United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the court on the Renewed Motion to Stay Action
and Compel Plaintiffs to Submit Their Claims to Binding
Arbitration (Doc. # 56), filed by Defendant Charlie, Inc.,
d/b/a Serra Hyundai (“Defendant Serra Hyundai” or
“Serra Hyundai”) on June 6, 2017, and the Motion
to Stay Action and Compel Plaintiffs to Submit Their Claims
to Binding Arbitration (Doc. # 58), filed by Defendant
Christopher Cone (“Defendant Cone” or
“Cone”) on June 14, 2017. The Motions have been
fully briefed. (See Docs. # 56; 58; 60; 62). For the
reasons stated below, the court concludes that Defendant
Serra Hyundai's Motion (Doc. # 56) and Defendant
Cone's Motion (Doc. # 58) are due to be granted.
Procedural Background and Relevant Facts
September 24, 2016, Brittany Cherie White
(“White”) and Steven Bruce Hefter
“Plaintiffs”) left Serra Hyundai with a new car.
(See Docs. # 52 at ¶ 45; 56 at 1; 60 at 2).
Plaintiffs purchased the car using an installment plan.
(Docs. # 52 at ¶¶ 14-15, 21; 60-11). Cone, an
employee of Serra Hyundai, served as the Finance Manager for
Plaintiffs' purchase. (Docs. # 52 at ¶ 28; 56-1 at
1-2). Before departing with the new car, Plaintiffs signed
several documents. (See Docs. # 52 at ¶¶
8, 17; 60 at 2-3).
documents most relevant to the pending Motions (Docs. # 56;
58) are the Retail Buyers Order (Docs. # 60-10; 56-1 at 4-5),
the Retail Installment Sale Contract (Doc. # 60-11), and the
Delivery Receipt (Doc. # 60-6). The Retail Buyers Order
contains the following agreement to arbitrate disputes:
Undersigned Purchaser and Seller, voluntarily WAIVE
ANY RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL, and further agree as
(1) That the motor vehicle described in this sale document
has been heretofore traveling in interstate commerce and has
had an impact on interstate commerce.
(2) That in the event of any dispute(s), between the parties
hereto or in the event of any dispute(s) arising out of or
related to this contract, (including but not limited to the
terms of the agreement, the condition of the motor vehicle
sold, the conformity of the motor vehicle sold to the
contract, the representations, promises, undertakings or
covenants made by Seller, Inc. in connection with the sale of
the motor vehicle, or otherwise dealing with a motor vehicle;
any terms of financing in connection therewith, or any terms
of any credit life and/or disability insurance purchased
simultaneously herewith, or extended service or maintenance
agreement(s), that Seller, and the purchaser agree to submit
such dispute(s) to binding arbitration, pursuant to the
provisions of 9 U.S.C. 1, et seq. and according to the
commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association then
existing in Alabama.
(3) That in the event any dispute arises between purchaser
and seller, its officers, agents and employees, the said
dispute will be submitted to binding arbitration pursuant to
9 U.S.C. et seq. and according to the commercial rules of the
American Arbitration Association then existing in Alabama.
(4) (A) That in the event any dispute arises between the
parties, as to the conformity or condition of the motor
vehicle, the parties will permit a third party (to be
mutually agreed upon), to inspect the motor vehicle to
determine its conformity and condition, and that the findings
of such third-party shall be binding upon Seller, and the
purchaser, in connection with any litigation, arbitration or
request for adjustment, pursuant to the provisions of the
1975 code of Alabama.
(B) In the event Seller and the purchaser cannot agree upon a
third-party to conduct such inspection, either party shall
have the right to petition any court of competent
jurisdiction, or panel of arbitrations, to appoint an expert
to act as such third party.
(C) The cost of such third-party inspection shall be borne
equally by Seller and the purchaser or as may be directed by
any court or panel of arbitrators.
(5) This Arbitration agreement constitutes part of your
retail buyers order.
(Docs. # 56 at 2; # 56-1 at 4; 60-10 at 2-3). The Retail
Buyers Order also provides as follows:
This order shall not become binding upon either the Purchaser
or the Seller until the vehicle described above is physically
delivered and Purchaser has received the Disclosures required
under Federal Law, if applicable, in the case of a credit
sale, the Seller shall not be obligated to sell until a
finance source approves this Order and agrees to purchase a