United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, J.
matter comes before the Court upon the Motion (ECF DKT #9) of
Defendants, New Century Auto Sales, Inc. and RWOH, Inc. d/b/a
Rightway Automotive Credit, to Compel Arbitration and to
Dismiss, or alternatively, to Stay All Proceedings. For the
following reasons, the Motion is granted in part and the
above-captioned case is stayed and removed from the
Court's active docket.
February 2018, Plaintiff entered into a Retail Installment
Contract with Defendants for the purchase of a used car. The
Contract contains an Arbitration Provision which sets forth
that either Plaintiff or Defendants may elect to resolve any
Claim by neutral, binding arbitration and not by a court
action. “Claim” is defined as:
any claim, dispute or controversy between you and us or our
employees, agents, successors, assigns or affiliates arising
from or relating to: 1. this credit application; 2. the
purchase or the Property; 3. the condition of the Property;
4. this Contract; 5. any insurance, maintenance, service or
other contracts you purchased in connection with this
Contract; or 6. any related transaction, occurrence or
relationship. This includes any Claim based on common or
constitutional law, contract, tort, statute, regulation or
(ECF DKT #9-1).
lawsuit, filed on June 16, 2019, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants violated the Truth in Lending Act
(“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants circumvented the TILA
disclosure requirements; and that Defendants intended to
mislead purchasers as to the terms of the sale, particularly
as to the amount of down payment and interest they would
actually be required to pay.
contend in their Motion that the conspicuous, valid and
mandatory Arbitration Provision governs Plaintiff's
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) 9 U.S.C.
§§ 1, et seq.
provides that an arbitration clause in a “transaction
involving commerce ... shall be valid, irrevocable, and
enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in
equity for the revocation of any contract.” 9 U.S.C.
§ 2 (2003). The FAA further mandates that when the Court
is “satisfied that the making of the agreement for
arbitration ... is not in issue, the court shall make an
order directing the parties to proceed to arbitration in
accordance with the terms of the agreement.” 9 U.S.C.
§ 4 (2003).
establishes a liberal policy favoring arbitration agreements
and any doubts regarding arbitrability should be resolved in
favor of arbitration over litigation. Masco Corp. v.
Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 382 F.3d 624, 627 (6th Cir. 2004);
see Fazio v. Lehman Bros., Inc., 340 F.3d 386, 392
(6th Cir. 2003). “A central purpose of the FAA is
‘to reverse the longstanding judicial hostility to
arbitration agreements ... and to place arbitration
agreements upon the same footing as other
contracts.'” In re Olshan Foundation Repair
Company, LLC, 328 S.W.3d 883, 891 (Tex.2010) (quoting
Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S.
20, 24 (1991)).
requires courts to “rigorously enforce”
arbitration agreements. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. v.
Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 221 (1985). Yet, arbitration clauses
are subject to the same defenses or bars as other contract
provisions. 9 U.S.C. § 4 (2003). The Court must
ascertain whether the parties agreed to arbitrate the dispute
at issue. See Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Soler
Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 626
(1985). A party cannot be required to arbitrate any dispute
if the party has not agreed to do so. Steelworkers v.
Warrior & Gulf Co., 363 U.S. 574, 582 (1960);
Simon v. Pfizer Inc., 398 F.3d 765, 775 (6th Cir.
2005). The FAA does not confer an absolute right to compel
arbitration, but only a right to obtain an order directing
that “arbitration proceed in the manner provided for in
[the parties'] agreement.” Volt Information
Sciences, Inc. v. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior
University, 489 U.S. 468, 469 (1989). The “party
resisting arbitration bears the burden of proving that the
claims at issue are unsuitable for arbitration.”
Green Tree Financial Corp.-Alabama v. Randolph, 531
U.S. 79, 91 (2000); Gilmer, 500 U.S. at 26.
response to Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration,
Plaintiff acknowledges: “Since Defendant has invoked
the arbitration clause in the contract between the parties,
this case may properly be submitted to arbitration.”
(ECF DKT #11 at 1). Further, ...