Going to civil court


#1

You have, in the past, written that the Rav permits, in certain cases, going to the civil courts. I am unsure of the parameters of this statement. A friend of mine has asked me to write you his very serious question. He worked for a company for several years, on a commission basis. He did sign a contract with a non compete clause, that read that if he ever left, he could not engage in the same line of work, within a 100 mile radius. The company was not particularly successful, and he had to give them 2/3 of every deal he made. He decided to go out on his own, in a slightly different field so as not to violate the contract. He has been quite successful, but the company took him to borerut, for a share of all the money he has made, and to force him to move 100 miles away, claiming that what he does is substantially the same field…His lawyer told him not to go to borerut, as in civil law they had no claim. But he wanted to do the right thing. The Borer did not grant them a share, but is requiring him to move 100 miles away. He owns a home in the New York area, where he, his wife and children are set up with friends and other connections. His work is entirely through email and phone conversations. His former employers insist he move, although this would have no bearing on his business, or his status as a competitor… It is pure nakmanut. His lawyer is advising him to challenge the “compromise” in court. Is he permitted to do so? In my estimation, the compromise is not founded in halachah, besides being unreasonable.


#2

He can go to civil court. He should have done that before he got caught in this mess.