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Chain break: ex-Manchester store owner stands his ground in 7-eleven battle.

The former owner of a Manchester 7-Eleven has given up the keys to his store, but he has retained an attorney to continue to battle the convenience store chain in court.

Paul Dixon told NHBR via e-mail that 7-Eleven Corp.--temporarily enjoined by a state court from seizing the store--seized the store's income from credit sales instead, preventing Dixon from paying his employees or purchasing inventory.

"Enough is enough," said Dixon. a Goffstown resident who has owned the franchise for eight years. "I spent the last few years at 7-Eleven only trying to protect my investment of approximately $250.000 while making no money (as the proximate result of 7 Eleven's accounting), despite the store's gross volume of approximately $1 million."

7-Eleven has previously declined comment because the matter is in litigation, but according to court filings the company says that Dixon repeatedly violated his franchise contract by failing to maintain a net worth (total assets minus liabilities) of $15,000.

Dixon, representing himself, filed his lawsuit in April, arguing that 7-Eleven's accounting system was "in total error" and called it a "shortage scheme" that has been challenged in the past by an attorney for the 7-Eleven Northeast Franchise Association.

After Dixon obtained a temporary restraining order on April 15, 7-Eleven moved the case to federal court, arguing that while abiding by the order, it did want access to the store to inspect records.

While the federal court set up a hearing on that motion, 7-Eleven countersued, arguing for the right to seize the property, based on the aforementioned allegations.

Dixon said he would continue the litigation to pursue money damages and retained Stephen Wight, a Lawrence, Mass., attorney. Wight told NHBR, that it "was not clear about what kind of procedure to undertake in court" as of yet and would not offer any further comment.

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Title Annotation:Paul Dixon
Author:Sanders, Bob
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jun 28, 2013
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