted with
Delta Fuel's drivers and sales force, and was responsible
for the sale of Delta Fuel's products and services to its
customers. (Doc. 1-2).
Fuel asserts that on March 20, 2017, Taylor entered into a
Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenant Agreement with Delta
Fuel (the “Agreement”), which set forth
expectations of Taylor as an employee and former employee.
(Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel also asserts Taylor entered an At-Will
Employment Agreement on June 13, 2016, that also contained
restrictive covenants prohibiting Taylor from competing with
Delta Fuel or interfering with its relationships with its
customers, suppliers, or employees. (Doc. 1-2).
Fuel alleges the Agreement prohibited Taylor from disclosing
confidential information, and included two-year
non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-recruitment
agreements. (Doc. 1-2).
Fuel alleges Taylor abruptly resigned on January 12, 2018,
and became employed at Xcalibur Logistics, LLC
(“Xcalibur”). (Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel alleges
Taylor conducted activities in direct contradiction to his
obligations under the Agreement. (Doc. 1-2). Delta alleges
Taylor was engaging in activities for Xcalibur's sister
company, Fuelco Energy LLC (“Fuelco”), a
competitor of Delta Fuel. (Doc. 1-2). Delta further alleges
they began to see employees resign and take employment with
Xcalibur and Fuelco. (Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel asserts it sent a
cease and desist letter on May 16, 2018, but Taylor refused.
(Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel claims it is entitled to injunctive
relief under the Agreement. (Doc. 1-2). Delta Fuel seeks a
TRO against Taylor, preliminary and permanent injunctive
relief, damages, attorneys' fees, expert fees, and costs.
removed based upon diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1). Taylor
now seeks dismissal based on Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(2) and
12(b)(6) for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, respectively.
(Doc. 6). Alternatively, and “only in the event that
the Court does not dismiss Taylor, ” then Taylor seeks
transfer to the Western District of Texas under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404(a). (Doc. 6). Taylor filed a declaration in
support of his motions. (Doc. 6-2).
Fuel responded, consenting to his Motion to Transfer and
asserting that Taylor's Motion to Dismiss should be
denied. (Doc. 13).
Law and Analysis
Transfer is appropriate under either 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a) or § 1406(a), even if ...