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S & H Leasing, LLC v. S&H Automotive Group, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 22, 2017

S & H LEASING, LLC, doing business as S & H MOTOR SALES AND LEASING, an Indiana limited liability company, Plaintiff,
v.
S&H AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, LLC, a Michigan limited liability company, BRANDON SMITH and PAUL HARGREAVES, Defendants.

          Phillip J. Green Magistrate Judge

          CONSENT JUDGMENT

          Paul L. Maloney United States District Judge

         S&H Leasing, LLC, doing business as S&H Motor Sales and Leasing (“Plaintiff” or “S&H”), Brandon Smith (“Smith”) and S&H Automotive Group (“SHAG”), certain of the parties in the above-captioned action, have agreed to terms and conditions representing a negotiated settlement of Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Smith and SHAG and have set forth those terms and conditions in a Settlement Agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”), the terms and conditions of which are hereby incorporated into this Judgment by reference. Now the parties, by their respective undersigned attorneys, hereby consent to the entry of this Judgment and Permanent Injunction, based on the following stipulated findings of fact and conclusions of law, which the Court hereby adopts for purposes of entry of this Judgment.

         FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

         1. Plaintiff S&H is an Indiana limited liability company which has its principal place of business at 51466 State Road 19, Elkhart, Indiana, 46514. Its two members are Keith Harper and Kathy Summers-Harper, both of whom are residents of Edwardsburg, Michigan.

         2. S&H has been in the business of buying, selling, and financing quality used cars, SUVs, and trucks in Elkhart, Indiana since 2009. S&H has developed a reputation for selling high-quality preowned vehicles and providing superior customer service and a hassle-free buying experience since 2009. In addition, S&H spends a substantial amount annually to advertise its business on the Internet, and to develop and maintain its reputation in the marketplace.

         3. SHAG is a Michigan limited liability company. Its principal business address is 2640 S. 11th Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120. One of SHAG's members is Defendant Brandon Smith.

         4. Beginning in 2016, SHAG began buying, selling, and financing used cars, SUVs, and trucks. SHAG's business activities have led to confusion in the marketplace between S&H and SHAG and is likely to dilute and does dilute the distinctive quality of S&H's trademark and trade dress. SHAG's use of the “S&H” mark and the trade dress used by S&H is likely to injure and does injure S&H's business reputation.

         5. On January 13, 2017, S&H initiated this action by filing a Complaint against Defendants alleging trademark infringement and use of false designations of origin under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a); for trade dress infringement under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a); for violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, MCL §445.903; and for unfair competition and unjust enrichment under Michigan common law.

         6. Each of the Defendants has been properly served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint. In addition, each of the Defendants was properly served with Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Defendants Smith and SHAG have appeared in this litigation. Defendant Hargreaves did not and so has been defaulted.

         7. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1121(a) and 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1338(a) and (b), and supplemental jurisdiction over the claims arising under Michigan law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1367(a) because the state law claims are sufficiently related to the federal claims that they form part of the same case or controversy. This Court therefore also has subject matter jurisdiction over any actions to enforce the terms of this Judgment.

         8. This Court has both general and specific personal jurisdiction over Defendants consistent with MCL §600.711 and 600.715 because each Defendant is a citizen and resident of this district and physically located in this district.

         9. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(b) and (c).

         PERMANENT ...


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