CHARLES TOWN - The owner of a welcome business has filed a lawsuit against two women who were going to work for her, but decided to open a competing business instead.

Neighborhood Welcome LLC filed a suit March 8 in Jefferson Circuit Court against Judith Keatley and Karen Martin. Keatley and Martin had entered into a contract with Neighborhood Welcome as independent contractors, the complaint states.

It goes on to say that on Feb. 14, 2007, the women told the company they wanted to revoke their contract and, in a letter to the plaintiff, indicated they wanted to form a welcome service to compete with Neighborhood Welcome.

The suit says the women breached their contract and will cause Neighborhood Welcome to suffer contacts in both the advertising and newcomer communities.

"The 'welcome' community is a community that only exists for a brief period in time, never to be recreated," the suit says.

The suit says that because both communities are unique, there is no adequate remedy at law to compensate Neighborhood Welcome.

Neighborhood Welcome seeks a restraining order against Keatley and Martin that prohibits them from opening a "welcome" service within a 100-mile radius of territory granted to the plaintiff, which includes Washington County, Md., and Jefferson and Berkeley County in West Virginia.

Jefferson Circuit Court case number 07-C-79

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