Hancock suit confined in federal court

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

A California company’s Texas lawsuit against Baldwyn-based Hancock Fabrics has come to north Mississippi, federal court records show.
Rowdec LLC, a private company doing business as Westlake Associates, and Hancock are locked in legal disagreements over a 2009 contract for Westlake to build a new craft department for Hancock’s retail stores in exchange for a guaranteed fee, royalties and reimbursement for its expenses.
Last May, Rowdec asked a Texas federal court to uphold an arbitration award plus costs against Hancock.
Thursday, that lawsuit was moved to the U.S. District of Northern Mississippi and assigned to Judge Sharion Aycock and Magistrate David Sanders.
Hancock sued Rowdec first in Lee County and then the case was moved to federal court claiming the arbitrator exceeded his powers with the unspecified award, which included attorneys’ fees.
Last June, Rowdec asked for the Hancock lawsuit to be dismissed or moved.
Since then, various motions in support or in opposition have been filed, as well as signings on by numerous attorneys.
In July, Sanders froze Hancock’s motion for discovery until a decision was made on the motion to dismiss or move the venue.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com