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Spring Break LLC v. 220 Records LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

December 9, 2019

Spring Break LLC, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
220 Records LLC, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER

          PAMELA A. BARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Pro se Plaintiff Donell Mitchell filed this action on behalf of himself and Spring Break LLC against 220 Records LLC, Maurie Lemaine Nunn, Demcas LLC and STS Media LLC. He alleges Nunn used an image and logo for Rap Phenomenons without permission and breached a contract with Spring Break LLC and King of Hip Hop LLC. He asserts claims for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and breach of contract. He seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.

         BACKGROUND

         Mitchell's Complaint is very disjointed, and difficult to follow. Adding to the confusion is the sheer complexity of the various corporate entities mentioned in the Complaint.

         Based on filings with the Ohio Secretary of State, it appears Spring Break LLC (“Spring Break”) was incorporated in April 2008 by Elizabeth Reyes, aka Elizabeth Reyes Large or Elizabeth Large (“Reyes-Large”). Spring Break registered the tradename Large Bonds in September 2006 with Reyes-Large as the statutory agent. Mitchell, however, indicates Reyes-Large was only an employee of Spring Break, and contends she was fired in 2016. Mitchell also alleges that Nunn was also involved with Reyes-Large in the creation of Large Bonds. Mitchell does not explain how Nunn was involved or what occurred, if anything, to terminate that relationship. Spring Break is still an active LLC with Reyes-Large as the statutory agent, although a corporate filing indicates that the Mitchell Family Trust may have an interest in the limited liability corporation.

         The Personal Injury Network LLC (“Personal Injury Network”) was incorporated by Mitchell in November 2015. Personal Injury Network then incorporated City Bonding, LLC (“City Bonding”) in June 2018.

         Spring Break allowed the tradename Large Bonds to expire in 2014 and it was cancelled. Personal Injury Network picked up the Large Bonds registration in 2016. In May 2019, Personal Injury Network through City Bonding, registered the tradename Large Bail Bonds Company.

         The King of Hip Hop LLC (“King of Hip Hop”) was incorporated in 2011 by Reyes-Large and Mitchell. King of Hip Hop registered the tradename 24 Hour Bail Bonds in November 2015. In September 2019, King of Hip Hop allowed City Bonding to register the 24 Hour Bail Bonds tradename.

         In May of 2008, Maurie and Debra Nunn incorporated Demcas, LLC (“Demcas”). Demcas registered the tradename 220 Bail Bonding in June 2010, and the tradename Phenom Sports in September 2015. In January 2008 Maurie Nunn and Alan Bowles incorporated STS Media LLC as an independent recording label. Nunn and Bowles incorporated 220 Records LLC in May 2008.

         In 2006, Mitchell obtained federal copyright and trademark registrations for the name and logo of Rap Phenomenon. He indicates he transferred those registrations to Spring Break in March 2008. Mitchell contends that in 2009, Nunn and STS Media used the Rap Phenomenon logo on the Large Bonds Youtube page without permission. He indicates Nunn, STS Media LLC and 220 Records LLC used the Rap Phenomenon logo on a flyer in 2019 without permission.

         Mitchell also alleges, without explanation, that Nunn used his marketing company, STS Media to duplicate and advertise the Large Bonds registered logo on the Large Bonds YouTube page. He states that the acts of Nunn, Demcas LLC, 220 Records and STS Media LLC constitute copyright and trademark infringement and unless they are enjoined, Mitchell and Spring Break LLC will suffer injury.

         Finally, Mitchell asserts two claims for breach of contract. He alleges that in 2010, Nunn entered into a contract with Spring Break to act as an independent contractor to write bonds for Large Bonds. He contends the terms of the contract allow both Large Bonds and 24 Hour Bail Bonds Company, which at that time was owned by King of Hip Hop, to have authority over Nunn's contracts with respect to issuing bail bonds. He claims Nunn breached that agreement by using Demcas, STS Media and 220 Records, but he does not allege in what capacity Nunn utilized these limited liability corporations. Mitchell also claims without explanation that Nunn breached a fugitive recovery and surety bail contract with Spring Break in December 2015.

         Mitchell seeks an injunction preventing the Defendants from using the Rap Phenomenon copyrighted and trademarked name and logo, to cease acts that may deceive others into believing Mitchell or Spring Break are affiliated with or sponsor Defendants' products, to prevent Defendants from infringing on the Spring Break, Phenomenon, and Large Bonds ...


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