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How do I get out of a non-compete agreement with a car dealership in Michigan?

Kalamazoo, MI |

-the non-compete agreement was not signed in front of me.
-the copy I have just shows my signature.
-one clause states that I cannot work at any other dealership within a 75 mile radius of the multiple rooftops owned by this dealer. Which would basically mean I would have to move out of the State of Michigan to work again.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The terms of the non-compete must be reasonable in scope and duration and be intended to protect specific knowledge or insight you gleaned from working for them. This on its face seems unreasonable, but I would need to see the contract itself. You can compete and then defend if they sue.


  2. I agree with Attorney Higgs analysis. This distance requirement sounds arbitrary, and if you are not in possession of proprietary knowledge, it will be hard to enforce. The courts don’t like to put people out of work. However, the courts in Michigan are generally more receptive to enforcing non-compete agreements then they used to be. This is due to a general change in the make-up of the courts. You want someone to review it before you take any action so you can have an idea of not only what the contract says, but what the courts have decided in the past. Good luck.

    Respectfully,
    Russ Brown

    All information disclosed is for general discussion only. Attorney is not rendering a legal opinion nor is entering into an attorney client relationship, which requires an executed retainer agreement.


  3. I'm a Michigan licensed attorney who focuses on noncompete issues and litigation. These issues are often highly fact specific. But the link below is to an article discussing what factors should be looked at, which should be done with an experienced attorney and that discussion should take place before engaging in conduct that could arguably violate the agreement. In my experience, if there are enforceability issues or other weak points to attack in the noncompete agreement, individuals may be able to negotiate a resolution that both sides can live with. Best to you.

    Please go to www.shinnlegal.com for more information about my professional experience. But in sum, I'm licensed to practice law in Michigan. My response is provided only to educate the public about general issues that may need to be discussed with competent legal counsel in your state. My response is not a substitute for consulting an attorney in order to fully understand how the law may apply to your specific and unique circumstances; Remember, you often get what you pay for.


  4. You have not stated the duration of the non-compete covenant, which is usually a big issue.

    In any event, my experience is that courts enforce these provisions. If one reads the appellate cases in Michigan and the Eastern District of Michigan decisions, you are hard-pressed to find opinions where a court did NOT enforce non-competition covenants.

    Good luck.

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